Phillips to Head Student-Athlete Academic Support

By Mark Sullivan
Staff Writer

Vice President for Student Affairs Kevin P. Duffy has announced the appointment of Ferna Phillips as director of the Office of Learning Resources for Student Athletes, which provides academic support for more than 800 athletes on 33 varsity teams at Boston College.

Phillips, formerly associate director of the program, had been acting director since this past November, when she succeeded inaugural director Kevin Lyons. She is in her 15th year with the program, which is credited with helping Boston College consistently achieve one of the highest student-athlete graduation rates in NCAA Division I sports.

"The Office of Learning Resources for Student Athletes is one of the most successful academic programs in higher education and Ferna has been a significant contributor to that success," said Duffy. "I am confident she and her dedicated staff will continue that tradition of excellence."

Phillips attributes the ongoing success of the program to its incorporation of the Ignatian ideal of "care for the whole person," offering counseling to student-athletes in more than just academics.

Ferna Phillips.

"We provide any services needed," Phillips said. "On a given day, a student-athlete might come in to discuss a personal or family concern, or to talk about picking a major or doing an internship, or to copy-edit a paper in the computer lab. We take a holistic approach."

Phillips is a former president of the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics, and is pursuing her doctorate in counseling psychology at the Lynch School of Education. She is faculty advisor to the University's Voices of Imani Gospel Choir.

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