Mr. Kurt Dunkel - MS
Mr. Kurt Dunkel received his
Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Shippensburg University. As a student
athlete, Kurt was a team captain, a two-time PSAC place-winner, and a two-time
All-American javelin thrower – finishing second at the NCAA Championships in
1997 and 1998. He has worked in the local community as a mental health counselor
and family therapist at his private practice. He also worked at SU as a mental
health counselor and professor in the Academic Success Program (ASP) before
taking over the role of Program Coordinator in the Academic Support for Student
Athletes Office (ASSA).
Kurt has led on a variety of
initiatives to improve the academic performance and persistence of SU student
athletes. For example, Kurt has restructured the format of the mandatory study
hall program to increase accountability and to include more
instruction/guidance on group study. Study hall monitors have been trained to
serve as tutors for individual and small groups. These tutors provide
generalist study skills support as well as content specific support. The office
provides advising support, workshops, and a comprehensive academic orientation
program for incoming and first year student athletes. Mr. Dunkel created the
first every comprehensive student athlete support services guide and also
developed the office’s first ever service learning group called Raiders Serve. Kurt also has an interest
in performing and presenting research on a variety of academic support initiatives.
Shippensburg University student
athletes continue to see graduation rates and an Academic Success Rate (ASR)
which is well above the National Average. SU student athletes have persistence
rates and QPA’s which are higher than the general SU student body. In 2014
Shippensburg University Athletics broke its all-time record with 141 PSAC
Scholar Athletes. Ship has had numerous PSAC Champion Scholars, Regional
Academic All-Americans, National Academic All-Americans, and multiple NCAA
degree completion scholarship winners. In 2014, SU saw fifty percent of its
student athletes earn at least a 3.0 semester QPA and one quarter of student
athletes earned Dean’s List.
Kurt has taught a variety of
both undergraduate and graduate courses at SU and has a strong interest in the
holistic personal development of college students. Kurt believes in the
philosophy of Division 2, which places an important emphasis on the balance
between academics and athletics. Kurt has presented on various topics related
to academic support services, mental health, and wellness at regional,
national, and international conferences.
Mr. Dunkel remains
personally involved with SU athletics as a part time assistant coach of track
and field – a role has held since 1999. Kurt has coached 220 conference
placewinners, 29 conference champions, 77 NCAA provisional qualifiers, 18
All-Americans, 18 school record holders, eight PSAC Championship record
holders, one Academic All-American, and a NCAA National Champion.
Kurt is the father of two young boys, to whom he
devotes a great deal of time. In addition he enjoys, travel, the outdoors, exercises,
reading, cooking, and photography.
Grissom is a 2014 graduate from Edinboro University with a B.S. in Psychology
and minor in Communication Studies. While there, she was active on campus as an
undergraduate researcher, Psych Club Secretary, writing tutor, and Honors
Program mentor. She also served as a student assistant for the Department of
Nursing for four years. Here at Shippensburg University Rianna will be pursuing
a M.S. in Psychological Science. Her interests include cooking, traveling, and
all the adventures that come along with it!
Student Support Assistant
Carolyn Smith is from Westminster, Maryland and will
be working in the office for the Academic Support Services for Student Athletes. She is a senior, majoring in psychology with
a minor in coaching. Carolyn is a member of Tau Kappa, PSI CHI,
Psychology club, SAAC, and is a captain of the Ship Women’s soccer team. In Carolyn’s free time she enjoys hanging out with
friends, cheering on her fellow Raiders, and looking forward to graduating in
May with the class of 2015!