Torie Johnson was going to be a sportscaster. Actually, she wished to anchor SportsCenter on ESPN.
She was on her way-becoming the primary black editor of her faculty’s scholar newspaper; incomes a level in journalism from Baylor College; and interning within the area, together with one place with the Houston Astros.
Then the Southeastern Convention got here calling.
“I am from Texas, and the SEC was fantastic and all, however coming to the SEC was not my dream come true,” says Johnson EdD ’17. The job that took her there? A place in compliance that she agonized over.
However she knew it was a foot within the door, a “large alternative” she simply could not cross up.
So she packed every part up and moved 600 miles from all her family and friends to Birmingham, Alabama, the place the SEC is headquartered. And she or he’s been there ever since.
Johnson steadily labored her approach up the ladder on the SEC, beginning with that preliminary compliance job, then working the Nationwide Letter of Intent Program (earlier than it moved to the NCAA), adopted by years of facilitating championship occasions as a sport administrator. She additionally earned a grasp’s diploma from the College of Alabama, Birmingham.
However then the SEC requested her to do one thing she by no means contemplated. The convention was including an instructional effort into the league workplace, and the leaders requested her to move it.
She accepted and determined to pursue a level at an SEC establishment that will assist her perceive the ins and outs of the world of upper schooling, one thing she was under no circumstances acquainted with at that time.
Going to the Netherlands and China to study extra about their comparative schooling techniques could be invaluable.
“I had by no means been on a examine overseas as an undergraduate or graduate scholar,” she says. “So, for me, right here was a possibility to personally do the factor we try to help our college students doing. Now after I go to with our senior worldwide officers, I can converse from firsthand expertise. I perceive how that works now.”
The general mission for her division is to focus on instructing, analysis, and repair accomplishments of SEC college students, college, and employees. Johnson and her staff facilitate packages just like the SEC School Achievement Awards, knowledgeable growth program aimed toward making ready future leaders in larger schooling, and a school journey program, amongst others.
As affiliate commissioner of educational relations for the convention, Johnson focuses on bridging lecturers and athletics, one thing that wasn’t actually thought of all that essential a pair many years in the past. However in conferences just like the SEC, the place sports activities are an enormous a part of college tradition, Johnson says the connection is important as a result of, in the end, student-athletes are at their universities to obtain a top quality schooling whereas additionally pursuing their athletic objectives.
“I feel there’s been some recognition during the last decade that the 2 entities cannot exist individually and be all that they are often, be as profitable as they are often, at this degree,” Johnson says. “There must be that shut partnership. And that occurs at Georgia, that occurs in any respect of our SEC establishments.”