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@GTAthletics Initiates JumpStart Jackets Program

June 23, 2016

THE FLATS – As Georgia Tech’s first-year student-athletes conclude their first week of classes this Friday, the Athletics Association’s student-athlete services staff kicks off a five-week series of interactive workshops called “JumpStart Jackets” that will help them ease their transition to college life and help them better balance competition and academics.

The program for the 35 incoming freshmen encompasses a five-week series of workshops, one on each of the next five Fridays, that is designed to acclimate them to all things Georgia Tech, covering topics as simple as campus e-mail to complex issues such as academic integrity, and research and citation.

“As we continue to seek out resources to better prepare our student-athletes ‘to be champions in academics,’ this inaugural JumpStart Jackets summer bridge program will immediately impact our newest freshmen in transitioning to Georgia Tech,” said Phyllis LaBaw, associate athletics director for student services. “This academic staff has worked extremely hard at collaborating with campus partners, including faculty, to present a series of programs each Friday during this five-week summer session. The programs will cover topics such as campus resources, career/major advising, classroom success, research and citation, along with actual tours by Library, CULC, and Communication Lab staff. In addition, each two-hour session culminates with a lunch and nutritional education component lead by our sports dietitian and Total Person Program director.”

The structure of the program includes one-hour workshops on two topics each Friday between 10 a.m. and noon, which are presented by Georgia Tech campus instructors and staff, as well as members of the academic services staff within the Georgia Tech Athletic Association. The Friday morning sessions are followed by lunch and presentations on nutrition and community service by Leah Thomas, Tech’s director of Total Person Support Services.

Week 1: “Kickoff” Intro to Tech, Classroom Success Part I
Week 2: Classroom Success Part II, Library Tour
Week 3: Academic Integrity, Research & Citation
Week 4: Communication, CULC & Communication Lab Tour, social media presentation
Week 5: Campus Resources, major exploration, campus tutoring, counseling center, organizations on campus, prep for balancing season and academics

Also a part of the program are four Wednesday night Leadership Academy sessions, a program instituted and directed by Thomas for the last seven years. The Leadership Academy focuses the incoming freshmen on self-awareness, building a personal brand, establishing values and culminates with a community service trip. The four sessions are to help the brand new Yellow Jackets become good leaders on campus and in the community.

The JumpStart Jackets program concludes July 22 with a luncheon and the presentation of superlative awards.

For the latest information on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, follow us on Twitter (@GTAthletics), Facebook and Instagram or visit us at


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