June 17, 2014 - by

Florida State Support Staff

Academic, personal and professional support are
essential to college success. At Florida State University, we have developed
an outstanding support program which enables student-athletes to reach
their full potential.

FSU’s academic support philosophy is “to offer
an academic support program integrated with the total university. This
will assess all student-athletes with the transition into college and
provide continued support in all phases of academic and professional
development, culminating with graduation, job placement or graduate

To accomplish this goal, FSU has developed an
academic environment which facilitates the academic success of student-athletes.
Student success is encouraged through competent academic counseling,
career exploration, planning and placement and academic assistance through
tutorial programs and mentors. The program operates on a “proactive”
rather “reactive” approach. At Florida State, the academic staff does
not wait for an academic crisis to occur. They gather important background
information and build an academic profile on all student-athletes to
assess their needs in advance. Coaches also stay informed on the daily
progress of each student athlete.

The academic support services are located in
the state-of-the-art University Center and are on the sixth floor of
the $126 million facility. It includes private study desks, a tutorial
study area and a computer lab outfitted with 16 new IBM computers and
laser printers. In addition, athletic sky boxes are utilized for group
and individual tutorial instruction.

FSU offers 16 Schools and Colleges with 99 undergraduate
degrees and 75 post-baccalaureate degrees.

The Strong Shall Survive is the motto of the strength and conditioning
staff at Florida State. It is also this philosophy that has made Seminole
athletes in all sports among the strongest, fastest and most fit anywhere.
At Florida State, the strong not only survive, they win too! At Florida
State, a supervised program has been developed for volleyball, emphasizing
the objectives of not only building bodies, but strengthening and conditioning

Strength coach Janna Walkup, who is in her first
year on the Florida State strength and conditioning staff, individually
customizes programs for each of the athletes beginning with pre-conditioning
before the season gets underway. FSU takes pride in customizing the
programs to help student-athletes reach their maximum potential.

Walkup, who was a member of the inaugural Seminole
soccer team in 1996, was a four-year starter at defender for the Seminoles.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Walkup earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition
and fitness from FSU in April of 1999 and a master’s degree in sports
administration this summer. A certified personal trainer, Walkup became
a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in June.

Tanya "T.J." Johnson is in her 1st season with Florida State.
She is the facility coordinator for the athletic department and oversees
the equipment room and managers for the Olympic sports programs. T.J.
comes to us from the University of Illinois where she spent 10 years
there and was responsible for all the equipment issues for the women’s
sports program. There she was apart of the event management team and
the overseeing of specific facilities.

Johnson has been honored by Athletic Management
Magazine for implementing a computer system in the equipment room to
track the issuance of equipment and clothing. For that she was awarded
the 1992 Award of Excellence sponsored by champion. She has had several
articles published, including an article "Counting on Computers,"
in the September 1994 issue of Athletic Management Magazine.
A Jacksonville, Ala., native, Johnson was Alabama state chairman of
the Special Olympics Committee from 1982-84.

The Tully Gymnasium weight room took on a whole new look following a
complete renovation in 1996 and additional improvements have been made
to the facility every year since. The weight room went from 1,500 square
feet to 3,500 square feet in size in 1996, fresh with a new stereo system,
drop ceiling, lighting and mondo rubber flooring. Over $140,000 worth
of new exercise equipment was added to the Lady Seminole weight room,
including 16 cardiovascular pieces such as Life Fitness, Stairmaster
and Textrix. The facility was expanded to 4,500 square feet this past
summer with a new squat rack and platform.

An athlete can expect to receive the best care and treatment possible
with the athletic training staff at Florida State University. Prior
to competition, all FSU student-athletes undergo screening in order
to detect any potential injuries.

If a problem is detected, the athlete may be
placed on a prevention care system which may include any kind of treatment
from icing to exercising. Graduate Assistant trainer Joshua Nichter
will handle the athletic training duties for the Lady Seminole volleyball
team this season.

Nichter is in his third year with the FSU athletic
training staff. In his first two years with the program he worked with
the Seminoles’ football team in practice and game day operations. Nichter
assisted with the 1999 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the 2000 Nokia Sugar Bowl
as well as the 1999 NCAA Baseball Regional and Super Regional, hosted
by Florida State. Nichter graduated with a degree in Exercise Science
from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998, where he assisted with
football, wrestling and track and field as a student trainer. Nichter
currently lives in Tallahassee with his wife Lisa.

Though the prevention of injuries is the main
objective, some injuries are unavoidable. Rehabilitation is another
facet of the Florida State training room. The FSU athletic training
staff will work with the athlete and provide an intense rehabilitation
schedule that will allow the athlete to succesfully recover after an
injury. Some injuries and illnesses may be referred to the Seminole
team physicians at the Tallahassee Orthopedic Center, who, for many
years, have worked in conjunction with the FSU athletic training staff
in successfully rehabilitating athletes after an injury.

Drug testing is also the responsibility of the
athletic training team. This program is dedicated to providing the best
care possible for all FSU student-athletes.

Mark Meleney became Florida State’s Director of Athletic Academic Support
Programs in 1997 and brings 13 years of advising experience to the position.
Over the past six years, Meleney has played an integral role in the
development of a comprehensive program of student athlete support, which
in 1996 won the “Program of Excellence” award from Athletic Management

A native of Iowa, Meleney began his college
education at Buena Vista College, where he earned varsity letters in
football and baseball. Upon transferring to Florida State, he earned
Bachelor’s degrees in Management and Finance in 1986 and received a
Master’s in Athletic Administration from FSU in 1997. He is currently
pursuing his Ph.D. in Athletic Administration.

Meleney oversees an academic staff comprised
of five academic counselors, and administrative assistant, several graduate
assistants, individualized learning specialists and a cadre of about
70 tutors and mentors.

Meleney and his wife Sarah are the parents of
a twelve-year-old daughter, Montana Shea.

Amy White is in her sixth year with the FSU
Athletic Academic Support Staff where she serves as the Academic Counselor
for the volleyball, baseball, soccer and men’s and women’s golf teams.

White is responsible for coordinating support
services for these student-athletes, monitoring their academic progress
and counseling them on academic issues such as course and major selection,
study habits and eligibility requirements. She also assists in the recruiting
process for these programs. In addition to her counseling duties, White
is the Academic Honors, Awards and Scholarship Coordinator, as well
as the coordinator of the annual Golden Torch Gala, a black-tie event
which recognizes the student-athletes for academic achievements. She
also serves as the sports psychology consultant for all FSU student-athletes.

A native of Pensacola, Fla., White is a 1993
graduate of the University of West Florida where she earned a Bachelor’s
degree in psychology. She received a Master’s degree in sports psychology
from Florida State in 1995 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in sports

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