WASHINGTON, D.C. – Florida State’s third-year LYFE: Beyond The Spear program was recognized by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) with the Model Practices Award for Student-Athlete Development.
LYFE program director Shanika Mungin, accepted the national award, which is presented annually to the
university or college that displays best practices in development programming for student-athletes.
Mungin was joined on stage Tuesday evening at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center by the LYFE administrative staff, including Ashton Henderson, Derrick Coles, Kellie Catanach, Chris Evans and Jessica Francis.
“We are very proud of the work that our staff is doing, and I am very pleased to see them recognized among their peers,” said Florida State Vice President and Director of Athletics Stan Wilcox. “We are committed to providing each of our student-athletes with the very best support possible in all facets of their lives as student-athletes. It is gratifying to know that this critical leg of support is considered to be a model program nationally.”
The LYFE (Leaders Yearning for Excellence) program is intended for all Florida State student-athletes, but specifically caters to the social, intellectual, and academic well-being of Black/African-American males. Its aim is to build confidence through shared experiences with the intention of enhancing their classroom experiences and sense of belonging in both athletic and academic settings.
Football players Brian Burns and Darvin Taylor and men’s basketball assistant coach Dennis Gates, among a large contingent of Florida State presenters during the three-day N4A convention, were also present to accept the award.
“I really enjoyed the trip to D.C.,” said Burns. “It was an amazing experience that I’ll never forget.”
The multi-phase LYFE program’s goals are to increase academic motivation and success, create awareness of potential career opportunities and ultimately, emphasize the pipeline toward graduation for FSU student-athletes.