The United States Sports Academy recently appointed Erin Boles as the Academy’s Coordinator of Alumni Affairs.
By appointing Boles to this new position, the Academy hopes to strengthen communication within the Alumni Association, which features one of the largest networks in the sports profession.
Boles has served as an Admissions Counselor at the Academy since July 2012. She earned a bachelor’s in history and southern studies and master’s in history from the University of Mississippi.
During its 40-year history, more than 4,000 students have graduated from the Academy, the largest school of sports education in the world. Many have moved into the higher echelons of sport, where their impact is immeasurable. Their influence is felt every day at the Academy, as institutional research shows that alumni are the top source for new student referrals.
“Academy alumni are a vital component to the school’s continued success and are critical to the future of the university,” Boles says. “We take great pride in the fact that 96 percent of our graduates would recommend the Academy to their colleagues. One of my main goals is to ensure that our alumni understand how much their contributions to the sport world mean to this institution. The Academy could not be where it is today without the help of our alumni.”
The Academy’s Alumni Association is currently working to improve its social media outreach to better communicate with its alumni.
“As people are becoming more social-media driven, I hope to tap in to the evolving trend by connecting to alumni through various outlets,” Boles says. “I also want to celebrate the achievements of our alumni more and give alumni an opportunity to promote themselves professionally online. Not only will this highlight the success of our alumni, but also give our alumni the opportunity to share their experiences and expertise with each other, with prospective and current students, and with other members of the Academy community.”
The Alumni Association also plans to create a virtual café for alumni through video conferencing on the web.
“By creating the virtual café, alumni will be able to connect with others who have similar interests in the sports profession,” Boles said. “We plan to have monthly community hangout sessions where a graduate would be able to answer questions from and interact with potential and current students about their experiences during and after their time at the Academy. The recordings of these monthly events could then be digitally archived and available for viewing by anyone.”
Boles says she will strive to have more open communication between alumni and the Alumni Association, taking recommendations and feedback into consideration.
“I would love to hear from our alumni,” Boles says. “This is not a one-sided program, but an interactive and evolving conversation between the alumni and Alumni Affairs.”
All current students and graduates of the Academy are encouraged to join the Alumni Association. As a member of the Alumni Association, you will receive a priceless network connection with thousands of sports professionals, an Academy lapel pin, Academy electronic publications such as The Sport Update and the Alumni Network, and a 10 percent discount on Academy Bookstore merchandise, i.e. clothing, novelties, and art.
To join the Alumni Association for free and receive the benefits listed above, please request to join the Alumni Association Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/8529483235/. For more information about Academy alumni and the Alumni Association, visit www.ussa.edu/alumni/.