Athletics News

Athletics and Recreation Department Announces Promotions

Karen Ercole, who is in her 22nd year at GW, has been named Associate Athletic Director for Educational Support Services.

Sept. 22, 2011

Karen Ercole has been named Associate Athletic Director for Educational Support Services, the George Washington University Department of Athletics and Recreation announced today. Ercole currently is Executive Director for Academic Assistance for GW's student-athletes.

Danya Ellman also has been promoted to Assistant Director for Educational Support Services.

The promotions are among many changes being implemented by Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero, who began heading the department July 1.

"A top priority for us is to develop and promote leadership skills among GW's 450 student-athletes," said Nero. "Karen and Danya will lead our efforts to foster student-athletes' leadership skills and academic successes in and outside the classroom."

As Executive Director for Academic Assistance since July 2000, Ercole has been in charge of the academic support staff for 450 student-athletes on 22 teams. She also is directly responsible for advising and assessing the academic needs of six teams and providing such services as academic advising, tutorial assistance and development of leadership, career and life skills.

"The new direction of the department will allow us to enhance our existing programs and services through initiatives to better prepare our student-athletes to succeed, now, and upon graduation," said Ercole. "The recent launch of our Leadership Academy is one such initiative. I appreciate this promotion and look forward to the opportunities and challenges it will provide."

One focus area will be community service, a component identified as a priority by Nero.

"Our student-athletes are currently committed to and engaging in many service programs. We would like to better coordinate their desire to serve with existing university opportunities, thus providing a more streamlined effort and stronger impact," said Nero.

Under Ercole's leadership, 69.5 percent of all student-athletes made the department's Dean's List in 2010 with a 3.0 GPA higher, and in fall 2010, 79 GW student-athletes made the Atlantic 10 Commissioner's Honor Roll, which requires a minimum 3.5 GPA.

Prior to becoming Executive Director for Academic Assistance, Ercole was Assistant Academic Coordinator, working closely with the men's basketball team.

Ellman started at GW as a tutor for student-athletes while working on her bachelor's degree and also has worked as an academic support assistant. She has been Assistant Academic Coordinator since 2010 and is currently earning a master's degree in clinical counseling. She is responsible for advising, counseling and monitoring the academic progress of four teams.

"Danya is a phenomenal adviser and supporter of students," said Ercole. "This promotion is not only the recognition of her outstanding work thus far, but indicates the confidence the department has in her potential to continue to improve the quality programming and support services she currently provides."

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