May 22, 2018

VSU’s James Archibald Recognized for Contributions to Campus Recreation, Athletics

Dr. James Archibald

VALDOSTA — Dr. James Archibald is the 2018 recipient of the Commission for Recreation and Athletics Award for Outstanding Contribution to Recreation and Athletics, presented by the American College Personnel Association.

The Award for Outstanding Contribution to Recreation and Athletics honors a member of the community for their contributions and commitment to student learning and development in campus recreation and/or intercollegiate athletics.

Archibald, associate professor of higher education leadership at VSU, was selected for the honor because of his strong record of scholarship in campus recreation and athletics; his research on how participation in intramural sports contributes to student retention; and his advocacy work with student athletes.

Archibald is the Division II chairman for the Student Athlete Knowledge Community of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, formerly known as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, or NASPA. The Student Athlete Knowledge Community works to develop partnerships among athletics, student affairs, and other campus entities to enhance the well-being of all students, including student athletes. He served as chairman of the Commission for Recreation and Athletics for the past three years and is chairman-elect for the 2018-2019 term. This group provides members with opportunities for professional development surrounding issues of importance in campus recreation and intercollegiate athletics in postsecondary education.

Archibald conducted research in recent years on the connection between intramural sports and student retention and found that 80 percent of students who participated in at least one intramural sport during their first year of college returned the following year. His findings gained widespread attention from the American College Personnel Association and National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association, and he presented the research in an international webinar sponsored by the two organizations. The research also led to the renovation of an intramural field at VSU.

“I’ve always been supportive of campus recreation,” Archibald said. “It’s something that I participated in growing up and while I was in college. On top of that, there are a lot of professionals coming through those fields, and research helps support the work that they do.”

Archibald said he shares the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Recreation and Athletics with his colleagues from VSU Athletics and Campus Recreation, specifically Jennifer Grubbs, director of student athlete development, and Shawn Phippen, director of Campus Recreation.

Archibald and Grubbs recently presented a national webinar to student affairs professionals and athletic administrators through the Commission for Recreation and Athletics that discussed supporting student athletes dealing with social issues. Archibald worked with Phippen on a National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association project examining how the Fair Labor Standards Act impacted campus recreation centers in Georgia.

Archibald joined VSU in 2011 as an assistant professor of higher education leadership. He is a licensed professional counselor and holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Morehouse College; a Master of Science in guidance and counseling from Austin Peay State University; and a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education administration and student affairs from Ohio University. 

He has over a decade of experience in various higher education roles, including college counselor, Greek life advisor, student conduct officer, faculty senator, and research associate. He served as director of VSU’s Higher Education Leadership Program from 2012 to 2016; as interim vice president for Student Affairs and dean of students from 2015 to 2016; and as president-elect of the VSU Faculty Senate from 2014 to 2015. 

The American College Personnel Association is a leading comprehensive student affairs association that seeks to enhance the student affairs profession and engage students for a lifetime of learning and discovery.

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