2018-2019 Jakubik Family Endowment Staff Award

Jessica Hammond-Graf, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator for Student-Athlete Well-being

For more than 15 years, Jessica Hammond-Graf has had a significant impact on the lives of student-athletes, coaches, and administrators through her passion for student success and mentorship.

During her tenure in the athletic department, HammondGraf has provided steadfast leadership. On a shoestring budget, she led the advising and support of nearly 400 students in the Academic Center for Student- Athletes and reduced the number of student-athletes earning below a 2.0 GPA by 33 percent, with 50 percent of student-athletes posting above a 3.0 GPA each semester. Outside of improving overall grade point averages, she also made several key process improvements operationally, including the Center’s ability to serve student-athletes. These changes included redesigning the in-house process for potential student-athlete transfers and the development of a summer bridge program for incoming, first-year students. She also created the Retriever Leadership Institute, which brings current and rising student-athletes together to hone leadership skills, such as working effectively in teams, managing conflict, and understanding their role as leaders on campus. The program was so successful it now serves as a model for other university groups.

Understanding the value of input from all members of the department, Hammond-Graf created committees for coaches and staff members to share thoughts and ideas outside of their assigned responsibilities to help guide leadership in identifying priorities and opportunities.

Hammond-Graf also recognized the importance of fostering growth and opportunities for women in athletics by providing professional development and mentoring programs, and she is an annual participant in the Professional Staff Senate Mentoring Program.

She received her B.S. from University of Connecticut and her M.Ed. from Temple University.