Florida State Support Staff

Academic, personal and professional support are essential to college success. At Florida State University, we have developed an outstanding support program which enables student-athletes to reach their full potential.

FSU's academic support philosophy is "to offer an academic support program integrated with the total university. This will assess all student-athletes with the transition into college and provide continued support in all phases of academic and professional development, culminating with graduation, job placement or graduate school."

To accomplish this goal, FSU has developed an academic environment which facilitates the academic success of student-athletes. Student success is encouraged through competent academic counseling, career exploration, planning and placement and academic assistance through tutorial programs and mentors. The program operates on a "proactive" rather "reactive" approach. At Florida State, the academic staff does not wait for an academic crisis to occur. They gather important background information and build an academic profile on all student-athletes to assess their needs in advance. Coaches also stay informed on the daily progress of each student athlete.

The academic support services are located in the state-of-the-art University Center and are on the sixth floor of the $126 million facility. It includes private study desks, a tutorial study area and a computer lab outfitted with 16 new IBM computers and laser printers. In addition, athletic sky boxes are utilized for group and individual tutorial instruction.

FSU offers 16 Schools and Colleges with 99 undergraduate degrees and 75 post-baccalaureate degrees.

The Strong Shall Survive is the motto of the strength and conditioning staff at Florida State. It is also this philosophy that has made Seminole athletes in all sports among the strongest, fastest and most fit anywhere. At Florida State, the strong not only survive, they win too! At Florida State, a supervised program has been developed for volleyball, emphasizing the objectives of not only building bodies, but strengthening and conditioning them.

Strength coach Janna Walkup, who is in her first year on the Florida State strength and conditioning staff, individually customizes programs for each of the athletes beginning with pre-conditioning before the season gets underway. FSU takes pride in customizing the programs to help student-athletes reach their maximum potential.

Walkup, who was a member of the inaugural Seminole soccer team in 1996, was a four-year starter at defender for the Seminoles. A native of Orlando, Fla., Walkup earned a bachelor's degree in nutrition and fitness from FSU in April of 1999 and a master's degree in sports administration this summer. A certified personal trainer, Walkup became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist in June.

Tanya "T.J." Johnson is in her 1st season with Florida State. She is the facility coordinator for the athletic department and oversees the equipment room and managers for the Olympic sports programs. T.J. comes to us from the University of Illinois where she spent 10 years there and was responsible for all the equipment issues for the women's sports program. There she was apart of the event management team and the overseeing of specific facilities.

Johnson has been honored by Athletic Management Magazine for implementing a computer system in the equipment room to track the issuance of equipment and clothing. For that she was awarded the 1992 Award of Excellence sponsored by champion. She has had several articles published, including an article "Counting on Computers," in the September 1994 issue of Athletic Management Magazine.
A Jacksonville, Ala., native, Johnson was Alabama state chairman of the Special Olympics Committee from 1982-84.

The Tully Gymnasium weight room took on a whole new look following a complete renovation in 1996 and additional improvements have been made to the facility every year since. The weight room went from 1,500 square feet to 3,500 square feet in size in 1996, fresh with a new stereo system, drop ceiling, lighting and mondo rubber flooring. Over $140,000 worth of new exercise equipment was added to the Lady Seminole weight room, including 16 cardiovascular pieces such as Life Fitness, Stairmaster and Textrix. The facility was expanded to 4,500 square feet this past summer with a new squat rack and platform.

An athlete can expect to receive the best care and treatment possible with the athletic training staff at Florida State University. Prior to competition, all FSU student-athletes undergo screening in order to detect any potential injuries.

If a problem is detected, the athlete may be placed on a prevention care system which may include any kind of treatment from icing to exercising. Graduate Assistant trainer Joshua Nichter will handle the athletic training duties for the Lady Seminole volleyball team this season.

Nichter is in his third year with the FSU athletic training staff. In his first two years with the program he worked with the Seminoles' football team in practice and game day operations. Nichter assisted with the 1999 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the 2000 Nokia Sugar Bowl as well as the 1999 NCAA Baseball Regional and Super Regional, hosted by Florida State. Nichter graduated with a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1998, where he assisted with football, wrestling and track and field as a student trainer. Nichter currently lives in Tallahassee with his wife Lisa.

Though the prevention of injuries is the main objective, some injuries are unavoidable. Rehabilitation is another facet of the Florida State training room. The FSU athletic training staff will work with the athlete and provide an intense rehabilitation schedule that will allow the athlete to succesfully recover after an injury. Some injuries and illnesses may be referred to the Seminole team physicians at the Tallahassee Orthopedic Center, who, for many years, have worked in conjunction with the FSU athletic training staff in successfully rehabilitating athletes after an injury.

Drug testing is also the responsibility of the athletic training team. This program is dedicated to providing the best care possible for all FSU student-athletes.

Mark Meleney became Florida State's Director of Athletic Academic Support Programs in 1997 and brings 13 years of advising experience to the position. Over the past six years, Meleney has played an integral role in the development of a comprehensive program of student athlete support, which in 1996 won the "Program of Excellence" award from Athletic Management Magazine.

A native of Iowa, Meleney began his college education at Buena Vista College, where he earned varsity letters in football and baseball. Upon transferring to Florida State, he earned Bachelor's degrees in Management and Finance in 1986 and received a Master's in Athletic Administration from FSU in 1997. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Athletic Administration.

Meleney oversees an academic staff comprised of five academic counselors, and administrative assistant, several graduate assistants, individualized learning specialists and a cadre of about 70 tutors and mentors.

Meleney and his wife Sarah are the parents of a twelve-year-old daughter, Montana Shea.

Amy White is in her sixth year with the FSU Athletic Academic Support Staff where she serves as the Academic Counselor for the volleyball, baseball, soccer and men's and women's golf teams.

White is responsible for coordinating support services for these student-athletes, monitoring their academic progress and counseling them on academic issues such as course and major selection, study habits and eligibility requirements. She also assists in the recruiting process for these programs. In addition to her counseling duties, White is the Academic Honors, Awards and Scholarship Coordinator, as well as the coordinator of the annual Golden Torch Gala, a black-tie event which recognizes the student-athletes for academic achievements. She also serves as the sports psychology consultant for all FSU student-athletes.

A native of Pensacola, Fla., White is a 1993 graduate of the University of West Florida where she earned a Bachelor's degree in psychology. She received a Master's degree in sports psychology from Florida State in 1995 and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in sports psychology.


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