In July of 2015, University of Wyoming Athletics launched a new initiative, "Excellence at 7220", focused on helping develop leadership skills in both its student-athletes and employees.
The Excellence at 7220 program is focused on helping develop leadership skills in both student-athletes and Athletic Department employees. The central tenets of the program include:
•Developing tomorrow's leaders;
•Promoting personal growth;
•Encouraging community engagement;
•Improving the well-being of student-athletes, coaches and other departmental personnel;
•Teaching skills for life;
•Encouraging professional development; and
•Helping guide each participant on an individual level
The Executive Committee and Advisory Committee are responsible for the oversight of the Excellence at 7220 program. The Executive Committee meets two times each month to plan and execute the upcoming workshops, seminars, sessions, special events, etc. in which the student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators may participate. The Advisory Committee meets one time each month to engage in brainstorming sessions, ensure the Executive Committee is adhering to the basic tenets of the Excellence at 7220 program and serve as a sounding board for various concerns/issues.
Three pillars have been established to guide the initiative for UW student-athletes. Those three pillars are: Leadership, Health/Wellness and Skills 4 Life. Similarly, three pillars will guide the development of leadership skills for UW Athletics employees. The three employee pillars center around: New Employee Development, Professional Development and Health/Wellness.
Key elements of both the student-athlete and employee development programs will feature training sessions on specific topics, establishment of mentor programs and bringing to campus guest speakers who focus on teaching leadership to organizations and individuals on a national level.
"We feel it is important that we provide both our student-athletes and employees an opportunity to grow personally and professionally," said Tom Burman, UW Director of Athletics. "Our hopes are that by initiating a detailed program with specific goals and establishing guidelines to accomplishing those goals we will see real benefits for our staff and students."
"Excellence at 7220 developed as we focused on the complete student-athlete experience," said Joi Thomas, Assistant Athletics Director for Administration. "We wanted to be able to create a program that would help our student-athletes prepare for life after athletics and college. We wanted to help them realize that the traits and characteristics that they have developed as elite student-athletes are transferable skills outside of sport.
"Additionally, we wanted to help them connect with the community around them through service, leadership development and workshops.
"As we worked on the programming for our student-athletes, we realized that there was a great opportunity to work with our coaches and staff, and that's when we began developing the employee side of Excellence at 7220.
"We believe that this offers a unique experience for our employees and will help them truly connect with the athletics department, the university and the state through initiatives like community service and mentor programs.
"The pillars came about naturally as we started listing the various opportunities, initiatives and programs we wanted to offer. Everything logically fell into these categories and it helped give a better structure to the program."