Harvey gets in SHAPE

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Harvey gets in SHAPE

Michelle Sawyers

Elaine Harvey

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SHAPE has welcomed a new member to its staff this semester. Elaine Harvey will serve as assistant athletic director of internal and external communications, a new position.

Harvey will focus on two main areas. As a sports information director (SID), she will generate post-game press releases and stats, as well as work with students who help set up games. Harvey will also be working with other SID’s at other schools to help coordinate schedules, along with maintaining Johnson Athletics’ Facebook and Twitter. “I will basically be focusing on communicating with varsity athletics,” said Harvey.

Harvey will also focus on alumni relations and fundraising. JSC graduates, she feels, are in some ways neglected and could play a greater part in athletics at the college.  “I want to focus on alumni, get them thinking of JSC athletics, not just of what it used to be, but what it is now,” she said.

JSC Director of Athletics Jamey Ventura shares Harvey’s desire to reach out to alumni; both feel that former Badgers are part of an extended family. “We talk a lot in the athletics department about being a family,” he said. “We want to make sure that after our student-athletes graduate from Johnson, they remain a part of our family.”

Ventura said that Harvey’s position is designed to improve his department’s communications, both within and outside of the college.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) funds the position; it is an NCAA strategic grant. The NCAA currently pays 75 percent of Harvey’s salary. Next year it will drop to 50 percent and then 25 percent the following year.

“I am so excited to be at the ground-level here,” said Harvey. “Jamey has great vision, so I just want to be able to support his direction.”

The department hopes to add more varsity programs, upgrade facilities and see a new turf field as well.

But mostly Harvey hopes to see the program become more competitive, including an increase in the student athlete population, which she feels will be good for the school. “Student athletes tend to stay with the school longer, and graduation rates are higher with student athletes,” she said. “I want for students to look at Johnson and see that they have great arts, strong academics, but they also have great athletics.”

Harvey was a student athlete herself at Mt Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She played soccer at Mt Holyoke and was captain for two years.  She was also a member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC).

After graduating from Mt Holyoke, Harvey found herself in DC working in communications at a large firm for two years where she gained most of her experience, working on social media strategy and press releases.

As much as Harvey loved DC, being in the city and working in communications, she found she wasn’t as happy as she wanted to be. When reflecting back on her life, she found that athletics made her the happiest, which brought her to the position she has now.

“When we were interviewing for the position, we were looking for a candidate with solid background in communications, articulate and high energy. We were also looking to find a candidate with collegiate athletics-experience,” said Ventura. “Elaine had a fantastic campus interview and we were certain she was the perfect fit for this position.”

Harvey has a wide background in sports: In high school she played soccer, ice hockey, tennis and squash, and in college she played tennis as well as soccer.

Harvey has participated in two marathons, the Richmond marathon in Virginia in 2009 and the Atlanta marathon in 2011. She has also participated in four half-marathons.

“I am really excited to be here, and I am so excited to start this journey with Johnson,” said Harvey.