You are here

David Landers receives DII FAR award

Saint Michael’s College FAR honored

David Landers, a faculty athletics representative at Saint Michael’s College, was honored for his exceptional support for student-athletes in Division II.

David Landers still remembers the uncertainty he felt walking into the Pontiac, Michigan, classroom on that January morning in 1966. He was 22, and as he tells it, “very naive and scared to death.” Young, impressionable students sat before him, and for the first time ever, it was up to Landers to teach them.

Not long after his jittery entrance to teaching, Landers had an important realization that would shape the rest of his career.

“Students needed someone to advocate for them,” Landers, now 71, told a crowd of Division II faculty members, administrators and presidents at the NCAA National Convention this past month. “So, I became this crazy advocate for students.”

Landers spoke at a reception celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Division II Faculty Athletics Representatives Leadership Institute, where he received the 2014 NCAA Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award. The award, named after a Bellarmine University physical therapy professor who died in 2013, is led by Division II student-athletes and honors faculty members who have shown exceptional support for student-athletes. Landers, who teaches psychology and gender studies, has worked at Saint Michael’s College for 32 years and has served as the faculty athletics representative for the last eight.

“One of the greatest joys of my life is to meet someone and to be able to tell them, ‘I believe in you more than you believe in yourself right now,’” he said. “‘My goal is to provide support, encouragement and resources so eventually you believe in yourself as much as I believe in you.’”

Samantha Whittier, a former soccer player at Southern New Hampshire University and a member of the national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, experienced that support firsthand. When Whittier attended her first Northeast-10 Conference meeting as a SAAC representative, Landers pulled her aside. “You can do this. You can make this conference better,” Whittier recalled Landers saying.

“I left that meeting knowing that Dr. Landers had my back.”

Read more on David Landers and the Division II Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award.