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Fayetteville State director of student services wins DII faculty award

DII SAAC recognizes Julian Capel with the Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award

By Faith Morrison

Julian Capel of Fayetteville State University has been recognized by the Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee as the 2016 Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award winner.

The award, named after a Bellarmine University physical therapy professor who died in 2013, celebrates faculty members at Division II institutions for their dedication to supporting and mentoring student-athletes as well as their commitment to Division II student-athletes’ lifelong learning, competition and well-being.

Capel will receive this honor Jan. 20 at the Division II Faculty Mentor Award Presentation and Reception during the 2017 NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

While Capel wears many different hats on Fayetteville State’s campus, his primary role is as the director of student engagement. “My job is just that: getting the students involved,” he said. “I try to show them what is available to them outside of their sport.”

Capel’s passion for mentorship is fueled by his own student-athlete experience. As a former member of the basketball team at Virginia Commonwealth University, he understands the demanding schedules and pressures that come with being a college athlete. His time at VCU also helped him realize that the probability of pursuing a professional basketball career was unlikely. Upon this realization, he began pursuing opportunities to foster other talents outside of basketball.

“I remember searching for someone outside of my sport to talk to about life,” Capel said.

Now, he looks to be that person for Fayetteville State student-athletes.

“Everybody wants to be a pro athlete,” said Fayetteville State SAAC Vice President Bria Perkins. “He asks us, ‘What are you doing now to get to where you want to be? You can be the best on the field, but you have to be well-rounded in all areas.’ He instilled in us different skill sets and mindsets to make us successful in any field.”

At the core of the various roles that Capel plays is a passion for helping others. He is an advocate for domestic violence and breast cancer awareness, and he exemplifies the Division II focus on “life in the balance” as he organizes and participates in various community service activities in Fayetteville, North Carolina, while working full time, pursuing his Ph.D. and parenting his young son. Capel is frequently spotted at home athletic contests showing his support for Broncos student-athletes.

A commitment to the Fayetteville State community runs in his family: The school’s Felton J. Capel Arena was named after Capel’s grandfather, a former Fayetteville State board of trustee member. Julian Capel passes along the legacy for service to the student-athletes at his institution.

“I care about this community; it helped raise me to who I am,” Capel said. “Student-athletes have been taught that no one is bigger than the team. That same mindset is carried into the community. By being a good person and doing things the right way, somebody is always watching.”

He is right. The student-athletes and the larger Fayetteville community notice Capel’s impact. “His undying support and attitude toward us has been amazing,” Perkins said. “It has never changed since I’ve known Mr. Capel. He really plays an essential role at our school, and I don’t know what our institution would do without him.”