A proven leader in academic training, Tommy Powell came to Syracuse University as provost for student-athlete academic development in August 2013. Powell has an extensive background in guiding student-athletes to success in the classroom and in the community. He joined the Orange staff from Iowa State University, where he had served as the associate athletics director for academic services since 2008.
While with the Cyclones, Powell implemented a standard comprehensive academic support program for all student-athletes. The program helped student-athletes attain a higher cumulative GPA than the general student population from 2011 to 2013. Iowa State’s 79 percent federal graduation rate in 2010 was the highest in the Big 12 and the seventh-best among FBS schools. In 2009, Iowa State’s CHAMPS/Life Skills program earned the Division I-A Athletic Directors Association National Program of Excellence Award.
Prior to his time at Iowa State, Powell was the associate director of the Louisiana State University Academic Center for Student-Athletes from 2001 to 2008. In addition to serving as the academic coordinator for several teams, including football and basketball, Powell monitored the progress toward degree and eligibility requirements for at-risk student-athletes.
Powell began his academic support career at LSU where he worked as an academic counselor for the College of Arts and Sciences for two years. He was the director of counseling services at River Parishes Community College from 1998 to 2000 before serving as the director of the TRIO Dissemination Partnership Program at Southeastern Louisiana University in 2000 and 2001. The program trained and supervised college faculty on the implementation of supplemental instruction.
Powell earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1992 and his master’s degree in counseling in 1995 from Southeastern Louisiana. He and his wife, Deborah, have two sons, Tyler and Ethan.