Podcast #5, Carrie Leger White (NCAA)

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This is why the Podcast #LiveMaas was created!  To provide the listeners with a platform to have access to, and learn from, the leaders in our field.  On today’s podcast, we get to visit with Carrie Leger White, Assistant Director for Academic and Membership Affairs with the NCAA.  We discuss all things related to the Academic Revenue Distribution Plan that the NCAA is rolling out.  THIS PODCAST IS A CANNOT MISS.  You can hear the entire audio content here:


To Learn more about the Academic Revenue Distribution Plan, Click here:


Please be sure to follow me on Social Media for more Updates on all things #LiveMaas

Twitter: @WesDMaas   InstaGram: @WesDMaas 

Podcast #4, Steve Duzan (CLEMSON)

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What an amazing opportunity to visit with Steve Duzan, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Student Services.  After speaking with Jonathan Gantt, I knew I had to learn more about the culture and best practices found at Clemson!  On this podcast, We cover several important areas of working with student-athletes in higher education.  This is definitely a podcast you should not miss!  You can find the audio version of today’s podcast at:

Anchor:  https://anchor.fm/wes-maas/episodes/Steve-Duzan-CLEMSON-e1lrp4

Recommended Reading by Steve: Tony Dungy The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge

Get your Clemson Gear Here: Clemson Swag

Please be sure to follow me on Social Media for more Updates on all things #LiveMaas

Twitter: @WesDMaas   InstaGram: @WesDMaas  

Steve Duzan, Associate AD for Athletic Academic Services and Director of Vickery Hall, is responsible for all student-athlete development and academic programming at Clemson University.  Duzan’s responsibilities include oversight of Vickery Hall staff and personnel, educational programming, budget management and monitoring each athletic team’s NCAA and ACC eligibility, along with their GSR and APR progress.  Duzan is also a member of the ACC’s Student-Athlete Welfare Committee, as well as the Initial Eligibility Waiver Committee for Educational Impacting Disabilities with the NCAA.

Duzan comes to Clemson from Florida State University, where he served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Academic Services.  During his tenure as Assistant Athletic Director at FSU, Duzan had direct oversight of all academic services for student-athletes, including monitoring academic progress and eligibility, budget management, tutoring, mentoring, advising and learning specialist.  In addition, he served on various university committees directed towards student success and retention.  Duzan was a member of three University Strategic Planning committees focused on student success and retention.  In addition, he served on the Leadership Advisory Board, Employee Health Benefits Advisory Committee, Staff Benefits Committee, University Enrollment Management Committee, Student Academic Services Center Policy Committee and Staff Council Employee Relations Committee.

Prior to his position at Florida State, Duzan served four years as the Director of Athletic Academic Services at Indiana State University, and nine years in public education as a teacher, coach, athletic director and school administrator.  As a public school administrator, his responsibilities included the professional development, supervision and evaluation for all faculty and staff.  In addition, Duzan oversaw the school’s budget, curriculum, academic programming, athletic facilities and scheduling, data assessment and compliance for all learning disabled students.

Duzan earned his bachelor’s degree in Education from Millikin University in 1999 and his master’s degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois in 2006.  In May of 2011, he completed his doctoral coursework in Educational Leadership and Administration at Indiana State University.  He is currently writing his dissertation and researching mentoring programs involving post-secondary students with the integration of technology.  He is a member of the National Association of Academic Advisors (N4A) and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).  Duzan is originally from Marshall, IL.  He and his wife Lisa have three children, Sophia, and twins Vivien and Preston.

Podcast #3, Brenton Sumler (LSU)

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Brenton is our first opportunity to branch out into the area of Life Skills on the #LiveMaas podcast.  The LSU Academic Support unit is one of the finest in the country.  Make sure you tune in to this podcast as it is sure to impress.  You can hear the entire audio content here:

Anchor:  https://anchor.fm/wes-maas/episodes/Brenton-Sumler-LSU-e1llcq

Want to pick up some LSU Gear?  Click –> LSU Swag

Want to Read Brenton’s Suggested Reading?  Click –> Mark Sanborn You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader


Mark Sanborn Fred Factor

You can follow LSU Life Skills on Twitter  

Please be sure to follow me as well on Social Media for more Updates on all things #LiveMaas

Twitter: @WesDMaas   InstaGram: @WesDMaas

Brenton Sumler
Manager of Shaquille O’Neal Lifeskills Program

Phone: (225) 578-7464
Email: bsumler@lsu.edu

Sumler previously served as the Student-Athlete Leadership and Development Coordinator at Appalachian State located in Boone, North Carolina. There, he managed the athletic department Student-Athlete Development and Leadership program. He also created and expanded mentoring programs in addition to conducting educational workshops for student-athletes.

Prior to Appalachian State, Sumler spent five years as a recruitment counselor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff before working as Graduate Assistant in the Office of Judicial and Ethical Programs at the University of Memphis. He assisted in the creation and implementation of educational programming for the NCAA CHAMPS Life Skills and also spent time as a Student-Athlete Development Coordinator/Compliance Assistant while at Memphis.

Sumler earned a Master’s of Science in Sport Commerce from the University of Memphis and is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree in Higher and Adult Education Administration. He also received his Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in general studies with a concentration in computer information systems.

Podcast #2, Jonathan Gantt (CLEMSON)

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What an amazing opportunity to visit with Jonathan Gantt, Director of New and Creative Media at Clemson University.  We dive down into the Rabbit Hole known as the Clemson Vlog – and I strongly encourage you to do the same!  You can hear the entire audio content here:

Anchor: https://anchor.fm/wes-maas/episodes/Jonathan-Gantt-Clemson-e1l4cr

Want to pick up some Clemson Gear?  Click –> Clemson Athletics Gear

Want to Readi Jonathan’s Suggested Reading?  Click –> Bible

You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @Jonathan_Gantt

Please be sure to follow me as well on Social Media for more Updates on all things #LiveMaas

Twitter: @WesDMaas   InstaGram: @WesDMaas 

Podcast #1….is LIVE


There is a presentation that I’ve given now… I’d say about 10 times titled ‘Communication with the Modern Student’ (or Student-Athlete).  Specifically, how communication is constantly evolving due to the technology that is evolving around it.  If you follow @GaryVee (https://twitter.com/garyvee) then you are well aware of his thoughts on the next evolution of communication:  VOICE.  See –> http://voicecon.co/

I’ve been debating for months now on starting a podcast.  Constantly planning, thinking about how to get onto the voice platform and what I would do once I did.  More importantly, wondering if I could produce enough content to provide a resource to those listening.  I have decided to stop overthinking this process and start creating content.

Debuting for you Today… is the first (of hopefully Many) #LiveMaas podcasts.  The first session is brief, no more than 4 minutes.  Just a quick introduction to what my intent is moving forward with this platform and a little background for those who are new about me.

For those already in the podcast community, or those looking to get into it….  I’m going as low maintenance as I can to try and provide as much ROI as possible.

In terms of specs:  I’m using an iPhone 7Plus for content, and will be using my MacBook Pro for edits.

In my research, the best podcast microphone for iphone can be found here:   Best podcast microphone for iphone

I’ve already set up several interview opportunities with professionals that I feel can bring a great deal of content to the channel.  I think you’ll be excited to hear from them too.  I hope to put out 20-30 minute podcasts rich with experiences, best practices, and networking options.  The entire concept of this podcast is to provide a service to those listening.  I’ll be reaching out to pro’s in Athletics, Higher Education, N4A, NACADA and even the NCAA.

I hope you decide to follow me on this journey as we dive into Voice.  I’m absolutely excited about these next few months as I hope to engage with current friends – but also, try and reach out to many, many more.  It would be amazing if you could help me by not only subscribing to my Podcast – but also – do me the favor of following me on social media and suggesting someone I should interview for my the next #LiveMaas Podcast!

Twitter:  @WesDMaas      Instagram:  @WesDMaas

Podcast: Anchor.fm/wes-maas

By the way – #GaryV is the best in the business right now.  Do yourself a favor, click the YouTube link below.  Who knows, my next step after podcasting might be….  Vlogging??

Until next time – LiveMaas



I have been working on a new blog post for some time now – I just haven’t had the opportunity to put the finishing touches on it and post.  It had been my intention to post about the amazing opportunities that surround us every day.  Those opportunities that give us the ability to serve those in our community.  I intended to speak about mentoring, volunteering and being a servant leader.

Tonight, however, I am finalizing this post from a different perspective.  I had the opportunity to volunteer with the remarkable emergency service professionals of our Florida International University as we help to support the Sweetwater & Miami Dade community.  Tragically, the pedestrian bridge that was designed to link the Sweetwater community and our FIU collapsed this Thursday, March 15th.


As a volunteer in the call center, I was able to witness the relentless efforts of the professionals and volunteers who are working around the clock to do whatever they can, large or small, to serve those in need.  People from every line of work doing what they can with what they have.  Even in the sadness, it was heartwarming to see FIU staff members give so freely of themselves to support those in need.  Jody Glassman, Elizabeth Bejar, Andrea Jay, Kevin Coughlin, Gita Rausch, Damaris Valdes, Victor Martinez, Shirley Caballero, Lisa Edmunds, Helen Gonzalez, Tony Delgado, Javi Marques and all of those at FIU who are helping – Thank You.  Especially to those actively monitoring the phones around the clock… Thank You.  To the many student workers who were so patient, active and resilient during such a difficult time, Thank you.  To each person who reached out to me Thursday to make sure I was safe, Thank you!

My heart goes out to all the families impacted by this tragedy.  My most sincere Thank You to all those who jumped at the opportunity to step up and serve when the time called for them to do so.  To our unquestioned leader, Dr. Mark Rosenberg, Thank you for your leadership and guidance over what will be a very difficult time- but we are confident you can bring this community through it.

Reach out to those you love and let them know you care.  Please consider giving of your time or your energy to those who might need it in any way you possibly can.  It is not what we take from this life that people will remember – it is what we give back.

Please #GIVE


Photos by Anthony Guivas





New Year, New Opportunities


New Year, New Opportunities

Its been quite a while since my last post.  Anyone who works in higher education, or Athletics for that matter, knows the toll that the end of the fall semester takes on students, faculty, staff and administrators alike.  This fall at FIU was prolonged due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma, keeping everyone in a heightened state of focus for a week longer than usual.

But WHAT a Fall for FIU!  Congratulations to our FIU Men’s Soccer Program (@FIUMensSoccer on Twitter or http://www.fiusports.com/index.aspx?path=msoc) on a truly special season.  Winning the Conference USA Regular Season Title gave the team the opportunity to host the first round of the NCAA Tournament.  After an impressive 2-0 win against Omaha, our season simply ran out of time against Duke.  I am sure I echo all of our FIU Fan Base & Alumni when I say that Coach Kevin Nylen has just gotten started.

Congratulations to Sherilene Gelderblom on her impressive start to her FIU career earning first team All-Conference honors in cross country.  Coach Jermaine Felix is quietly putting together a phenomenal roster, something to keep your eyes on.

How important is Leadership in Athletics?  I would suggest it is possibly the most important factor in a programs success, or its failure.  I believe it is more vital than facilities, finances or location.  Our FIU Football Program truly showed the strength of leadership this fall term going bowling for the first time in six years – finishing 8-5 with a team returning many of the same starters from the previous year.  Congratulations to the administrators, coaches and student-athletes for one of the best turn arounds in NCAA and FIU Athletics History.  The future of FIU Football is bright with Coach Butch Davis.

From all of us at the FIU Student-Athlete Academic Center, we would like to THANK all of our student-athletes for their service, efforts and energy this fall.  Personally, I’d like to thank everyone who touches our program and provides the type of service we have become known for here at FIU.  From our student workers, to our tutors; our Learning Specialists and our Academic Coordinators.  Thank you Helen, Victor, Ron, Lisa, Donald, Cristina, Alison, Zhyrma, Denisse, and Lyzbeth.  Most importantly, Thank You to the Leadership Team of FIU SAAC, Ayssa & Shirley, for their tireless efforts not only to enhance and evolve our program – but the outside of the box thinking that has brought our #SAACares program to life.  It is this type of extra effort that makes our programming unique – and I am excited to see what we can do to enhance it this spring.    

We are just a few days away from posting our updated information regarding the success of our students in the classroom, and I know you will be proud of what our FIU students have accomplished.  A special Thank you to our seniors, what a truly phenomenal class.    

Congratulations to our Fall Graduates:

Alex Demchak, Nick Day, Zach Soria, Mike Agis, Will Fabra, James Cruise, Niko Gonzalez, Newton Salisbury, Anthony Wint, Bryce Kanada, Alex Gardner, Alex McGough, Treyvon Williams, Jordan Budwig, Chris Flaig, Pol Guzman, Shermenke Spence, Hassan Hussein, Pasquale Giovine, Donald Tomlison, Luca Betancur, Paul Marie, Nina Nagode, Kathryn Hogan, Symone Lindsay, Courtney Phillips, Jackie Byers and Sophia Trujillo!

Heading into the New Year we are excited to showcase the evolution of our program.  For the first time in three years, our student-athlete academic center will start a semester at full strength!  Please join me in welcoming Robert Arroyo (http://saac.fiu.edu/new-academic-coordinator-112917/) to our Panther Family.  Although Robert officially joined our program during the Holiday Break, his role with Baseball, Softball and Women’s Soccer will really take off this spring term.  With the addition of Robert, we can continue to emphasize our student-centered approach that has led to record numbers of FIU graduates, an increase in both our NCAA APR rate as well as our Federal Graduation Rate and the posting of the Highest GPA in FIU Athletics History.  Just imagine what we can do with an extra set of hands!

I hope this post finds you enjoying a wonderful winter break, full of friends & family.  I’ve been blessed to spend this time with my family enjoying a break from the daily grind.  I’ve learned I am not a great monopoly player and that an 8 year can be a fierce Uno competitor.  As we head into the New Year, I am absolutely thrilled about the new opportunities & challenges that face our program.  Personally, the opportunities with the Metropolitan Consortium (UCF, USF & FIU) as well as the leadership roles within the Board of Directors for N4A and my Chair of the NACADA advising Student-Athletes Community make each day different than the last.

Embrace the New Year.  Learn from last year.  Find your passion, invest in your strengths and go all in on whatever it is you love doing.  More than anything, #LiveMaas


@WesDMaas (Twitter / IG)     (307) 223-6429    Wmaas@FIU.edu

N4A 2017 Region II

N4A Region II

#N4A17 Region II Conference

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Congratulations to the LSU staff, specifically Kirstin DeFusco, an Assistant Director for the Tigers in their Academic Affairs team.  Kenneth Miles, you and your team have set the Regional Bar HIGH for all of those who come after you.  N4A, and its membership, can absolutely be proud of the work that was completed this past weekend.  Speaking of Kirstin, you can learn more about her, her role and her contract information here:  http://www.acsa.lsu.edu/staff.aspx?staff=46Anyone setting up a regional conference should touch base with her first – you’ll be glad that you did.

The N4A Region II Conference was held at the Marriott in Baton Rouge, only a few miles from LSU’s campus.  If there would have been a slightly larger crowd, you could have mistaken the regional conference for the National Convention.  Special thanks to Dr. Bodack, Carole Walker, Dorothy Kemp, Carli Faulkner, Ashley Granger, and Calvin Marshall for their tireless efforts in making sure this was a first class experience for everyone in attendance.

One of the highlights of the conference was a tour of the LSU Academic Center.  It is obvious that the leadership at LSU is committed to the support and development of their student-athletes.  If you ever have a chance to visit LSU’s academic services – I strongly encourage you to do it.

The opening Keynote speaker was exceptional.  Dima Ghawi spoke for about 45 minutes on leadership, specifically, breaking your ‘glass’.  I strongly encourage you to watch her speech here:  https://vimeo.com/163847793.  After watching the brief video, I would challenge you to consider her words carefully.  Do you give yourself permission to break your glass?  If not – what is holding you back?  Let me know, we can work through them together.

I was fortunate to be selected to present at the conference on Communication with the Modern Student-Athlete. 


I think there is always a little apprehension prior to a presentation.  Do you have your notes together, will the powerpoint align with the projector… will the projector connect to your Mac?  Most importantly, and especially at a regional where attendance is limited, will people show up?  10 minutes before we were set to go live, I could hear Brad Horton (http://www.georgiastatesports.com/ViewArticle.dbml?&ATCLID=209537995&DB_OEM_ID=12700) wrapping up the N4A Welcome and Business Meeting.  There were two additional presentations scheduled for 9:40am – so it would be interesting to see the turnout.  5 minutes to go, a scattering of people had arrived – but we were definitely not full.  You can see from my point of view below.  My thoughts turned to providing the best content I could for the group that showed up.  Whether I am speaking to 2 people or 2000, I try and bring as much energy and passion as I can to try and provide the best experience possible for those who are in attendance.


Then it happened, the doors opened – and the group gathered.  All told, the LSU staff had to bring in extra chairs to accommodate the guests.  As I started my presentation, I actually stalled for a second as I could see people sitting on the floor in the back of the room and others gather and standing in the corners.  Overall, I think the presentation went over well.  I was fortunate to meet some incredible people and received some great feedback on the topic.

After the presentation, I was immediately off to BTR to catch my flight to ATL en route to STL.  From the N4A regional conference to the #NACADA17 National Convention.  Two days of training and meetings before I present on Thursday.  If you are here in St Louis, Lets grab coffee.  Even better, please come by and be in attendance as I present on ‘Be Well, Do Well – Invest in your Team’ this Thursday at 11:30am!

It would mean the world to me if you could Please follow the incredible LSU group on Twitter here: @LSUAcademicCtr @LSUSALifeSkills @LSUSAAC and @ACSATutorialLSU

Until next time, #Live Maas

Hurricane Irma


To start – my family and I are safe and our home sustained minimal damage. A special Thank You to all of the First Responders, newscasters and other professionals who have been working around the clock to not only keep us safe, but also provide us information and now assist with the cleanup. My sincere apologies to those who reached out before, during and after Hurricane Irma and received no response or a very delayed one.  One of the ATT towers here in South Florida was knocked out, leading to little to no service in the area. We lost power as well, leaving us without WiFi, internet, or the ability to use Zello or other social media apps. Irma has passed and it is time to assess the damage. Clean up has now begun and the hope for power, cellular service and our every day conveniences is at a fever pitch.


In reflection of the storm, it occurred to me that too often we get caught up in our day to day lives and our personal or professional responsibilities. We forget the simple things in life, or we tend to take them for granted. Things like running water, electricity, or for us in South Florida, air conditioning. And then it happens – Something out of the ordinary – something that brings us back to center. It doesn’t always have to be a tragic event, but an event none the less. For us in South Florida, that event was Hurricane Irma.

It became evident early that Irma was not going to be your every day Hurricane. She was a category 5 monster stretching over 300 miles – literally covering the distance from Miami, Fl all the way to Jacksonville, Fl tearing across the Caribbean. Projections for the track of the storm varied, causing people to second guess their decisions to stay and weather out the storm or evacuate and head to higher ground.

As Hurricane Irma approached Miami, preparations were made. I am extremely grateful of the proactive leadership here in Miami from not only the civic leaders, but also from our University. FIU was on the forefront of the decision making process, keeping us alerted to next steps – university closures – as well as providing tools for those who decided to stay and batten down the hatches. The communication, when accessible, was fantastic. Dr. Rosenberg, our President, was not only active on campus – he had a significant presence via email and social media (FIUPres5 on Instagram / SnapChat).


Even further, our unit supervisor, Dr. Elizabeth Bejar (Vice President Academic Affairs), was active via text message creating a communication tree for not only our unit, but every unit under academic affairs. Take a quick second and think about the severity of her role during this time. You have one of the largest storms in recorded history headed your way, causing catastrophic damage with sustained winds maxing out at 185 miles an hour. You have a family, your home and your community to think about. It would be easy to be selfish this one time, focus on yourself – not on others. No one would hold it against you. But in the true spirit of why FIU is so great, Dr. Bejar took the time, effort and energy to make sure her FIU family was safe, prepared and ready. Not just before the storm when things were calm – but before, during and after. You cannot put a price tag on that type of dedication or service, but you can trust it is felt within the staff members who work under this type of leadership.

Although Hurricane Irma has passed, her impact still remains. The emphasis of rebuilding the communities that were damaged will be the focus over the next few months. I am positive I will never forget this storm, or the hours that passed when life reverted back to its simplistic form. No TV, no cell phones, no electricity. Reading books when you had daylight. Putting together a puzzle with the help of candle light. I will also never forget the attention and communication provided by the leadership at FIU. It is heartwarming to know that our administration doesn’t just talk about being invested in our people, their actions prove it.

For anyone affected by Hurricane Irma, our thoughts are with you. We will work to rebuild everything that has been damaged. I am extremely blessed that my family, my extended family and my work family all made it through this safely.


Jessica Chadwick, Worlds Ahead Graduate

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I am excited to introduce you to Jessica Chadwick, a member of our Back-to-Back-to-Back Conference USA Champions Women’s Swimming Program.  Jessica came to us from Manchester in the fall of 2012.  Since that time, she has dealt with adversity through injury that hindered her performance in the water.  Through perseverance and grit, Jess graduated this summer from Florida International University as a Worlds Ahead Graduate.  Today, I am humbled to briefly share her story with you.

First!  A quick introduction to Jess as well as a little more information about what it means to be a ‘Worlds Ahead Graduate’.  Jessica Chadwick is a senior that will graduate this Summer session as a Sport and Fitness studies major.  After life at FIU, she plans to go to Physical Therapy school back in the United Kingdom.

FIU Defines their Worlds Ahead Graduates as, “graduates exhibit outstanding perseverance, intelligence and personal strength during their time at FIU, and fully demonstrate and embrace what it means to be Worlds Ahead.”

Worlds Ahead Graduates are nominated by faculty members to be personally honored during their commencement ceremony. Their ingenuity, compassion, intelligence and courage set them apart from their graduating class. We mark them down in FIU history through a news feature and in the Past Worlds Ahead Graduates record.  You can learn more about this process here:


To give you a quick idea of the adversity Jessica had to fight through during her career at FIU….

August 2013: Suffered a Full body allergic reaction to a jellyfish sting during team training in the Ocean.  Due to the reaction caused by the sting and the allergens, she was forced to sit out the entire 2013-2014 season.

November 2014: Ruptured ear drum coming back from Mizzou Invite.  Even though she had complications from the rupture, she still was able to fight back and compete in the Conference USA Championships.

Spring 2015: Jessica and teammate Chase Harris rescued two swimmers while on spring break at MacArthur Park.  You can read about their incredible story here:


September 2016: Suffered an injury to her ankle which forced her out of the pool and into a walking boot. Tried to rehab for the season, but upon her return to action she tore her Achilles tendon and had surgery in spring 2017.  During surgery, she had an allergic reaction to the anesthesia that caused her organs to fail.  She ended up in the ICU for an entire  week. Once she started rehabbing the Achilles, she tore it again the first week of April.

Throughout all of her setbacks, Jessica embodied the true grit and determination that defines what it means to be a CHAMPION.  Thank you so much for stopping your scroll long enough to read about this inspiring student, her challenges, and how she became a WORLDS AHEAD GRADUATE.

Thank you, Jessica, for all you have done for FIU Athletics, the Swim and Dive Program and for our FIU.

To view more about her story, please click the link below