Dr. Kevin Bartlett Earns GNAC SAAC Faculty Mentor Award
Dr. Kevin Bartlett has been on the faculty at Seattle Pacific University since 2002.
Dr. Kevin Bartlett has been on the faculty at Seattle Pacific University since 2002.

Friday, September 29, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – It is stressful enough to get ready for the rigors of a collegiate soccer season, especially at a program like Seattle Pacific University. Add to that the rigors of a class such as organic chemistry and the stress can hit a new level, especially for an underclassman.

The class is the type that is a make or break course for those with dreams of being a doctor or a research scientist. It is not a class for the weak of heart.

The balance of intercollegiate athletics and that daunting class is what Falcons’ women’s soccer player Simone Herzberg faced her sophomore season when she entered an organic chemistry class taught by Dr. Kevin Bartlett. She learned quickly, however, that Bartlett was quite sensitive to the needs to balance that academic load with time on the pitch.

“Entering that sophomore year I was terrified to not only be taking ‘O-Chem,’ but to be diving head first into it during soccer season,” Herzberg said. “Thanks to Dr. Bartlett, though, I was able to not only pass O-Chem, but succeed with flying colors.”

For his efforts to assist student-athletes, Bartlett has been selected by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as the recipient of the 2017 GNAC SAAC Faculty Mentor Award. The annual award recognizes a faculty member that demonstrates exemplary support to student-athletes both on and off the field while representing the NCAA Division II core values of learning, passion, service, resourcefulness, sportsmanship, and balance. This support can include, but is not limited to, athletics, academics, life skills, career development or other areas.

In Herzberg’s nomination of Bartlett, the two-time GNAC All-Academic selection illustrated the efforts that Bartlett went to in helping the seven student-athletes in that organic chemistry class. Among the accommodations he provided were tutoring sessions with a teaching assistant scheduled outside of practice and competition windows, recording of lectures and notes for missed classes and showing flexibility in taking exams.

“Most teachers would just leave these athletes to fend for themselves, however Dr. Bartlett went above and beyond, hiring a teaching assistant dedicated specifically for the athletes,” Herzberg said. “This T.A. worked with us, as per Dr. Bartlett’s instructions, to find a different time in the week that worked for our schedules.”

The ability to work with student-athletes carries over to when athletics interferes with the class schedule. “I remember multiple times that I would have to miss a lecture or a test because of a game. Dr. Bartlett never acted put off by our travel schedule and was always willing to make whatever accommodations we needed to do our best in class,” Herzberg said. “Whether it was taking a test on the road or waiting until we got back, he was more than happy to help out.”

Herzberg is quick to point out that Bartlett’s approachable demeanor is not just limited to Seattle Pacific student-athletes. “Dr. Bartlett genuinely cares for the success of all of his students,” she said. “His door is always open. He is always willing to answer questions and he would not leave until everyone’s problems were solved.”

With his selection by the GNAC SAAC, Bartlett’s name will be forwarded on for consideration for the NCAA Division II’s Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award.

Bartlett, who is an associate professor of chemistry at Seattle Pacific, earned his bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College (Ill.) in 1995 and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in 2001. He has been a member of the Seattle Pacific faculty since 2002.

Past recipients of the GNAC SAAC Faculty Mentor Award include Laura Reid of Simon Fraser University and Amy Cooper of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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