2017 Beyond The Trophy: Meet Northwestern University offensive lineman Tommy Doles


TOMMY DOLES IMAGE

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

 Name: Tommy Doles

College: Northwestern University

Height, weight, class, position: 6-6, 280-pound redshirt junior offensive lineman

High School: Grand Rapids Christian, Grand Rapids, Michigan

About Doles: In his second season as starting right guard for the Wildcats after playing in all 13 games last year and earning All-Big Ten honorable mention honors. … President of the Northwestern Uplifting Athletes Chapter. … Father, Jack, is a sports broadcaster and comes from a long line of college student-athletes. His grandfather played basketball at DePaul, cousin played football at Iowa State and two aunts played Division I volleyball. … Won a Division 3 Michigan State Championship and was voted All-State his senior year of high school. … Academic All-Big Ten selection in 2016 who chose Northwestern over Michigan and the service academies.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

Doles: Winning the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in 2016; we had worked so hard to get there, and played a great game in an amazing environment.

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?

Doles: My Grandpa passed away during my freshman year of college after a four-year struggle with ALS. When I heard about an organization that was working to align college football with rare disease research, I knew I had to get involved. Uplifting Athletes has connected me with some wonderful people and allowed me to grow as a leader, all the while allowing me to use my platform as a college football player for a worthy cause.

As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?

Doles: Singing the fight song with the student section after a ‘Cats victory!

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

Doles: Kirk Cousins – he is a West Michigander like me, and has remained humble and true to his values despite his success. I was inspired by his book ‘Game Changer’ and have sought to follow his example of using the platform of college football for something worthwhile.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

Doles: I’m a history nerd and an offensive lineman who likes lunch, so this is a tough one. I’d say Abraham Lincoln. Wouldn’t it be fascinating to hear a firsthand account of the most trying and formative time in our nation’s history from the man who was steering the ship?

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

Doles: Nebraska has a tremendous game day environment, and their fans are very classy. I did also enjoy playing at Michigan State, as I got to see quite a few high school friends after the game, even if they were wearing green!

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football or big goals for the future?

Doles: I will continue to put my faith first (Matthew 16:26), and hope to be blessed with a family someday. Vocationally, I want to serve my country and act as a servant leader towards others, starting as an officer in the Army.

RAPID FIRE

What is your perfect pizza?

Doles: Chicago style deep dish, or course, with plenty of meat and cheese, and surrounded by family and teammates.

Last three songs you added to your playlist?

Doles: The theme song from Band of Brothers, Ever Be (Aaron Shust), and Get Down on It (Kool & the Gang). Eclectic, right?

Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?
Doles: Lauren Daigle

If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Doles: Matthew McConaughey, he’s an interesting guy

What was the last movie you went to the theater and saw?

Doles: Dunkirk – Wow!

In the mountains or on a beach?

Doles: Tough one considering the beaches in Pure Michigan, but mountains

What’s the last picture you took with your phone?

Doles: Running back and NU Uplifting Athletes Chapter Vice President Chad Hanaoka playing his ukulele in the stands of Ryan Field as the sun set on Chicago and training camp 2017

2017 Beyond The Trophy: Meet Adam Greene from University of Maryland


ADAM GREENE 2

Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.

Name: Adam Greene

College: University of Maryland

Height, weight, class, position: 5-11, 193-pound senior place kicker

High School: Broadneck High School, Arnold Maryland

About Greene: This is the second season Greene is the starting place kicker for the Terrapins. … He made his first appearance for Maryland as a redshirt sophomore in 2015 in a relief effort and his first start was against Michigan State. … President of the Maryland Chapter of Uplifting Athletes, Vice President of Maryland’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. … 2017 AFCA Good Works Team nominee and Wuerffel Watch List nominee. … A three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Academic All-Big Ten. … Two-time All-State selection in high school and holds the Maryland state field goal record with 27.

What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?

Greene: I will never forget my first home game I played in verses Wisconsin.  After an injury to our starter on the opening kickoff, I had to step in as our team’s field goal kicker. Within minutes I had my first college attempt, a 44-yard kick from the right hash. The feeling of making my first field goal and seeing the team’s reaction and support was unforgettable!  Our team rallied in the fourth quarter and started chipping away at Wisconsin’s lead.  We scored with 3 minutes left to bring it to within sevent points. I went in for the onside kick to give our team a chance to tie the game. It avoided all of Wisconsin’s players and bounced right into our returner’s hands and our unit ran to the end zone.  Unfortunately a flag was thrown calling it back but that was an incredible way to start my career two years ago!

What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?

Greene: I had always been heavily involved in the community through my church and adaptive athletics in high school. But when I came to Maryland I was in a communications class that had us watch various Ted Talks and I came across a video of a boy who was diagnosed with the rare genetic disorder, Progeria, who talked about his philosophy towards a happy life. The video struck me and within the next week, an upperclassman mentioned Maryland’s involvement in Uplifting Athletes and tackling rare diseases. Since then I joined the cause and it has been incredible using the platform we have as athletes to use our talents and abilities for a purpose larger than football itself. This past year we tripled our Chapter’s fundraising and were able to bring nearly half the team to the National Institute of Health to visit and meet children diagnosed with rare diseases.

As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?

Greene: Nothing beats running out of our tunnel with the flames and fireworks shooting around us to see a stadium supporting the team. It’s a feeling that never gets old and fires you up for the game.

Who is your favorite NFL player and why?

Greene: My favorite NFL player is Matt Stover. When I was younger, Matt was an extremely influential role model for me. We met when I was 12 years old at one of his summer kicking camps where I competed and finished first amongst the kickers who attended. Since that day, he took me under his wing and crafted me into the kicker I am from my form, technique, and character. He was an example of a man of faith who performed and became one of the best kickers ever in the League and he has been there to help guide me along my college career.

If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?

Greene: Warren Buffett. Off the field I have been captivated by the field of finance and investing. Last December I graduated with a double major in Finance and Information Systems and I am currently completing a Masters in Quantitative Finance. It would be amazing to talk and learn from one of the most successful investors ever to hear his advice for my future career to come.

What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

Greene: Wisconsin definitely tops the charts. Being in the Big Ten you experience some incredible football fans and atmospheres but when the stadium shook from “Jump Around” and the crowd got into the game it became my favorite.

In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football or big goals for the future?

Greene: First and foremost is family as that is incredibly important to me. But it’s my goal to work on Wall Street after football and leverage what I have learned through sport and school in a career there. I would love to travel and experience new cultures and places. It’s been my dream to become a President or CEO of a company so there is a lot in store and I’m excited to continue my philanthropic endeavors and see where the future takes me.

RAPID FIRE

What is your perfect pizza?

Greene: Margherita

Last three songs you added to your playlist?

Greene: Boys of Fall – Kenny Chesney; Thunderstruck – AC/DC; 19’ Something – Mark Willis

Taylor Swift or Miley Cyrus?
Greene: Taylor Swift

If you could spend the day with any celebrity, who would it be?

Greene: Jennifer Anniston

What was the last movie you went to the theater and saw?

Greene: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with my brother

In the mountains or on a beach?

Greene: On a beach

What’s the last picture you took with your phone?

Greene: Our freshman student section cheering and getting ready for game day

Seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders up for off-the-field awards in 2017


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Uplifting Athletes is proud to have seven college football student-athlete chapter leaders nominated for national off-the-field awards this year.

Five players are nominated for the AFCA Good Works Team and four are on the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy.

Syracuse quarterback Zach Mahoney and kicker Adam Greene of Maryland made the grade on both lists.

Joining those two as nominees for the AFCA Good Works Team are center Nick Allegretti from Illinois, defensive lineman Kurt Holuba from Princeton and Nebraska linebacker Chris Weber.

Since 1992, the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team has brought together a select group of college football players from across the country to honor their dedication to volunteerism and enriching the lives of others. While players are often recognized for their accomplishments and achievements on game day, these student-athletes have made significant contributions to the greater good of society, inspiring future generations of young athletes and the larger college football community.

Uplifting Athletes has placed at least one player on the AFCA Good Works Team every year since 2012.

Joining Mahoney and Greene on the Wuerffel Trophy watch list are Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley and Florida State center Alec Eberle.

The Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually by the All Sports Association in Fort Walton Beach Florida.  Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy is awarded to the FBS player that best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.

Congratulations to these seven Uplifting Athletes chapter leaders for making the rare disease cause a priority and using the power of sport for social good.

 

 

Annual Leadership Development Conference arms student-athlete chapter leaders with tools for success


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As Uplifting Athletes continues to evolve and expand its footprint as a champion of the rare disease community, our nationwide chapter network led by current college football student-athletes continues to be the rock of our foundation.

Educating and training these leaders on the mission and vision of Uplifting Athletes is critical to being able to use the power of sport to inspire the rare disease community with hope. We want to enable these student-athletes to have the biggest impact they can.

This past weekend in Philadelphia, 23 chapter leaders from 14 universities came together for Leadership Development Conference 2017.

Led by the Uplifting Athletes staff, the conference was three days of education, training and relationship building all centered around making a greater impact on the rare disease community.

“I wasn’t aware of how much Uplifting Athletes has done and is doing. The platform we have is such an opportunity,” said Christian Groomes, a chapter leader from Clemson. “It was cool to see all the opportunities we have to raise money and support rare diseases. I think we are going to be a hit at Clemson with some of the ideas we have now.”

Chapter leaders from Clemson, NC State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Syracuse, Illinois, Florida State, Maryland, Stony Brook, Penn and Saint Francis committed a weekend of their short offseason to attend the conference.

Included in the workshop sessions on Saturday and Sunday were an overview of Uplifting Athletes, a team building exercise, Lift For Life and Touchdown Pledge Drive event planning, transferable life skills development, communication and social media training, and an introduction to rare disease patient engagement through Uplifting Experiences.

There was also a breakout session hosted by Kristen Angell from the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD).

In between work sessions, the student-athletes were able to experience some of the unique sights of Philadelphia. There was a cheesesteak lunch in Logan Park followed by a trip to the Art Museum and the “Rocky Steps” for team pictures. Lunch on Sunday was outside the famous City Hall, and the players were free Saturday evening to explore the city and spend some off time together.

“It was a great experience overall. I learned a lot and it was great to get to know the guys from other schools,” Penn State Chapter leader Jason Cabinda said. “There was a lot I can take back to the rest of the guys and share that will help us going forward.”

 

Uplifting Athletes set to host 24 student-athlete chapter leaders for 2017 Leadership Development Conference


LDC 17 GRAPHICFor our eighth consecutive year, we will gather college football student-athletes that are current or future chapter leaders together for three days of education and training during the Uplifting Athletes Leadership Development Conference.

This year 24 current football players from 13 universities across the country will travel to Philadelphia on Friday, May 19 to kick off a busy weekend of engaging work sessions, networking and relationship building.

Chapter leaders from Clemson, NC State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Nebraska, Syracuse, Illinois, Florida State, Maryland, Stony Brook, Penn and Saint Francis will start the 2017 conference with a team meal Friday night prior to a full Saturday agenda.

The weekend agenda is driven by the Uplifting Athletes staff, but will also feature a breakout session focused on the rare disease community hosted by Kristen Angell from the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD).

Included in the workshop sessions on Saturday and Sunday are an overview of Uplifting Athletes, a team building exercise, Lift For Life and Touchdown Pledge Drive event planning, transferable life skills development, communication and social media training, and an introduction to rare disease patient engagement through Uplifting Experiences.

We are very excited to bring this group together to learn from each other, to strategize together and to foster the sense of teamwork that inspires us all.

 

Former Syracuse Chapter Vice President Eric Anthony honored for work with Uplifting Athletes


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Senior Eric Anthony was one of three Syracuse student-athletes who earned recognition recently at the 2017 Syracuse University 44 Stars of Excellence Awards Gala.

The former vice president of the Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes was honored for his demonstration of outstanding dedication and commitment to a student organization and its mission.

Anthony earned the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service Award for his commitment to the community.

In addition to his work with Uplifting Athletes, Anthony served as the 2016-17 Syracuse Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) vice president of community outreach. He earned undergraduate degrees in finance and real estate from the Whitman School of Management. At Syracuse, Anthony has helped spearhead the effort to raise more than $25,000 for children fighting rare diseases, delivered Easter baskets to children at Golisano Children’s Hospital and brought the Beads of Courage program to Syracuse Athletics. He also won the 2017 ACC Top 6 Service award.

On behalf of the rare disease community, Uplifting Athletes would like to congratulate Eric Anthony on winning this award and for inspiring others with hope through the power of sport.

 

 

Former Illinois Chapter President Joe Spencer wins Coach Wooden Citizen Cup Award


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Former Illini football center and Illinois Chapter of Uplifting Athletes President Joe Spencer recently won the 2017 Coach Wooden Citizen Cup Award given to the most outstanding role model among athletes.

Athletes for a Better World announced Spencer as its winner from among the four finalists Tuesday evening in Atlanta.

The award, named after famed UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden, is given to one college, professional and high school athlete (or athletic figure) per year for character and leadership both on and off the field and for contributions to sport and society. Athletes for a Better World presented the Wooden Cup for the 13th year.

Recipients of the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup are determined by the Wooden Cup Selection Committee after reviewing voting by the Board of Directors and over 100 distinguished individuals involved in athletics across the country.

Spencer’s work in the community and the classroom has been incredible during his four years in Champaign. The 2016 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees’ long list of community involvement includes serving as president of Illinois’ Uplifting Athletes Chapter, president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, raising nearly $40,000 for charity in two years by organizing the Illinois Chapter Lift for Life, helping organize Illinois’ student-athlete variety show that has raised over $80,000 in the last five years, being a “Big” at the local Big Brothers Big Sisters, spearheading the Leadership Summit for local middle school students, volunteering at the Special Olympics, and visiting nearly every elementary school in Champaign-Urbana.

Spencer was a team captain for the 2016 Illini football team and earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors by the media. He started 37 games during his Illinois career, including 11 this season. Spencer is enrolled in the MBA program at the University of Illinois after earning a bachelor’s degree in finance in May 2016.