On Thursday (Aug. 16) morning, Ashland University Director of Athletics Al King announced the hire of Elizabeth Freund as the department's Director of Academic Support Services.
"We're excited to welcome Elizabeth to the athletic department," King said. "She brings an excellent level of experience to this newly created position. We were impressed with her creativity and her dedication to helping students. One of the things that attracted her to this position was the opportunity to work closely with our student-athletes on a daily basis."
"I am looking forward to joining Ashland this fall," Freund said. "I am from the northeast Ohio area, and have always heard great things about Ashland and its students. While this role is new to me, I am familiar with working in academic settings. I am a mom to two young girls who are looking forward to coming to games starting this fall, and meeting some of the amazing student-athletes that give Ashland such a great name.
"I am excited to get started in this role, and learning more about Ashland and its fantastic students and athletic teams."
Freund brings more than a decade of collegiate academic experience to the athletic department's new position, which Ashland was able to secure through a NCAA Division II Strategic Alliance Matching Grant. Ashland was one of 20 institutions in the nation to receive this grant.
"It was a red-letter day when we received the news that we secured this grant," said King. "I want to especially thank Sharon Lowe for her work and guidance as we worked through the grant process."
Most recently, Freund was Academic Adviser II for The College of Business Administration at The University of Akron for seven years, starting in June of 2011. In that role, Freund was the primary adviser for more than 500 students, ranging from first-year to seniors, as well as the direct adviser and liaison for nine majors within the Marketing and Management departments.
Prior to that, Freund served as Assistant Director of Retention and Student Success and Area Director of Residence Life at The College of Wooster from 2007-11.
Freund earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Akron in 2005, and a Masters of Science in College Student Personnel from Miami (Ohio) University in 2007.
"Elizabeth is being asked to build a comprehensive academic support system for our student-athletes. That's a tall order," said King. "This is a much-needed position that we've coveted for the last several years. Elizabeth's influence will be felt in so many ways. Our student-athletes have enjoyed tremendous success in the classroom and this is a way to expand all of our programs and add new ones.
"When it comes to academic success our feeling is we can never do enough, we will always search for ways to improve. Elizabeth will work with many offices across campus, she'll bring new ideas and programming to our coaches and she will evaluate what we're doing from top to bottom. She's a caring, experienced professional and I believe she's going to make a phenomenal impact."