Recent Graduate Takes Part in Prestigious NCAA Internship

A.J. Dowell ’08 Used Support of Roanoke College Faculty to Make His Career Goals A Reality

A.J. Dowell '08 has taken his love of basketball to a new level. The recent Roanoke graduate and Salem native is using his passion for the game and determination for success in order to reach his goals. Through the help and encouragement of Roanoke College's faculty, Dowell is taking part in an esteemed internship that will enable him to pursue the career path he has envisioned for years.

Dowell is currently in Indianapolis working as an intern for the NCAA's national office. His one-year, paid position involves working for both the Division I men's basketball and Division I women's basketball departments at colleges and universities across the country. These departments are responsible for administering the NCAA Division I basketball championships. As a result, Dowell hopes to gain experience helping to plan tournaments such as March Madness and even the Final Four.

Working for the NCAA has been a goal of Dowell's ever since Roanoke basketball coach Page Moir first described the position to him a few years ago. In order to compete for this prestigious internship, Dowell improved his resume by acquiring jobs both on and off campus. He worked under the guidance of Athletic Director Scott Allison '79 as a student employee in the College's athletics department and, in addition, helped out at every NCAA championship held in Salem for three years in a row. He also interned for the ODAC office last fall and is only the second ODAC intern to move on to working for NCAA headquarters.

During his time at Roanoke, the health and human performance major also was very involved on campus. He was shooting guard on the Maroons basketball team and earned the title of second leading scorer his last two seasons. Dowell also served as president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, as a senator for the Student Government Association and was a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society.

Even with all his success outside the classroom, Dowell recognizes the fact that he found direction and encouragement from his professors, who helped him reach his post-graduation goals.

He claims, "Roanoke College provides its students with the opportunity to interact on a personal level with the faculty. There are a number of professors on campus who motivated me on a daily basis, especially within the health and human performance department."

Not only does Dowell cite Moir and Allison for their constant support, but he also is very appreciative of Professor John Creasy.

"Dr. Creasy had a major impact on my professional goals and development. He got to know me as a person and helped identify what academic route would best suit me in the profession of intercollegiate athletics administration," says Dowell.

In terms of future plans, Dowell is already thinking ahead. His internship only officially lasts for one year, so he is planning on using his experience within the association to further his dream of working within sports management and athletics administration.

He states, "Following the internship, I will either pursue a long-term position here at the national office or a job within an athletic department at a NCAA member institution. My ultimate goal is to stay involved with intercollegiate athletics by becoming an athletic director."

Released: October 1, 2008