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OVC Honors Felan as Outstanding Faculty Member for Student-Athletes

Joe Felan
Joe Felan

The Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) has awarded Dr. Joe Felan, associate professor of management, marketing, and technology at UA Little Rock, with the 2023-24 Outstanding Faculty Commitment to Student Success Award.

The awards were created by the provosts from each OVC member institution to recognize their outstanding faculty members. Each OVC member institution had the opportunity to nominate a faculty member with the rank of associate or full-time professor who has been employed at the institution for at least five years.

“Little Rock Athletics is happy to be able to honor Dr. Joe Felan with the OVC Faculty of the Year Award,” said George Lee, director of Little Rock Athletics. “Dr. Felan is committed to help all students succeed in his classes. His willingness to work with students to get the best out of each and every one makes him an excellent role model for student success.

The award recipients were chosen based on impacts of students, contributions made to the department, university and curriculum development, consistent professional development, as well as community involvement and institutional service.

“It was really exciting to receive this award,” Felan said. “I really enjoyed hearing from my students how much they appreciate my teaching. I think that the coaches and their assistants push the student-athletes to make sure they attend, participate, and do well in their classes. I can count on my athletes to be productive participants in class.”

Felan has been teaching student-athletes ever since he joined UA Little Rock as a professor 23 years ago. He said that many student-athletes pursue a business-related major since they have so many skills that translate well to business.

“We get a fair number of business majors that are student-athletes,” he said. “I can see that our student-athletes are highly motivated, and I think some of those skills are required in business, particularly if you want to start your own business one day. Many of these attributes also translate to the area of entrepreneurship.”

Since joining UA Little Rock faculty in 2002, Felan has received two service awards and been named Who’s Who Among American Teachers. He received the Faculty Excellence Award in Public Service from the former UA Little Rock College of Business in 2020.

When working with student-athletes, Felan said he always keeps in mind that student-athletes have unusual schedules due to their athletic careers and that it’s important to be flexible.

“I am willing to work with their schedules, especially if they need to meet outside of their regular class,” Felan said. “I am very flexible with office hours and virtual meetings. If they need to meet with me in the early morning or evenings, I am happy to do that.”

Felan only lives about 10 minutes away from campus, so he is able to attend many sporting events. While Felan enjoys watching basketball and baseball games, he’s also grown particularly fond of the university’s wrestling program.

“I do enjoy all sports, but I’ve been particularly interested in watching the wrestling program grow over the last few years,” he said. “I’ve had many wrestlers in class over the years. This year, the coach invited me to sit on the sidelines next to the mat during the last home meet of the year.”