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Southern Miss Student-Athlete Academic Services Hires Three to Department

Jan. 12, 2017 HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- The Southern Miss athletics department has announced the addition of three new members to Student-Athlete Academic Services in Jeff Duplisea, Rob Shillito and Connor Golden-Sims.

"I am honored and privileged to have the experience and diversity of these three young men," Kylie Amato, associate athletics director for academic support services, said. "All three are driven and eager to make an impact with the student-athletes as well as the Student Academic Enhancement Program for Student-Athletes. They each bring different, yet unique qualities and experiences to the office and I am Very excited about where the program is headed."

Duplisea, an academic counselor, is a 2013 graduate of the University of New England (Maine) before earning his Master's in Sport Administration from Miami (Fla.) just 13 months later. His most recent job was with Ole Miss and its FedEx Student-Athlete Success Center as an intern, beginning in February 2015. While there, Duplisea oversaw student-athlete caseloads from the football and track and field teams. His duties included, but were not limited to, assisting student-athletes with registration, setting and monitoring weekly objectives for academic progress and leading the class monitoring program. He also worked with groups of women's basketball, baseball and volleyball students in summer bridge programs. Duplisea also gained proficiency in NCAA bylaws and continuing eligibility.

“I am really looking forward to working with the great athletics staff and student-athletes at the University of Southern Mississippi," Duplisea said. "I'm very appreciative of the opportunity. SMTTT!”

Golden-Sims, also an academic counselor, was most recently the athletic academic football specialist for the Savannah State football team, where he monitored 100 student-athletes to ensure compliance with the NCAA and MEAC. He also organized the "Freshman Bootcamp" for the newcomers and their life skills development while managing the "Guest Coach" program that honored select faculty for their contributions at home football games. The 2011 graduate of Ohio moved south to Georgia State, where he served as a men's basketball graduate assistant and assistant football academic adviser from 2013-15. Golden-Sims has also held coaching and camp instructor positions at Xavier and Mount Union.

“I just want to thank Mrs. Amato and the Southern Miss Athletic Department for giving me an opportunity to work at this great institution," Golden-Sims said. "I look forward to serving our student-athletes and continuing to learn in this industry.”

Shillito is an assistant director of athletic academics. He is a 2011 graduate of Mississippi State and also earned his Master's in Kinesiology with a concentration in Sport Administration in Dec. 2012. He worked several years after college in Starkville under Amato before she was hired in Hattiesburg in May 2016. Shillito rose through the ranks from graduate assistant, to athletic academic assistant and up to athletic academic counselor. He mentored and provided academic support to three sports in his final stint, including traveling with the baseball team and had a significant role in meeting with first-year students.

"I’m excited to have the opportunity to join the Southern Miss athletic academic staff, as well as the larger Southern Miss family," Shillito said. "Having worked with Ms. Kylie Amato previously, I knew this would be a high quality unit that would provide excellent academic support for student-athletes while also providing opportunities for me to grow professionally."

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