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Dr. George Taylor Receives NCAA DII Faculty Mentor Award

Published Tuesday, January 09, 2024

Dr. George Taylor
Dr. George Taylor

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee announced today the selection of Dr. George Taylor of Southwest Minnesota State University as the recipient of the 2023 Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award.

The award is named after Pariser, a Bellarmine physical therapy professor who died in 2013. It recognizes faculty members at Division II schools for their dedication to supporting and mentoring student-athletes, as well as their commitment to Division II student-athletes’ lifelong learning, competition and well-being.  

Taylor, an assistant professor of management, will be honored at the 2024 NCAA Convention in Phoenix, Ariz., on Jan. 12.

“Congratulations to Dr. Taylor on being honored with the prestigious Dr. Dave Pariser Faculty Mentor Award. His impact extends far beyond the playing field, shaping the futures of our student athletes and leaving an unforgettable mark on our Mustang Nation,” said SMSU President, Dr. Kumara Jayasuriya. “Dr. Taylor’s dedication to the development of well-rounded student-athletes is an inspiration to us all. His commitment to mentorship and unwavering support for student success exemplify the values we cherish at Southwest Minnesota State University.”

Taylor has been on the SMSU faculty since 2020 and holds a Doctor of Management degree in organizational leadership and a Master of Business Administration in information systems technology management. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in education leadership. His teaching interests include organizational development, leadership and entrepreneurship. 

Taylor is an active researcher for THRIVE, a think tank at Oklahoma that focuses on evidence-based research on Oklahoma schools. He is a published author and frequent speaker at research conferences and symposiums. Before teaching, Taylor served in the Navy and participated in high-level strategic initiatives such as Sea Warrior, a human capital initiative that transformed the Navy’s human resources processes.

That experience has translated to his involvement in several search committees during his time at SMSU. He also serves as a student-athlete faculty mentor.

Taylor said he appreciates being around student-athletes because they are out front in thinking through challenges and identifying opportunities.

“In many cases, our student-athletes lead the discussion, set the example and show all of us what it takes to be a part of something special,” he said. “Student-athletes allow all of us to understand that life’s greatest lessons come from the times when we may fall short, for these are the times that test our will, our resolve and our drive to excel.”

“To accomplish truly great things, you must be willing to do what’s hard, to put in the reps, to trust your teammates, your mentors, coaches and parents, and to trust yourself that you will prevail. I witness this commitment from our student-athletes every day.”

Taylor has established a strong commitment to helping prepare student-athletes to excel in their endeavors well beyond their years competing in intercollegiate athletics. His student-athletes believe he is one of the most dedicated professors on the SMSU campus. Taylor has demonstrated that he cares and is willing to serve as a positive reinforcement, which helps support student-athletes in their goals in the classroom and on the playing field. Ultimately, he has helped to develop students not just towards their career, but through the journey of life.

“On behalf of our athletic department, we want to both congratulate Dr. Taylor on this tremendous recognition and also thank him for his commitment to our student-athletes,” said SMSU Director of Athletics, Jen Flowers. “Dr. Taylor embodies what being a Mustang means to all of us and we’re thrilled that he’s on our team.”

In addition to his involvement on campus, Taylor serves as the co-chair for the city of Marshall’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission, which hosts several events that encourage a connection between community and campus. He also is a United Way board member for the Southwest Minnesota region.

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