February 14, 2017
Drew Scales’s job is to focus on the student aspect of UNCW’s student-athletes. As assistant athletic director for student-athlete support services, he oversees an office that helps Seahawk athletes stay on course academically. But in a broader sense, he sees his job as helping to build more confident, conscientious adults.
“In my position, it’s exciting to be part of the maturity process for our student-athletes,” Scales said. “Watching them grow into responsible young adults is so rewarding.”
Scales came to UNCW in 2014 after seven years at the University of Toledo. During his final two years there, UT athletes posted the highest grade point average in the Mid-American Conference. He was introduced to UNCW when the Toledo Rockets played basketball against the Seahawks at Trask Coliseum.
“I was attracted to the progressive nature of UNCW,” as well as the chance to put his stamp on a growing academic support program, he explained. “Being part of a young institution’s evolution to create the best student experience can be exciting.”
Since his arrival, both his staff and the office space they occupy have increased. Athletes drop in on a daily basis to study, while some just want to talk with someone about what’s going on in their lives. A former student-athlete himself, Scales enjoys their energy and diverse personalities, but he also holds them accountable.
Scales earned his undergraduate degree in psychology from Morehouse College, where he played tennis. He holds master’s degrees in kinesiology from Michigan State University and in clinical psychology from Argosy University-Phoenix.
Scales doesn’t leave sports behind when he leaves the office. He plays tennis and golf, and feeds his artistic appetite through photography. Some of his work hangs in his office. Landscapes and still life are his favorite subjects because he can take as much time as he needs to set up the perfect shot.
“I enjoy being able to create my own art,” Scales said. “It’s amazing to be able to look at an image through a lens, determine the beauty in it and then snap.”
-- Tricia Vance