College of Science lecturer learns more about football than just X’s and O’s
Pope was selected as part of the Guest Professor Program put on by the P.A.W. Journey. Headed by Jeff Davis, P.A.W. Journey works to develop Clemson Football players to be successful in every avenue of life, focusing on personal growth, life skills and personal development.
Each fall, Clemson faculty members are invited to travel with the football team to take part in a game weekend experience, allowing them a glimpse into the routine of a student athlete. The faculty are nominated by football players with whom they have developed professional relationships.
Pope was nominated by player No. 52, Austin Spence, a former student in one of Pope’s physics classes. During the weekend, Pope was able to sit in on meetings, eat with the players, and even participate in the night-before-the-game ritual – going to the movies.
“The Louisville football game was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” Pope said. “It was inspiring to see over 100 young men focusing, preparing, and giving their all in that moment in their life.”
Pope said the experience has helped her to appreciate her students “a little bit more.”
“I had the chance to listen in on Coach Venables’ team meeting before the game. While I understood every word he uttered, strung together I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. Perhaps this is the way my students feel after my lecture.”
Pope graduated from Clemson with her Ph.D. in physics. She now is a senior lecturer of physics and astronomy.