Andy Goellner, a senior from Denver, Colo., was recognized as “Student of the Block” for the fourth academic block at Tusculum College.
The Student of the Block Award recognizes Goellner for his excellence in the classroom, his extracurricular work with local businesses and his leadership on campus and as part of the athletic program. He was presented the honor during a ceremony in the Living Room of the Niswonger Commons, where a plaque recognizing his accomplishments will be displayed. The Office of Student Affairs established the award to recognize students for their academic achievement, leadership on campus and contributions to the college community.
Goellner is a triple major, studying business management, accounting and sport management. Coming to Tusculum as a recruit for the men’s soccer team, his dedication to his academics and his sport have made an impact felt beyond the field and classroom.
“Andy is so deserving of the Student of the Block award,” said Dr. Michelle Freeman, assistant professor of business administration, in her nomination of Goellner. “He approaches every task given to him with 150 percent enthusiasm, and he has more self-motivation than 99 percent of the students I have ever had the privilege of teaching. Andy is much more than a wonderful academic student. His morals and overall zeal for life are evident in any conversation one has with him. He seeks to engage others, and he loves the opportunity to help bring others to his level. He motivates them without them knowing what he is doing.
“He is always a leader in a team project, but a leader who listens to other points of view and comes up with a truly collaborative solution. He consistently looks for the opportunities out there to advance him in his goals.”
Dom Donnelly, assistant athletic director for media relations, also nominated Goellner for the honor. “It has been my esteemed honor in knowing Andy these past five years,” he wrote in his nomination. “He is one of the most well-rounded students I have been associated with in my 13 years at Tusculum. He has been the recipient of honors from the Tennessee Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education. His community service activism has been exemplary.”
Goellner has been listed on the college’s athletic honor lists throughout his Tusculum career and was named the South Atlantic Conference 2012 Athlete of the Year for men’s soccer for his achievements in athletics, academics and service. Goellner started for three years as goalkeeper for the soccer team and served as captain each of those years. Last year, he was named to the Sports Launch “Thirty Under 30″ list of young professionals in the field of sports management, recognizing college students and young professionals under the age of 30 who epitomize one or more of the attributes within the sports industry: hard work, innovation, creativity, leadership and entrepreneurship.
A founding member of the “Help Me Help You” program that provides students an opportunity to assist small businesses in the community, Goellner is also involved in the college’s Center for Economic Development and Entrepreneurship, which has been established to expand services to businesses. “These programs have been a major part of my Tusculum College experience over the past couple of years, and I have taken a great deal out of helping all of the participating small businesses,” he said.
Goellner is also a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society, the Bonner Leader student service program and the Tusculum Business Club. He served as an academic tutor and has been a teaching assistant for Dr. Dale Gibson, professor of physical education, for the past three years.
Dr. Gibson is one of the faculty and staff members that Goellner helped motivate and encourage him to succeed. Goellner says his experience as a teaching assistant has allowed him to gain an “amazing insight into the sports world, as well as gain experience in administrative duties involved in running an education department.”
Dr. Freeman and Craig Wright, a former faculty member in the School of Business, are also noted by Goellner as professors who have made a significant impact on his academic career.
He is also appreciative of the opportunities that he has been given by Donnelly to work in athletics. During his sophomore year, Goellner worked at baseball games helping with the scoreboard and music and since that time has worked in many different aspects of athletics. “He has given me responsibilities during game operations not usually given to students, and I am very thankful for the opportunities and experience it has allowed me to gain.”
There are three accomplishments in which Goellner takes pride. One is his success in playing soccer, not only at Tusculum, but also time he spent with a semi-professional team in Mississippi and a professional team in Colorado. Another is his academic success, finishing his undergraduate work with three majors and a 3.75 grade point average. The third involves his community engagement and service.
“I am very proud of how well the ‘Help Me Help You’ program has taken off at Tusculum College and expanded into a career center,” he said. He recalled the time he spent with a specific business. “Together with another student, Jordan Ottinger (Newport, Tenn.), we were able to develop and implement an entire accounting management system, which includes cost tracking, pricing, invoicing and billing, over a spring break period,” he said. “The business was in desperate need of an easy system to use that accomplished these tasks and it has allowed their business to take off over the past year.”
Graduating in May, Goellner has ambitions to work for a few years to gain valuable on-the-job experience and then attend Stanford University or an Ivy League institution to obtain his Master of Business Administration. His ultimate goal is to be the president, general manager or chief executive officer of a major professional sports team or a Fortune 500 sports-related company.
A home-schooled student, Andy is the son of Craig and Jan Goellner and a sibling to Matt, an architecture major at Judson University, and Jessie, a fashion and business major at Harding University.