Northern Michigan University's Julie Rochester received the prestigious David Knight Award at the 2022 NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Association (FARA) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis. The award is presented yearly to an individual who has provided outstanding service to the organization. Rochester spent six years on the FARA Executive Committee, in capacities including D2 representative, vice president and president.
“It was a surprise presentation; totally unexpected and an honor,” Rochester said. “FARA was established years ago when the NCAA made it mandatory for all institutions to have a faculty rep, but didn't offer guidance on what their functions should be. FARA was intended to give faculty reps a voice and help them figure out their role as part of the mandatory leadership team. It has become more organized over the years. The executive committee organizes an annual symposium with programming and also works to develop resources for those who serve in that position at their campuses.”
In 2006-2007, Rochester was appointed as NMU's faculty athletics representative and chair of the NMU Athletic Council. She had to relinquish the FAR role earlier this year when she accepted a new assignment as senior athletics adviser.
“Faculty reps are supposed to be independent of athletics, so they had to find someone else to take my place for the year,” Rochester said. “Carol Johnson from Business is filling that role for now. The best part of my new position has been connecting with the student athletes and being a resource for them. I provide general oversight of athletics and focus on academics, student well-being and safety, and institutional control.”
A Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference news release on Rochester's award described her as “a staunch student-athlete advocate and GLIAC ambassador.” She is a tenured professor of athletic training in NMU's School of Health and Human Performance, director of the athletic training education program, and former director of athletic training services at the university. She previously worked in the NMU Athletics Department as a staff athletic trainer with primary service to football and men's and women's basketball from 1990-1997.
Rochester served 8 years (2 years as chair) as a member of the NCAA D2 Committee on Infractions. She is a member of the GLIAC & CCHA Management Council. She was selected to participate in the 2008 NCAA Division II Faculty Athletics Representative Fellowship program in Indianapolis, and was then nominated and selected to participate in the NCAA Division II Faculty Athletics Representatives Advance Leadership Institute in October 2011. A year later, she was a member of the steering committee for these leadership institutes.
Rochester was elected as a Division II representative to the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative Association (FARA), and later served the association in high leadership as president-elect, president and past-president.
For the past five years, she served as a member of the NCAA Division II Management Council, with liaison and subcommittee roles for the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport (CSMAS), and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representatives Association. She also currently serves on the NCAA Drug Test Appeals Committee.
An NMU alumna, Rochester earned a master's degree in exercise science in 1995. She also holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Phoenix in 2009.
The NCAA FARA award honors David Knight, longtime faculty athletics representative at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a driving force behind the establishment of FARA.