If you take one look inside Dr. SaBrina White’s office, it’s clear that she cares about the student-athletes at San Diego State.
Dozens of pictures cover the walls and sit atop the desks, displaying many of the former student-athletes that she has worked with since she became an academic advisor at SDSU in 2000.
Look a little closer, however, and it’s clear that they care about her as well.
“You do it all, thanks for your help,” wrote former Aztec and current New York Jets wide receiver Chaz Schilens on an autographed photo.
Kirk Morrison, Kassim Osgood and several other Aztecs in the NFL have done the same, giving White a signed photo and thanking her for helping them.
These gestures are what inspire White to come to work every day. Now in her 18th year as an academic advisor (she spent six years at Utah State), she has seen student-athletes go from thinking they would never graduate to eventually receiving their diploma.
“Sometimes when they come in, they don’t think they can do it,” White said. “Then they come in years later and say look at what we did. It means a lot when they give me credit, but I always feel that they did themselves.”
As the assistant director of academic services and an academic advisor, White is always making sure her student-athletes are staying on top of their schoolwork. She helps them pick their classes, keeps them organized throughout the semester, and closely monitors their academic progress.
On top of her academic advising, White also coordinates community service projects for the student-athletes. She says her favorite project has been the adopt-a-family event, where student-athletes team together and give Christmas gifts to under-privileged families.
Maybe the most impressive thing about White’s time at SDSU is that while helping student-athletes with their academics, she was still working on her own.
White received her master’s and doctoral degree in educational leadership from SDSU in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Her doctorate degree didn’t come easy, either, as she authored a 132-page dissertation titled “Transfer Shock and the Student-Athlete.”
“I was going through the trenches at the same time,” White said. “I was studying late, I was here in study hall too. I was working on my own stuff while helping them do theirs.”
Over the past 12 years, White has been a very important part of the success of SDSU athletics, and for that reason she is this week’s Wednesday Warrior.