Gadsden State Director Inducted into Alma Mater’s Sports Hall of Fame

Gadsden State Director Inducted into Alma Mater’s Sports Hall of Fame

Dr. Dana Davis, director of the Advisement Resource Center at Gadsden State Community College, has been inducted into the Martin Methodist College Sports Hall of Fame. She was formally recognized at the Homecoming basketball game along with fellow inductee Tom Thurman, a former baseball and tennis standout.

“I am thankful to Martin Methodist College and, particularly the athletic program, for providing me with the opportunities that shaped my life in very positive ways,” she said.

A 1995 alumnus of Martin Methodist College, Davis served as both student assistant and student trainer for four seasons with the women’s basketball team and three seasons with the softball team. Additionally, she spent two seasons as the trainer with the RedHawk soccer program.

“When I went to Martin as a freshman, I wasn’t really participating in anything,” said the Elkmont, Ala., native. “In high school, I was involved in athletics, the band and clubs, so I really wanted to be involved in something at the college as well.”

Davis approached the basketball coach in the school cafeteria about working with the team as a bookkeeper, a position she held in high school.

“He already had a bookkeeper so I became a student assistant focusing on providing ice bags, water, taping ankles and tending to injuries,” she said. “From there, it all blossomed – or snowballed, depending on your viewpoint.”

Davis has five years of fond memories from working with the basketball, soccer, softball and tennis teams.   “I have a lot of memories, like the time our bus broke down in March in the snow on my birthday,” she said. “I really enjoyed traveling to places I would’ve never visited otherwise.”

Davis took her first flight with the team to Arizona. She traveled to Texas for the national tennis championships. She went to Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky and all over Tennessee.

“In a funny twist, my first visit to Gadsden State was with the Martin men’s basketball team,” she said.   She also went to the National Small College Athletic Association championships her senior year, where the women’s basketball team came home with the win.

“I still wear my national championship ring to this day,” she said.

In 1995, Davis earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Services from MMC. She began her professional career in the MMC Admissions Department before joining the Gadsden State team in January 1998. She has been an advisor and counselor during her tenure at Gadsden State.

“I love the student contact that I have every day,” she said. “I love knowing I have an opportunity to help someone better their lives each and every day. It’s a huge responsibility but it’s also a gift.”  As an advisor, Davis uses a lot of the skills she learned within the athletic programs at MMC.

“I learned about discipline, responsibility and the value of teamwork,” she said. “I learned to work with people who looked different than me, who were from different towns, states and countries, and who thought differently than me.”

Davis continued her education and earned a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Jacksonville State University. In 2010, she received a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama.

Davis said she is grateful for the education and experiences she received as a MMC RedHawk.  “I often say that Martin Methodist College is the best thing that happened to me,” she said. “When I began at Martin, I was unsure. I was somewhat unsure of myself, unsure of my path and unsure of my purpose. It was at Martin that I gained a greater sense of self-confidence, found my purpose and found my voice.”

Davis said she is honored to be recognized by the MMC Sports Hall of Fame.

“Martin has been exceptionally good to me, and I hope that through my work as a student, I was able to pay some of that back to my alma mater,” she said. “So many people gave me opportunities to be successful. I took advantage of those opportunities with encouragement from a lot of wonderful people.

“I have to admit that I’m a bit embarrassed by the attention brought by being inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame, but I’m so appreciative and honored that someone thinks I did a good job. That means a lot to me.”

Dr. Dana Davis, middle, was inducted into the Martin Methodist College Sports Hall of Fame. She is pictured with, from left, Jaymi Ray, assistant director of Alumni Relations; Dr. Mark La Branche, president of MMC; Tom Thurman, fellow Hall of Fame inductee; and Edna Luna, assistant vice president of Institutional Advancement.

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