Dr. J Lin Dawson


(Atlanta) – Clark Atlanta University Athletic Director J Lin Dawson has had many titles in his career – professional football player, athletic director, consultant, minister, even drummer.
But it’s his newest one that he has become most proud of – doctor.
Dawson completed the doctoral program at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., this past summer and earned a doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership.
“The Regent doctoral program taught me how to be a thought leader in the field and how to ‘influence and strengthen organizations,'” Dawson said. “This rigorous program provided the skills to conduct empirical research, apply innovative and practical solutions, and to anticipate change and provide impactful and strategic initiatives.
“Being called doctor is surreal,” Dawson said. “Since beginning this program, I have not used the term ‘doctor’ lightly. I appreciate being part of the academy. So, being called doctor feels different. Every time I am called doctor ushers me back to countless hours reading, researching, writing, and dialogues regarding relevant leadership theories and applications.”
The former North Carolina State Wolfpack and New England Patriots football star has been an athletic administrator for more than twenty-three years following a ten-year playing career with the Patriots. He has been recognized by The White House, NACADA, National Consortium for Academics and Sports, the Anti-Defamation League among others, for his work on diversity and inclusion, conflict resolution, teambuilding, and student-athlete development.
Along with his myriad duties as head of Clark Atlanta’s 11-sport, Division II historically black university athletic department, Dawson worked diligently on his doctoral degree during the last four years. Dawson could be spotted many late evenings and weekends in the Robert W. Woodruff Atlanta University Center Library doing his own classwork and research.
“I think the doctoral program is about consistency and perseverance,” he said. “It’s also about one’s quest to become an expert in a particular field of study. My goal is to become a Christian scholar in the field of organizational leadership.”
Occasionally, Dawson teaches courses in the School of Business Administration at Clark Atlanta University. During the fall semester, he taught an MBA course entitled Sports Marketing and Entertainment. “I try and give my students real time knowledge by having them interact with sport and entertainment industry leaders,” he said. “It has been a joy connecting the dots for my students as they meet senior executives, deal makers, and managers with boots on the ground. Atlanta is a hotbed for music, movies, and professional sports.”
Dawson enjoys serving the student-athletes and staff at Clark Atlanta University as the Director of Athletics. Tremendous strides have been made during the last four years in: a) facilities enhancements; b) gender equity initiatives; c) increased number of scholar-athletes; d) corporate partnerships; and e) and a high percentage of student-athletes graduating and/or achieving 3.0 grade point averages. When his athletic administration career concludes, his desire is to teach full-time and delve more into his research. For more about Clark Atlanta athletics, go to www.clarkatlantasports.com.


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About Clark Atlanta University
Established in 1988 by the consolidation of Atlanta University (1865) and Clark College (1869), Clark Atlanta University (CAU) is one of the Nation’s foremost research institutions, offering students from around the United States and several foreign countries the opportunity to engage in 38 exciting areas of study at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. Located in the historic heart of Atlanta, one of the world’s great international cities, CAU’s nearly 4,000 students enjoy access to academic and co-curricular experiences, from forensic debate, to on-air broadcasting, to cancer research with world-renowned investigators. From the arts to zoology, CAU combines nearly 300 years of tradition with a solid focus on academic excellence to produce leaders who will shape the future of the global community. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit www.cau.edu.


Press release supplied by Add Seymour. 

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