AUSTINTOWN, Ohio - For Heidelberg University senior Andy Lovins (Clinton Township, MI/Lake Shore), the Ohio Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Month, life as a two-sport collegiate student-athlete is great preparation for a career in federal law enforcement.
“I’ve always been interested in an active career field like law enforcement,” said Lovins, a criminal justice major with a 3.6 GPA. “The skills I’ve honed as a student-athlete will help me find jobs after I graduate.”
“CIA or Secret Service aren't going to look at Andy's stats for technical falls or tackles for loss, but they will definitely see his teamwork and leadership,” said Tom Newcomb, professor of criminal justice and political science at Heidelberg.
If anyone knows about what characteristics the CIA wants, it’s Newcomb. The bowtie-clad professor retired as a special assistant to the President for National Security Affairs in 2005, following a career as an undercover CIA officer and Chief of Station at five CIA stations in Europe and Africa.
“Professor Newcomb has helped guide me to where I want to go,” said Lovins, a 2011 national qualifier in wrestling and a starting linebacker in football. “He’s not preaching to us out of a book. He shares his life experiences to help prepare his students for what they might encounter.”
And, while Lovins is quick to praise his mentor, Newcomb speaks highly of his pupil.
“Andy is a natural leader in the classroom as he is on the field or around campus; he will bring that effectiveness with other people into a federal career and it will do much to help him succeed,” said Newcomb. “But what impresses me about Andy, even beyond his leadership ability, is his measured and balanced perspective on issues and problems that arise in class.”
Newcomb’s classes are participatory, rather than lecture-based. He conducts simulations from exercises gleaned from his experience with the CIA.
“Andy listens to others before he speaks and stays focused on the merits of an issue or on the problem to be solved,” said the professor. “Such traits suggest to me that Andy could do well in the feds, either in operations or in analysis and policy-making.”
Lovins, who is a two-time National Wrestling Coaches Association Academic All-American, has spent every semester on the Dean’s List.
He is currently pursuing an internship with a local drug enforcement task force. If he is selected for the internship, it will be yet another responsibility for Lovins to deftly balance.
“On his teams, in class and around this campus, Andy demonstrates the best of what our university expects of our students as athletes and as citizens,” said Newcomb.