SEC launches academic network to promote 12 member institutions

(Birmingham, Ala., Aug. 24, 2009) - The 12 institutions of the Southeastern Conference institutions have joined together in the launch of the SEC Academic Network, a website ( designed to promote the academic programs of SEC universities.  The SEC Academic Network is being established by the SEC in partnership with ESPN and the member universities.

The Academic Network, developed using technology and coordination from ESPN Digital Media and Origin Digital, will feature content from every institution ranging from research, innovation and economic development to community partnerships, civic engagement and service.

"Our commitment to highlight the accomplishments of SEC member institution's academic programs was a key component of our new television agreements," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.  "We are grateful to ESPN for providing the technology, expertise and tools they use in sports media to our institutions in support of academic pursuits."

Each institution has its own page on the website that includes videos categorized by topic.  Alumni, fans and students worldwide will have the ability to learn more about SEC academics in one place through video features that are posted by the league institutions.

"This network will provide our 12 institutions with the ability to create and distribute academic and other non‑athletic programming throughout the world on a regular and full‑time basis," said Slive.

Some of the topics from each SEC institution include:

Alabama - UA Students Lead Projects in the Black Belt:  Honors College students in the University Fellows Experience reach out to rural Alabama through a variety of community-focused programs in the Black Belt region.

Arkansas - Virtual Hampson Museum:  A small, secluded museum discovers a way to expose the world to its rare and fragile collection of Native American History.

Auburn - Uganda FISH Project:  Empowering people to build a sustainable way of life.

Florida - Origins of Gatorade:  Creating the most famous sports drink in the world.

Georgia - Profile of Professor Charles Atwood:  Recipient of the 2009 Meigs Award, UGA's highest teaching honor.

Kentucky - Toyota Manufacturing Collaboration:  The people who may be perfecting the paint on your car are actually students at the University of Kentucky.

LSU - LSU and Hunan University:  A partnership between LSU students and China's Hunan University to design a hotel within a cultural park in Hunan Province.

Ole Miss - The language of business:  The University of Mississippi's School of Accountancy continues to place 100% of its graduates.

Mississippi State - Challenge X Team:  Student design team leads nation in next generation of fuel efficient vehicles

South Carolina - "Cocky's Reading Express":  South Carolina's students and staff join mascot Cocky to improve literacy among schoolchildren

Tennessee -The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis:   NIMBioS brings hundreds of top scientists to Knoxville each year to apply cutting-edge thinking to major issues in biology, from the spread of animal disease to the impact of pollution.

Vanderbilt - Creating the Bionic Arm of the Future:  A revolutionary research program aimed at creating more life-like prosthetics for the thousands of amputees in this country.

The Academic Network is a component of the SEC's 15-year television package with ESPN, which is the most comprehensive in the history of intercollegiate athletics. Also part of ESPN's commitment to SEC academic programs is the production of an annual Campus Connection telecast at each SEC institution, in which students take part in the production; telecasts of two programs annually dedicated to the academic accomplishments of SEC student-athletes; a weekly academic feature segment on ESPNU's SEC show; and selection of one undergraduate student from every SEC institution to participate in ESPN's summer internship program.

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