JP Abercrumbie (Staff)

JP Abercrumbie, pictured in an office in front of a whiteboard.

As a linguistics major and athlete at Temple University, JP Abercrumbie had hopes of becoming a speech pathologist. She received her masters from the University of California at Berkeley. But while there, she decided to take her love for sport and communication and blend them to study the culture of sports and education.

Abercrumbie said her own experiences as a student-athlete, as well as her love of campus involvement, led her on the path to her current role as Mississippi State Assistant Athletic Director for Life Skills and Community Engagement.

As a track-and-field and cross-country athlete, she learned how to discipline herself and was a 4-year letter winner during her collegiate career.

“I didn’t go into being a student-athlete thinking that I could ever work in athletics,” Abercrumbie said. “Professionally, I thought it was just the coach and the athlete.”

She then realized there is much more to an athletics department than what meets the eye. Experiences working with other universities and professional sports teams allowed her to see the importance of work behind the scenes.

At MSU, Abercrumbie is responsible for the personal and leadership development programs, professional and postgraduate preparation, and community outreach and engagement opportunities supported by the Athletic Department’s Pay It Forward initiative.

During her first year at MSU, she participated in an event with the Career Center called “The Rivals Retreat,” which hosted individuals from all over the SEC for a networking and professional development forum. 

“I love working in a conference that has such rich rivalries,” she said.

“To see the rivalries grow-- as well as the comradery-- is great because you do not get that at many places,” Abercrumbie said.

At the end of the day, Abercrumbie says her most important job is to be available for students. It’s all about connecting with individuals and helping them reach their full potential. Her goal is to make sure that student-athletes excel off the field, and she wants them to be ready for the day when there are no more coaches or practices.

Abercrumbie said she enjoys her job because she can help people find themselves and discover the journey that is best for them.

“Help me help you,” Abercrumbie said. “My job and my goal is to help you coach yourself toward personal prosperity.”