University of Southern California

Student-Athlete Academic Services

Dr. Denise Kwok

Dr. Denise Kwok has been with SAAS since August 2004. In her current role as Director of SAAS, Dr. Kwok has oversight of the staff providing academic support, academic advising, student services, personal development and career transition programming for USC Athletes in all 21 sports. The mission of SAAS is to promote student athletes’ development in their academic, personal and professional pursuits.

Prior to assuming responsibilities as the Director of SAAS, Dr. Kwok served as the Director of Athletic Academic Support where she focused specifically on supporting the academic needs of the university’s most academically at-risk student-athletes through the Directed Studies program. In this role, she leads a staff of 5 professional learning specialists, 9 assistant learning specialists, and a Postdoctoral Fellow. The goal of the Directed Studies program is to facilitate the transition of USC’s newer student-athletes into the university setting and to promote self-regulated learning behaviors among our student-athletes throughout their tenure at USC.

During Dr. Kwok’s tenure as Director of SAAS there has been a steady growth in the support provided for at-risk students. The Directed Studies program has grown to accommodate nearly 100 student-athletes from a variety of sports. In addition, the program has expanded to support students during the critical summer bridge period before their freshman Fall semester. and has been fortunate to support students with a highly regarded, empirically validated educational enrichment company. Dr. Kwok also provides screenings and referrals for psychoeducational evaluations for student athletes struggling with learning or attention, and the program provides a strong continuity with the Disability Services and Programs office at USC. Dr. Kwok works collaboratively with the Student Counseling Center and the Department of Athletic Medicine to support those student-athletes in need of mental health care and to ensure that all of USC’s student-athletes receive the most comprehensive and relevant academic support available. Further, Dr. Kwok has incorporated the use of multiple forms of technology in her staff’s work with students including tablet computers to promote diverse learning applications and has partnered with the department of athletic medicine to utilize cutting-edge technology for the neurological assessment of students athletes’ academic concerns.

Dr. Kwok also serves on the advisory board of USC’s Kortshack Center for Learning and Creativity and is a psychologist.

Denise graduated with honors from UC Berkeley, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree. She earned her M.S, Ed. and Ph.D. in Education (counseling psychology) from USC. Denise is originally from Tiburon, California and currently resides in Manhattan Beach. She is married to Dr. Roy Fu and has two young children, Madelyn and Tyler.

Contact Information:
Office: (213) 821-3075