Erin Holaday

By

College: Social Work

UK Social Work Student Takes One More Lap

Published: Aug 22, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 22, 2011) — University of Kentucky social work senior and distance runner Josh Nadzam is no stranger to adversity.

 

Raised by a single mother battling a chronic mental illness, Nadzam credits athletics and great coaches with keeping him out of trouble as a child.

 

Senior year in high school, Nadzam lost his best friend in a car accident, coming back from Spring Break at the beach. The small community of Monaca, Pa. was devastated and so was the town's premier athlete.

 

After graduation, Nadzam was looking for a way out of a self-described dysfunctional single-parent home in the projects outside of Pittsburgh.

 

While sports had always provided strong and steady support for the basketball and football player, at the end of Nadzam's high school tenure, he found his true path sophomore year on the track. And that path has changed his life.

 

photo of Josh Nadzam running
Running is a year-round sport for athletes like UK social work senior Josh Nadzam. "You really just have to believe in yourself and have confidence," Nadzam said. "Don't give in. Always keep your eyes focused and stay committed. One more lap. One more mile."

 

"In high school, when we'd run the mile, I never really got tired," he explained. "Some of my friends told the new track coach about it, and that kind of got me into the sport."

 

When Nadzam began looking at colleges, he was good, but not that good.

 

"I didn't get a lot of recruiting from big schools because my times weren't that great," he said. "I'd had limited training but still did pretty well in my local area, so I wanted to try a larger school far away."

 

Nadzam contacted coaches at Division I schools, including UK, by email. "UK gave me a chance when no one else would," said Nadzam, who walked on for the Wildcats as a 4:21 miler.

 

"My first impression was, he was eager and excited about the possibilities," UK cross country coach Don Weber told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "He just seemed really excited to be here and really eager for things to work out. And by working out, meaning that we'd give him a chance to be a track athlete here."

 

"He [Coach Weber] has had national champions, SEC champions, Olympians," Nadzam said, "so for him to give an opportunity as just a no-name walk-on — that meant the world to me."

 

Nadzam went on to earn a partial scholarship, become a Southeastern Conference point-scorer and an SEC Academic Honor Roll member, all while lowering his time in the mile to 4:05.

 

 "My coaches have really helped me to succeed," Nadzam said humbly. "I am surrounded by great mentors and advisers."

 

Nadzam also found a nonathletic passion in UK's College of Social Work. A regular volunteer for God's Pantry, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Hope Center, Catholic Action Center and a vacation Bible school, Nadzam is a two-time CATSPY recipient as UK’s male Service Award honoree.

 

Nadzam was appointed to the SEC Community Service team for the second year in a row after conducting a shoe drive at UK last spring in conjunction with Soles for Souls, a nonprofit organization that helps distribute all types of shoes to underprivileged countries around the world. Nadzam and teammate Luis Orta were able to collect 2,000 pairs of shoes over the course of a month.

 

Social work and track have a lot in common for Nadzam. "Running is not a pretty sport, and social work isn't a pretty profession," he said. "They are both passions that require dedication and a realization of the intrinsic value of what you're doing."

 

Last year, Nadzam received the Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award, an honor presented annually to student-athletes who have overcome adversity and tragedy.

 

"The Wilma Rudolph award was really a moment of triumph and clarity," said Nadzam. "I can tell my story now. I still have problems, but now I am beyond happy."

 

And so the quiet and hard-working competitor continues in the trenches this fall, keeping up his rigorous pace — a pace most of us would find impossible to maintain — finishing his homework on buses and in airports and still finding time to keep in touch with family back home.

 

Running is a year-round sport, starting with cross country and continuing with indoor and then outdoor track —all in the midst of social work practicums, tests and nonprofit work.

 

"You really just have to believe in yourself and have confidence," Nadzam said. "Don't give in. Always keep your eyes focused and stay committed. One more lap. One more mile."

 

Nadzam knows that poverty can wear you down. He understands struggle and continues to talk to his mother every couple of days.

 

"Every time I get an award, it's a reflection on her and my grandmother," Nadzam said. "They define selfless love. My mom raised me as a single mom with a disease and did everything she could."

 

With one season of cross country eligibility remaining, Nadzam plans to begin work next fall on a master’s degree in social work.

 

 

josh_shoes.jpgrunning.jpgsocial_work.jpg
March
1
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
2
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Resume & Cover Letters that Work
Mon
3
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Grad Salute
2nd Annual UK Work-Life Summer Camps Fair
UK Elder Care Lunch & Learn - Keeping Your Brain Healthy
Successful Networking & Job Search
Guest Lecture
Documentary Screening: "Forgotten Wars, Forgotten Victims"
Bangladeshi Garment Worker Speak Out
A Reading by Nic Brown
CatWatch Party #3
Tue
4
LNFS Presents: The Mighty Ducks
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Grad Salute
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Art Therapy Table
OUTspoken with J Mase III
CANCELED: Appalachian Forum with Crystal Wilkinson entitled: Birds of Opulence: Black Women, Madness, and Resilience in Appalachia
Wed
5
LNFS Presents: Typeface
LNFS Presents: Space Jam
Grad Salute
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Food for Hope
Thu
6
LNFS Presents: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
LNFS Presents: Pokémon: The First Movie
Cultural Coffee Hour
Grad Salute
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Japan Today
Fri
7
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Karnival Around The World
Graduate & Professional School Prep:KAPLAN Free Practice Test for MCAT and LSAT
PharmD Open House
Sat
8
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
9
Midterm of 2015 Spring Semester
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
GUEST LECTURE
Appalachian Forum with Rebecca Klenk, Topic: Global Uttarakhand: Development, Neoliberalism and Social Justice in Himalayan India
Ballroom Thieves
Mon
10
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Job Club: Staying Positive During A Job Search
Massage on the Go #2
Tue
11
LNFS Presents: Only Lovers Left Alive
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Jin Shin Jyutsu Self-Help Class
Leadership Assessment
#TrendingTopics: Immunization
True Songs
Wed
12
LNFS Presents: Into the Woods
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Free Spring Break Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
LNFS Presents: Waiting for 'Superman'
Thu
13
LNFS Presents: Vertigo
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Free Spring Break Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
LNFS Presents: Trainspotting
Fri
14
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
15
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
16
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Mon
17
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Tue
18
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wed
19
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Thu
20
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Plating Design Demonstration with Dan Wu
Fri
21
Spring 2015 Spring Vacation
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
22
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sun
23
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
"Thrive: The Kentucky Wine Tradition" Documentary Screening
Mon
24
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Job Club: A Snapshot of the Central Kentucky Labor Market
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 3 p.m.
Kentucky Teacher's Network Career Fair
Tue
25
LNFS Presents: Rear Window
Wildcat Wellness: Meditation
Internship Info Session
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Brazilian Conversation Hour
Healthy Smoothie Demonstration
Cultural Diversity Festival: Ten Thousand Villages
Virtual Dementia Tour
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 1 p.m.
Healthy Smoothie Demonstration
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 2 p.m.
Career & Major Exploration Session @ 3 p.m.
Barred for Life: A Conversation on Mass Incarceration
Women of the World: Rosario Dawson
Wed
26
LNFS Presents: The Imitation Game
LNFS Presents: Blade Runner
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Wildcat Wellness: Healthy Habits
Student & Employer Mixer
Young Artists Exhibit Reception
Thu
27
LNFS Presents: Psycho
LNFS Presents: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
Cultural Coffee Hour
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
UK Woman's Club Craft and Bake Sale
Northeast Florida’s Late Archaic Mortuary Mounds: Memory, Community, and Environment.
Fri
28
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Sat
29
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
Lion King Trip
The Voice of Lexington Chinese Singing Competetion
Sun
30
Wildcat Wellness: Expressions (Creative Stress Relief)
Mon
31
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation
Tanya Habjouqa: Recent Photographs
Edward Troye: Theme & Variation
Same Difference: Michelle Grabner, Simone Leigh & Russell Maltz
Lexington Tattoo Project
A Reading by Jim Gavin
Tue
 
 
 
 
Mar 31
Wildcat Wellness: Relaxation 03/31/2015

Wed, 04/01/2015

Repeats every week until Thu Apr 30 2015 except Wed Mar 18 2015.
Wed, 04/01/2015

Repeats every week until Wed May 06 2015 except Wed Mar 18 2015.
Wed, 04/01/2015

Repeats every day on January, February, March, April every Tuesday and every Wednesday and every Thursday and every Friday and every Saturday and on the first Sunday until Sun Apr 12 2015 except Mon Jan 12 2015, Mon Jan 26 2015, Mon Feb 02 2015, Mon Feb 09 2015, Mon Feb 16 2015, Mon Feb 23 2015, Mon Mar 02 2015, Mon Mar 09 2015, Mon Mar 16 2015, Mon Mar 23 2015, Mon Mar 30 2015, Mon Apr 06 2015.
Wed, 04/01/2015

Reset Page