By Amy Wimmer Schwarb
New student leaders for all three divisions were elected this month at the NCAA Convention.
The new officers of each division’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committees took their posts the same week the NCAA celebrated the 25th anniversary of SAAC – and at a time when Association leaders are considering the importance of the student-athlete voice in setting NCAA rules and policy. Particularly in Division I, where members are considering new a new model for setting rules and policy, the student-athlete voice will be critical in the coming months.
“As I head into this year, the question that sticks out to me is, ‘How do we increase our impact within the NCAA and to the public?” said Kendall Spencer, the newly elected Division I SAAC chair and a student-athlete who participates in men’s track at the University of New Mexico. “We represent thousands of student-athletes.”
At the Convention, which took place in San Diego earlier this month, Division I SAAC members stated that they want a vote at a high level within the new Division I structure, whatever form that structure might take. Currently, that SAAC has a non-voting representative on the Legislative Council and the Leadership Council, as well as all of the division’s cabinets.
Spencer, originally from San Mateo, Calif., is majoring in psychology and business and plans to pursue a doctorate. He was the NCAA national champion in indoor track long jump in 2012 and is also training for the 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The new SAAC leaders will hold their offices until the next NCAA Convention in January 2015.
Other Division I National SAAC officers elected are:
- Dustin Page, vice chair, Northern Illinois University, men’s soccer.
- Devon Tabata, vice chair, Duquesne University, women’s soccer.
The Division II National SAAC officers are:
- Bradley Maldonado, chair, Lincoln Memorial University, men’s cross country.
- Spencer Dodd, vice chair, St. Martin’s University, baseball.
- Brynn Seidenstricker, internal operations, Shippensburg University, field hockey.
- John Galanoudis, external communications, Molloy College, baseball.
The Division III National SAAC officers are:
- Chelsea Shoemaker, chair, Rochester Institute of Technology, softball.
- Amanda Ingersoll, vice chair, Stevens Institution of Technology, lacrosse.
- Audrey Hester, Management Council representative, Randolph-Macon College, field hockey.
- Jaime Salcedo, Management Council representative, Medaille College, men’s soccer.