NEAC SAAC Representatives Reflect on NCAA Convention Trip

NEAC SAAC Representatives Reflect on NCAA Convention Trip

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – After returning from a week full of unique opportunities, five student-athletes from the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) recently reflected upon their experiences at the 2019 NCAA Convention in Orlando, Fla.

Representing the NEAC on this year’s trip were Daniel Sparkowski (Morrisville State), Devon Sanders (Penn College), Maura Farley (College of Saint Elizabeth) and Sharon Castillo (Gallaudet University). Throughout the week, NEAC student-athletes attended leadership development workshops, mingled with NCAA award recipients, participated in NCAA SAAC events and witnessed how the NCAA Division III voting process is conducted. NEAC SAAC representatives also had a chance to sit in on conference meetings and network with individuals from all levels of intercollegiate athletics. 

Prior to their departure from warmer weather, each student-athlete representative took some time to share their experiences from the week. Interviews with each attendee can be viewed on the NEAC Sports YouTube Channel.

NEAC Commissioner Candice Murray remains dedicated to bringing student-athletes from member institutions to the NCAA Convention, recognizing the value the trip can provide in preparing them for their future careers.

“One of my favorite parts of the NCAA Convention is to bring young aspiring administrators to experience such an important week for college athletics,” Murray shared. “Our student-athletes are always able to attend a variety of valuable events and begin to build a network that will help them down the road.”

In addition to the four student-athletes that traveled with the conference office, NEAC SAAC Chair Mike Litz from Penn State Abington also attended this year's convention. Litz is beginning his three-year term as a National Division III SAAC representative for the NEAC and the North Atlantic Conference (NAC). Litz takes over the National SAAC representative role from Johnson State's Nicole Monnick. 

"I was amazed by the energy and passion that everyone at the NCAA Convention had," Litz noted. "Everyone I met was there with the goal of learning how to improve their institutions, conferences, and collegiate athletics as a whole. I learned so much from student-athletes and administrators from all across the nation, and I'm already looking forward to next year's convention. I'm looking forward to having a voice at the national level on behalf of Penn State Abington and the NEAC in improving the Division III experience for student-athletes."

Murray continues to be impressed each year with the dedication and potential shown by NEAC student-athlete representative who attend the annual convention.

“This year’s group was so engaged and truly enjoyed all aspects of the convention,” Murray added. “It is my hope that in 10 years, I will get a chance to see them again at convention as Division III administrators building upon the experience that began in Orlando."

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of Saint Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, and Wells College. Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and with the Colonial State Athletic Conference in the sport of Field Hockey. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.