Four NEWMAC Student-Athletes Attend 2019 NCAA Convention

Four NEWMAC Student-Athletes Attend 2019 NCAA Convention

ORLANDO, Fla. - Four student-athletes from the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) attended the 2019 NCAA Convention in Orlando, Fla. last week. Mount Holyoke College senior Zahkeyah Allen, Smith College junior Abigal Edwards, and Springfield College junior Shamar Martin were three of 40 student-athletes selected to the 2019 NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program in conjunction with the national convention, while Mount Holyoke College sophomore Ireland Clare Kennedy attended as the National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) NEWMAC Associate Member. All four students had a full agenda during the convention and were able to attend workshops, NEWMAC events, and division-wide forums to gain experience and insight into the Division III structure and governance process. 

What They Said About the 2019 NCAA Convention: 

Abigal Edwards, Women's Lacrosse, Smith College: 

"Attending the national NCAA convention was an incredible and transformative experience. The connections I've made, the dedicated individuals I've met, and the crucial conversations I've had the opportunity to participate in have reaffirmed my commitment to Division III athletics and the NEWMAC specifically."

Shamar Martin, Football, Springfield College: 

"I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to have attended the 2019 NCAA Convention through the Division III Student Immersion Program. Throughout my time at the convention I received extensive DiSC training, was exposed to the Division III governance process, and networked with a number of administrators and fellow student-athletes from across the country. I really enjoyed learning about the upcoming five-year strategic plan for women's basketball and discussing my experience as a NEWMAC student-athlete during the conference meeting. I am proud to have represented Springfield College and the NEWMAC at 2019 NCAA Convention." 

Zahkeyah Allen, Women's Basketball, Mount Holyoke College: 

"The NCAA Convention and DIII Student Immersion Program was excellent. All participants entered the business week with confidence and poise as we navigated the business sessions and the anxiety of networking. It was astonishing to be present in the change we wanted to see as we witnessed the collaborative efforts of 'Game Changers' advocating for changes that would increase opportunities for minorities: women and ethnic. Most importantly, we derived a longstanding and supportive family as we proudly upheld the motto: 'You belong here and I support you!'"
Ireland Clare Kennedy, Women's Basketball, Mount Holyoke College: 

"Coming to the NCAA 2019 Convention in Orlando, Fla. was so much more than an amazing opportunity. In the months leading up to convention, I was nominated, elected and announced as the National SAAC Associate Representative for the NEWMAC. Being in this new process meant myself and other associate members were the drivers of change - implementing and facilitating new connections that foster closer relationships between our partner conferences, creating cohesion between large portions of the country. Convention was busy and exhausting, but this only expresses the tireless efforts and collaboration from the NCAA to ensure the voice of students is heard across all divisions. Overall, I am incredibly humbled and honored to be in the presence of so many accomplished student athletes who came before me, and the people supporting them who made this all possible. I couldn't be prouder to represent the NEWMAC, and was reminded in my final meeting with the conference just how lucky we are to have such a supportive conference that fosters all the students which make up such an elite level of higher education and athletics."

The New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference consists of 11 highly selective institutions committed to academic excellence: Babson College, Clark University, U.S Coast Guard Academy, Emerson College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Springfield College, Wellesley College, Wheaton College, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.