USM’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Receives National Recognition From NADIIIAA

From left to right: USM SAAC Advisor/Women's Basketball Coach Samantha Allen; Senior Monica Raymond, SAAC President (Volleyball); Junior Kimberly Howrigan, SAAC Vice President (Basketball).
From left to right: USM SAAC Advisor/Women's Basketball Coach Samantha Allen; Senior Monica Raymond, SAAC President (Volleyball); Junior Kimberly Howrigan, SAAC Vice President (Basketball).

 

GORHAM, Maine – For the 13th time in the history of the program, the University of Southern Maine Huskies' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) has been chosen for national recognition for its contributions to community service from the National Association of Division III Athletic Directors (NADIIIAA) earning honorable mention NADIIIAA/Josten's Community Service Award in the One-Time Project category.

            Established in 2001 and co-sponsored by the NADIIIAA and Jostens, the NADIIIAA/Josten's Community Service Awards are intended to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities.  The Huskies' SAAC is being recognized for its outstanding efforts in its sponsorship, direction, planning and implementation of its Active Bystander/Peer Advocacy Training initiative.   The NADIIIAA, comprised of nearly 450 institutions and 43 conferences competing at the NCAA Division III level, recognizes institutions in three service categories: One-Time Project, or Activity; An Array of Projects or Activities; and On-Going Project or Activity.  USM's SAAC, and its contribution to community service, will be recognized formally on January 20 at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.

            Winning the University's Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award the last three years (2017, 2016, 2015), USM SAAC has been recognized in all three categories by NADIIIAA since the program's inception in 2002, most recently in 2014 with honorable mention accolades for its Huskies Community Halloween Party in the On-Going Project category.  The Active Bystander/Peer Advocacy Training program was collaboration between USM SAAC, University Counseling Services and University Health Services.  The intent of the program was to facilitate an educational opportunity for students to learn about the resources available on campus, and to encourage them to recognize the early warning signs in regards to mental health. 

            "As a student-led organization that requires time and commitment out of the daily lives of our already busy student-athletes' schedules, I am excited and proud of this achievement and recognition for the members of our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee," said Samantha Allen, head coach of the Huskies' women's basketball team, and SAAC Advisor. "Our student-athletes have strengthened their commitment to not only student-athlete advocacy, but to community service.  For all of their hard work, time, and effort committed, to not only the Active Bystander Training Initiative, but to all of our service related projects, our SAAC members are deserving of national recognition.  And, as a department, USM Athletics is fortunate for such a display of strong, dedicated individuals representing the University both on and off of the field."

            Founded in 1996 with a handful of student-athletes under the direction of current Associate Director of Athletics Kim Turner, USM's SAAC began with the simple idea of making a difference in the USM community and beyond.  Comprised of student-athletes from all 22 of the Huskies' intercollegiate athletic teams, the goals of SAAC focus on improving the quality of the athletic experience for all participants, involving student-athletes in educational programming and leadership opportunities, and implementing outreach programs that support and nurture the growth and development of children in the surrounding communities. 

            "Our SAAC is an outstanding representation of our student-athlete body as a whole and the leadership they provide," said Turner.  "I am exceptionally proud of our student-athletes outstanding efforts in service to the community; Samantha's stewardship of the program has also been exceptional over the last two years.  She puts in a great deal of time and effort with our student-athletes, and works so well with this group of student leaders. Samantha and the SAAC officers – Mo Raymond and Kim Howrigan – and the entire SAAC organization are very deserving of this honor and I am appreciative of their efforts."

            Each year, USM SAAC sponsors several community-related activities, ranging from volunteerism (at the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital and Preble Street Food Pantry), to its Unified Sports Program and partnership with Maine Special Olympics.  Huskies' SAAC also sponsors fun-filled community activities including its Skate with the Huskies event at the USM Ice Arena, an its award-winning Husky Community Halloween Party. 

            "Since the creation of the SAAC program by the NCAA, USM has been a leader," said Director of Athletics Al Bean. "Under the former direction of Kim Turner, Meredith Bickford, and now led by Samantha Allen, USM's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has consistently been cited for excellence by the NADIIIAA and the University.  I will be proud, yet again, to collect USM SAAC's Josten's honor at the NCAA National Convention next week. And, while the recognition for our program is important, the work that is being done by our student-athletes is even more important because it makes a difference.  My gratitude goes out to the members of our SAAC and all of our student-athletes who give of themselves to make a difference for others." 

2017-2018 USM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Officers

President:

Mo Raymond, Senior, Volleyball

Vice President:

Kim Howrigan, Junior, Women's Basketball

Secretary:

Nicole Schmitz, Sophomore, Women's Volleyball

Public Relations:

Katie Howe, Sophomore, Women's Basketball

Civic Engagement

Mariah Garcia, Senior, Volleyball

Advisor:

Samantha Allen, Head Coach, Women's Basketball

Event Management Team:

Miriam Wood, Junior, Women's Ice Hockey

 

Sarah Michaud, Junior, Women's Soccer

 

 

 

Awards and Honors

2000-2001

 USM Outstanding Student Organization Award, Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit

2002-2003

 Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit

2003

 USM Outstanding Student Organization Award

2003-2004

 Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit

2004-2005

 Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit

2005-2006

 Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit

2006-2007

 USM Outstanding Student Organization Award, Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Award of Merit

2008

 USM Outstanding Student Organization Award, USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2009

 USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2010-2011

 Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Honorable Mention (Array of Projects Category)

2012-2013

 Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Honorable Mention (On-going Project Category)

2013-2014

 Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Honorable Mention (On-going Project Category)

2015

 USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2016

 USM's Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2017

USM's Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2018

Josten's NADIIIAA Community Service Honorable Mention (One-Time Project Category)

 

 

 

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