Kayla Self ’21, a member of the women’s volleyball team, recently attended the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 2019 convention in Orlando, Fla. The NCAA is a member-led organization dedicated to the well-being and lifelong success of college athletes. Hamilton is a member of the NCAA’s Division III.
Self, who was nominated to attend by Associate Director of Athletics Miriam Merrill, took part in the DIII Student Immersion Program at the conference. The program, begun in 2015, brings 40 ethnic minority students to the NCAA Convention. The selected students are fully funded to attend, and they are exposed to Division III, its members, and its governance process.
Hometown: Mukilteo, Washington
High school: Kamiak High School
In addition to the scheduled Division III programming, grant recipients receive DiSC (Diversity and Inclusion Sports Consortium) training, and attend welcome and debrief meetings. The goal is to build a pipeline of talented ethnic minority candidates, with an interest in Division III coaching and/or administration, in an effort to ultimately diversify the division.
“I‘m very grateful for the exposure I received to NCAA governance and procedure, as well as meeting a group of inspiring individuals that will pioneer positive changes in college athletics,” said Self. “Miriam is truly an example in the field and it was amazing to accompany her at the conference and represent Hamilton as well as NESCAC.”
Self said she was impressed with “the support NCAA gave us as well as the willingness of people, from chancellors of universities to new professionals, to help us find our way through the industry.” She said the students each got a lower and higher level mentor for the program with whom they will remain in contact.
“Not only did I learn more about careers and governance in NCAA, and network with the professionals,” Self said, “but I also learned more about myself. With DiSC and other self-exploring activities, I explored more about my leadership capacity and strengths and how I can contribute to a more inclusive NCAA.”