FAIRBORN — Wright State volleyball middle blockers Megan Hopkins and Alannah Lemming are officers for the athletic department’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is dedicated to improving the WSU program and community outreach.
The senior Hopkins is responsible for overseeing SAAC and making sure everything is running smoothly as president. She also heads monthly meetings and works closely with the other officers.
Lemming, a junior, has the role of keeping the student-athletes up to date during the SAAC meetings on what is happening around the University, such as WSU athletic events as she serves as the Director of Athletic Programming and Events.
Hopkins and Lemming agreed that SAAC events contribute to building a stronger bond amongst WSU teams.
For Lemming, a sports swap with golf last year was a prime example.
“It was amazing to meet them and teach them what we do. They taught us how to golf,” Lemming said. “Now we’re really good friends.”
The combined efforts of the teams at community service events exemplified it for Hopkins.
“That creates a relationship with other people outside of your team,” Hopkins said. “You feel the chemistry and the vibe that’s going on at those events.”
The athletic department staff is also present at each SAAC meeting. Lemming says this speaks to the level of support they get.
“We get to sit down, talk and figure out if there is anything that needs to be brought up about student-athletes,” Lemming said. “It’s really nice that everybody is so personable. I’ve learned how much they value us.”
“I learned that we as student-athletes have a bigger voice than we think,” Hopkins said. “The people here really care about what we think and what our opinions are.”
An important part of being an SAAC officer is juggling the responsibilities of the organization along with academics and sports. Lemming mentioned that after volleyball blocking practices last season, she would go directly to meetings. Hopkins said the time management helps her figure out what her priorities are.
The motto of the WSU program is PSA, which stands for person first, student second and athlete third. Hopkins says she has grown in all three areas as an SAAC officer, including being a better captain for her team.
Last year, SAAC did much of its philanthropic work with the Special Olympics. This included assisting with a dance and a bowling tournament.
“Seeing how happy everyone was there was an amazing feeling,” Hopkins said.
WSU volleyball coach Susan Clements said the leadership that Hopkins and Lemming are demonstrating reflects what she hopes to instill in her players.
“As coaches, we do our best to teach our student-athletes about servant leadership to others and how incredibly lucky these young women are to have an opportunity to be a Division I student-athlete,” Clements said. “Being active in the community allows for our student-athletes to see how they can make a difference in someone’s life or even make their day a bit brighter. Megan and Alannah, as our SAAC representatives, take the lead in organizing those opportunities for our program.”
Hopkins and Lemming feel they made the right choice in becoming a part of SAAC when they were freshmen.
“I went into it with an open mind and wasn’t sure what it was. I love being a part of it,” Lemming said.
“I’m very honored to be President this year, and I can’t wait to get going with all of the things that we have in store,” Hopkins said.
Story courtesy of Alan Hieber and Wright State University Athletics
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