By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Willamette University women's swimmer Mikayla Costello (So., Nipomo, CA/Nipomo HS) has been chosen as a member of the NCAA Division III National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Costello will attend the NCAA Convention in January, 2018 as a guest, and will serve on the NCAA Division III National SAAC over the next three years. She will attend the NCAA Convention as a National SAAC member in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Costello, who is a freestyle swimmer for the Bearcats, is the secretary of the Willamette Student-Athlete Advistory Committee. She will represent the Northwest Conference (NWC) and the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) on the NCAA Division III National SAAC. There are 24 members on the current NCAA Division III National SAAC.
"As her SAAC advisor, I'm extremely proud to have one of our SAAC members on the National SAAC," Willamette Head Swimming Coach Leslie Shevlin said. "As her swimming coach, I know that we are very, very lucky to have such an outstanding leader on our team. We know this is a really big deal, and our whole team is excited for Mikayla."
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on each college campus is a liaison between student-athletes and both the athletics department and the college or university administration. The Willamette SAAC is active in organizing and promoting community service activities, fund-raising for charity, and creating fun events for students and athletes. In addition, the SAAC provides a way for student-athletes to work with the athletic department staff and the university to provide special events, bring in motivational speakers, or involve multiple teams in the same community project. At Willamette, the SAAC sponsors the annual career night for Bearcat student-athletes.
At the national level, Costello and other SAAC representatives will have the opportunity to be heard by the NCAA regarding issues that impact student-athletes across the country. The National SAAC also maintains and organizes the partnership between NCAA Division III and the Special Olympics.