2018 USM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to Host First Meeting of Academic Year

Join USM SAAC on Friday, September 14 at 10:00 a.m. in the ice arena classroom for its start up meeting.

Story by Christina Cracolici, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications.  

GORHAM, Maine - USM's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) will host its first meeting of the 2018-19 academic year on Friday, September 14 at 10:30 a.m. in the Ice Arena Classroom in the Costello Sports Complex.  

A student-led organization comprised of members from each of USM's 22 intercollegiate teams, Huskies' SAAC, serves as a liaison between the student-athlete body and the Department of Athletics.  SAAC meets on a bi-weekly basis to discuss issues relevant to student-athletes works to improve the USM student-athlete experience, and seeks to build a greater connection between all of the Huskies' teams and the greater Gorham Community. 

Huskies' SAAC is led by officers president Kim Howrigan, Women's Basketball (Fairfield, Vt./Bellows Free Academy), vice president Katie Howe,Women's Basketball (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown); secretary Sissy Smith, Women's Tennis (Farmingdale, ME / Gardiner Area); public relations officer John Kyte, Men's Ice Hockey (New Boston, N.H./Goffstown), and its Civic Engagement Team:  Miriam Wood, Women's Lacrosse (Wakefield, Mass.); Sarah Michaud, Women's Soccer (Candia, N.H./Manchester Central); Elise Laslavic, Women's Lacrosse (Thomaston, ME / Oceanside), and Zach Hoyle, Men's Indoor & Outdoor Track and Field (Sidney, ME/Messalonskee), and SAAC Advisor and Women's Basketball Head Coach Samantha Allen.  Interested student-athletes are invited to attend and join one of the strongest student-organizations on campus. 

"Our student-athletes are very active within the USM and surrounding communities," noted Allen.  "SAAC's success is dependent upon the hard-work and commitment of our student-athletes.  It's their dedication to fostering positive relationships with various community members, and the initiative and drive of our leadership groups past and present that have benefitted projects like our Unified Sports Program and our Community Halloween Party.  Through their involvement with SAAC, our student-athlete members learn leadership skills, and gain an understanding that they have a powerful voice on campus, which can make a significant impact in the lives of others and in the student-athlete experience." 

Nationally-recognized for its on-going and one-time community service projects and events, Huskies' SAAC has earned numerous awards since its creation in 1996, beginning with the USM's Outstanding Student Organization Award and the Josten's NADIIAA Community Service Merit Award. Huskies' SAAC received USM's Contribution to Community Service Award in 2017, earning the honor for the third consecutive academic year (2017, 2016, 2015), and was awarded a national honor from the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators in 2018 for its Mental Health Awareness events and programing.  Following its 2018 award from NADIIIAA, Huskies' SAAC has now been honored with the Josten's Community Service award on 13 separate occasions.  

Throughout the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, SAAC continued its civic engagement efforts and sponsored several events and initiatives including its popular Husky Community Halloween party that invites more than 500 children each year to campus for a safe and fun Halloween celebration at Hill Gym in Gorham, Maine.  Additionally, SAAC continued its Unified Sports Program and long-standing partnership with Maine Special Olympics, and coordinated efforts with University Counseling Services, Husky Vets and the The ROCC (Recovery Oriented Campus Center) to sponsor the Kick The Stigma Kickball Tournament to educate USM students and community members about the available resources on campus. The Kick The Stigma event was honored by the University with its Event of the Year award at its annual year-end Awards' Gala. 

Individually, two USM student-athletes and active members of the SAAC were honored at the year-end USM Student-Involvement Gala.  Recent graduate Mo Raymond, former SAAC president and member of the volleyball team, was presented with the University's Senior Husky Achievement.  Current SAAC president, Kimberly Howrigan, was recognized with the University's Outstanding Community Service Individual. 

USM's SAAC is planning several community-oriented and campus-focused events, including an International Girls/Women in Sport Day in February, Husky Day of Service – Gorham edition in April, Toys for Tots in November in addition to its Unified Sports Programming and on-going events.  

One of its most popular, and nationally regarded events, the Husky Community Halloween Party, is held each fall and is coordinated and run by all 22 intercollegiate athletic teams.  Earning NADIIIAA's Community Service honors in 2013 and 2014, the Husky Community Halloween Party is for children in grades eight and under.  This event is free of charge and will be hosted inside at Hill Gym. Family members can participate in numerous activities that are run by USM student-athletes, including hayrides, a haunted house, bounce houses, numerous games, face painting and a dance contest. The 2018 Husky Community Halloween Party is scheduled for Sunday, October 28 (3-5 p.m.)

 

2018 USM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Officers

President:

Kim Howrigan, Junior, Women's Basketball

Vice President: 

Katie Howe, Sophomore, Women's Basketball

Secretary:

Sissy Smith, Junior, Women's Tennis

Public Relations:

Johnny Kyte, Junior, Men's Ice Hockey

 

 

Civic Engagement Team

Miriam Wood, Junior, Women's Lacrosse

Elise Laslavic, Junior, Women's Lacrosse

Sarah Michaud, Junior, Women's Soccer

Zach Hoyle, Sophomore, Men's Track & Field

 

 

 

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 Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2017

USM Outstanding Contribution to Community Service Award

2018

USM Event of the Year Award 

2018

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

 

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