Spartan student-athletes at USC Upstate have always taken pride in their annual efforts to raise funds for cancer charities across the nation.  However, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) this past year decided that they would rather make a difference in their own local community so they could have first-hand knowledge of the impact their efforts were making.

The Upstate Department of Athletics initiated a partnership with Gibbs Cancer Center at Spartanburg Regional that would bring those fundraising efforts local.  “We were excited to get to know the people at Gibbs Cancer Center better and let them know we were working hard for their center and their patients,” says Mike Meissner, Upstate track student-athlete and SAAC vice president.  “I was more motivated in fundraising knowing that I’ll be helping someone in our local community.”

This partnership has proved fruitful for both Gibbs and the Upstate Spartans.  The department raised over $4,500 this year for the local center’s Special Needs Fund in order to assist patients who need treatment but cannot afford the costs.  “When we toured Gibbs last fall and heard from the administrators and staff that they never turn patients away, we knew that this was the place where we could make a difference” Meissner added.  Mike Kennedy, Director of Gift Planning at the Spartanburg Regional Foundation, also values the relationship.  “The student-athletes at USC Upstate are really making a difference for cancer patients in our community with this gift.  The Gibbs Cancer Center and Spartanburg Regional Foundation are very proud to be the recipient of their fundraising efforts and we look forward to our continued partnership.”

The Spartans hosted various events throughout the year to raise funds like an annual pancake breakfast at Fatz Café in Boiling Springs, a PinkZone event in conjunction with women’s basketball, and the women’s soccer team held their first annual Kickin’ It for Cancer event that contributed over $2,000 toward the cause.

As a result of their efforts, the Spartans garnered first place in the Atlantic Sun Conference SAAC fundraising competition, an accomplishment they had worked toward the past few years.  Each A-Sun institution chooses a charitable cause for the fundraising competition and the Spartans beat out Mercer University, the competition winner the previous three years, and ETSU who placed third.

“In the A-Sun we pride ourselves on ‘Building Winners for Life’ and we know our student-athletes are making a difference on their campuses and in their communities by opening up their hearts and minds while participating in these various projects,” said Atlantic Sun Senior Associate Commissioner Sherri Booker. “We are very proud of the student-athletes at USC Upstate for their efforts and congratulate them on a well deserved victory.”

On Wednesday afternoon, a check was presented to Ms. Betty Montgomery and Dr. Shelia Breitweiser at the Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s Cancer Division Board meeting.  “I couldn’t be more complimentary of our student-athletes and their efforts in serving our local community,” said USC Upstate Chancellor Dr. John Stockwell.  “They are true ambassadors of our university’s metropolitan mission and their work to support Gibbs Cancer Center at Spartanburg Regional makes our entire Spartan community proud.”

~This article is from South Carolina Up

By Katie Carew

Student-athletes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, do more than just participate in their sports. Giving back to the community is a huge priority.  The Pepsi Good Works Challenge is a competition between all ten schools in the MAAC.  When athletic teams give back to the community, they submit proof of their efforts to the MAAC to gain points for the challenge.  According to the rules, schools will earn 1 point for every hour that 1 volunteer has worked.  The winning institution at the end of the spring semester will win $1,000 from Pepsi to give to whatever charity the institution chooses.

The MAAC hopes that by creating this program more student-athletes would be more likely to give back to the community.  For some members of the MAAC, they said it’s a great way for smaller schools to be recognized in something other than athletics.  Here are some things that the MAAC institutions’ are doing: St. Peter’s University boxed food at a local food bank; Canisius College volunteered with Habitat for Humanity remodeling a house; Iona College sponsored Breast Cancer Awareness Week on their campus by selling raffles tickets and bracelets to raise money for the cause.  Also, Rider University volunteered at the Special Olympics Bowling Competition.  There are many more! If you want to check them out, go to  So far there have been over 190 submissions from the MAAC institutions displaying good work in the community.

 At my institution, Siena College, our SAAC wanted to do something special for National Student-Athlete Day, to celebrate with all athletics teams, and the surrounding community.  We decided to host a Student-Athlete Talent Show to raise money for the Special Olympics.  Each varsity team was represented on stage throughout the night performing acts anywhere from piano playing to a glow stick light show.  Everyone had a great laugh, and we raised about $850 for the Special Olympics!  But we brought that tally up to $1,000 after Siena SAAC’s First Annual Easter Egg Hunt.  Siena SAAC invited children up to age 12 to campus for an afternoon of fun.  Children took part in the egg hunt, as well as, egg and spoon races, and other activities.  The children, parents, and student-athletes all enjoyed the afternoon together. 

It’s really important that we remember to help those around us.  The surrounding communities of our institutions give our athletics teams support.  Every now and then it’s nice to do something for those people.  And giving back to the community doesn’t have to be in the form of a check, but it can be in the form of laughter and friendship.  I hope this gives you ideas for you and your school to help give back to your community! 

Koroshetz Receives Colgate’s Most Prestigious Award May 19, 2011 By margo Leave a Comment By Gloria Nantulya, Athletic Communications Assistant

(Hamilton, NY – May 16, 2011) Former women’s soccer standout and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) vice president, Kiki Koroshetz (Norwalk, Conn.), was presented with the 1819 Award at the senior awards convocation on Saturday (May 14) morning.

The award is the most selective and prestigious the university gives to a graduating senior. President Jeffrey Herbst presented her with the award.

“Kiki’s positive energy and passion for learning was evident from the first time I met her,” stated head women’s soccer coach Kathy Brawn. “Her unassuming, selfless nature, combined with her ability to excel in all facets of life, made everyone and everything around her better. I was so genuinely pleased when Kiki decided to come to Colgate and am now so proud and happy to call her a Raider women’s soccer alum.”

The 2010 Women’s Soccer Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year was the second women’s soccer player to win the 1819 award. The first was Courtney Hostetler who won it in 2004.

Koroshetz, who had a cumulative GPA of 3.90, was an English major with a minor in psychology. She started in all 17 games for the Raiders this past season and was a solid part of the team’s defense during her time with the program.

The Connecticut native has received numerous academic and athletic awards over the years, including the Thomas M. Wilson ’67 Memorial Endowed Leadership Award for Athletics and the Lasher Prize for English from the university’s Convocation Awards Program. Koroshetz also received the Spencer Colwell ’41 Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund, was named to the 2009 ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, and has been a member of the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll and the Raider Academic Honor Roll every semester since her freshman year.

Currently, Kiki is working as an assistant editor at Hyperion Publishing in New York City.

Article From:

HAMPTON, Va. -- For the past two years, Hampton University’s
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Department of
Athletics have been proud to host P.L.A.Y. (Pirates Leading Area
Youth) Day on campus. Hampton University’s student-athletes understand
that in order to compete at the collegiate level, well-trained
athletes must hold academics, as well as respect for one’s athletic
program and community, to a higher standard.

This year’s P.L.A.Y. Day was held on Friday, April 8.

P.L.A.Y. Day allows for student-athletes to interact with youth from
the community, specifically from Girls, Inc. of the Greater Peninsula
and the Boys Leadership Academy. These children are given the
opportunity to show their athletic ability, learn about different
sports, and most importantly the chance to have fun.

“P.L.A.Y. Day was a wonderful for way for the kids to engage in the
activities Hampton offered,” Tiya Ravens, program director for Girls,
inc., said. “The partnership between a university and a nonprofit
organization is very unique.”

P.L.A.Y. Day activities included bowling, golf, tennis, cheerleading,
basketball, volleyball, kickball, football, track & field and
softball.  Each child received the opportunity to participate in three
of the above activities.

 “SAAC loves to give back to the community who supports us,” Dyrri
McCain, SAAC president, said.

P.L.A.Y. Day is held in honor of and in the loving memory of the late
Theo Smalling, a former basketball player and honorary graduate of
Hampton University.  As a member of SAAC, Smalling served on the
Community Service Committee and wanted to ensure that student-athletes
gave back to the cities of Hampton and Newport News.

For more information on Hampton University athletics, please call the
Office of Sports Information at (757) 727-5811, or visit the official
Pirates website at

Written By: MEAC Media Relations         Release: 02/09/2011

The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) conducted their annual two-day workshop on February 6_7, 2011 at the Sheraton Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Virginia. SAAC representatives from all 13 MEAC institutions were in attendance.The workshop began with icebreakers and group leadership activities led by Quintin Wright, Assistant Director of Championships and Compliance and the liaison to MEAC SAAC. Their MEAC NCAA representative, Carvell Copeland (NCAT) shared his experience from the NCAA National SAAC Convention, as well as important topics that were emphasized at the convention.

Focusing on campus SAAC updates from the student athletes, leadership empowerment activities led by compliance interns Sade' Kirby and Annitra Cole, the SAAC members were able to collaborate with each other for a common goal. The activity the "Tallest Tower" focused on the importance of collaboration and communication. Assistant Director of Corporate Partnerships and Media Relations Nicole Mitchell was also on hand to direct the student athletes in a leadership activity. Mitchell implemented a leadership exercise to help the student athletes realize their own leadership potential through a game called "I AM". Each student filled out a worksheet that asked statements about themselves that helped them realize their own potential.

After a day of workshops and discussions, the MEAC SAAC traveled to Laser Tag in Virginia Beach, followed by a Super Bowl party at the new MEAC conference office.

On Monday, February 7, 2011, the workshop concluded with the MEAC SAAC establishing the MEAC SAAC agenda for the 2011-12 academic year. 

The day followed with the group participating in community service at the Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia in Norfolk, by lending a hand in sorting donated food items.

The two-day workshop ended with final remarks from SAAC liaison Quintin Wright. "This MEAC SAAC conference was an opportunity for our student athletes to come out and empower themselves, and by doing so it made our in-person meeting successful and worthwhile. I expect nothing but the best for years to come."


By Lauren Chapman
Within the last year, the Northeast Conference has added a new SAAC liaison and Director of Compliance. However, it seems that our conference SAAC is continuing to move in a positive direction, even with all of this change. We are trying to increase knowledge and communication of our group through media, as well as creating a newsletter to send out to all schools in the conference. These positive improvements will continue to get better as time progresses.

            Also for the second year, we held a conference wide “penny wars” to raise money for the Cancer Recover Foundation. The foundation raises money and buys toys for children suffering from cancer. Each institution made up teams to compete.  At my institution, Fairleigh Dickinson University, we made the teams, boys versus girls. Other institutions set up competition between each athletics team, or students and faculty.

More than just a competition within each institution, but also between each institution in the conference to see which institution could raise the most money.  This year, our conference raised significantly more money than the last year, with a total of $3,270.48.  

We delivered the check to the Cancer Recovery Foundation, at our annual spring SAAC meeting in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It brought overwhelming happiness to the owner of the foundation.  It’s a great organization that puts smiles on children’s faces in such a difficult in during their lives. In addition to presenting the check, we also went to their warehouse and packed boxes of toys for almost three hours. The toys we packed went to over 2,000 children all over the country. It’s fair to say that after the community service project we all felt empowered.

            Unfortunately, this was my last conference SAAC meeting. My term on National SAAC will be ending in June. We will have a new Northeast Conference representative by July. I’ve truly enjoyed this experience, and I am thankful for the chance I was given to make a difference in my conference and in Division I.  One of the greatest lessons this experience has taught me is to take advantage of the opportunities that are given to you, and anyone can make a difference, no matter how big or small your voice is.