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NAIA Announces Selection of Members to the Association of Student-Athletes

April 28, 2016

By Angela Crawford, Manager of Marketing and Communications, NAIA

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The NAIA National Office announced today the selection of 18 new representatives to the Association of Student-Athletes (ASA), the NAIA’s student-advocacy arm in its governance structure.

In addition, during their in-person business meeting at the NAIA’s 75th National Convention in Kansas City April 15-19, the current representatives to the ASA elected Tyler Lucas, a junior cross country runner at IU Kokomo, as the 2016-17 chair and Jessica Chase, a junior volleyball player at Vanguard (Calif.), as the 2016-17 vice chair. Lucas and Chase officially take office on June 1 when the new members of the ASA begin their two-year terms.

“It’s a great organization and a great association to be a part of,” Tevin Hopkins, current ASA Chair and senior track athlete from St. Francis (Ill.), said. “I really wish I didn’t have to leave after graduation, but I know that the ASA is in great hands with Tyler and Jessica.”

Members of the ASA were selected from a pool of nominees forwarded to the National Office by each conference and the Association of Independent Institutions (A.I.I.). The make-up of the ASA requires that each conference and each NAIA championship sport have at least one representative.

“The ASA accomplished a lot in its first year, and we hope to accomplish even more next year,” Lucas said. “But to do that, I’m going to need the help of all the ASA representatives, so I want to work on fostering a productive relationship with each member of the group and then work together to facilitate better communication with all student-athletes in the NAIA.”

Lucas will also serve as the co-chair on the Council for Student-Athletes (CSA). In total, 11 representatives from the ASA will serve on the CSA, including the four ASA officers and an additional seven at-large representatives.

The CSA evaluates and creates policy related to student-athlete health and well-being, whereas, the ASA is able to discuss any issue of importance to the student-athletes. During its first year, the ASA took positions on topics such as five seasons of eligibility, drug testing and education, graduate student eligibility, the formation of conference student-athlete advocacy groups, and more.

The student-athletes sponsored one piece of legislation at the 2016 national convention and co-sponsored another four proposals, all of which passed. The students hope to take an even more active role in proposing student-centric policies going forward.

During their April business meeting, the student representatives to the ASA voted to sponsor legislation at the 2017 national convention that would move the cross country national championships to a Thursday. Additionally, they took steps to continue discussions regarding the adoption of a national cause for the NAIA and policies that would more easily allow NAIA student-athletes to continue collegiate competition during graduate school.

“The perspectives of current and future student-athletes must be central to all our efforts if we are to provide a meaningful foundation for the NAIA’s future,” Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO, said. “These young people represent not only our present, but our future and will help us determine the path of success. We need to involve them in the development and delivery of innovative ideas and approaches and do that on issues that are important to them.”

2016-2017 ASA Members*

First Name Last Name School Conference Sport Type of Rep Term
Taylor Abraham York College (Neb.) KCAC Volleyball Conf Rep 2018
Josh Beams IU Southeast KIAC Baseball At Large 2018
Austin Blaue Ottawa (Kan.) KCAC Men’s Golf At Large 2017
Sidney Bosley Concordia (Mich.) WHAC Women’s Indoor Track & Field At Large 2017
Joseph Caldwell Dillard (La.) GCAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Conf Rep 2018
Jessica Chase Vanguard (Calif.) GSAC Volleyball Conf Rep 2017
Connor Clements Georgia Gwinnett A.I.I. Men’s Tennis Conf Rep 2017
Sal Cordova Purdue Calumet (Ind.) CCAC Men’s Cross Country Conf Rep 2018
Taylor Cowan MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) Heart Volleyball Conf Rep 2017
Olivia Darley Truett-McConnell (Ga.) AAC Softball Conf Rep 2017
Ben DeSaulnier Southern Oregon Cascade DII Men’s Basketball At Large 2018
Hassan Doghman Michigan-Dearborn WHAC DII Men’s Basketball Conf Rep 2018
Danielle Ducklow Viterbo (Wis.) North Star Women’s Golf At Large 2018
Sammantha Fajardo UC Merced Cal-Pac Women’s Cross Country Conf Rep 2017
Molly Fitzpatrick Grace (Ind.) Crossroads Women’s Tennis Conf Rep 2018
Caroline Goodin Oklahoma City SAC Women’s Golf At Large 2017
BJ Groskreutz Northwestern (Iowa) GPAC Wrestling Conf Rep 2017
Brett Hodges William Woods (Mo.) AMC Men’s soccer Conf Rep 2017
Heidi Huebner Viterbo (Wis.) North Star DII Women’s Basketball Conf Rep 2018
Aaron Laflin UC Merced Cal-Pac DI Men’s Basketball At Large 2018
Joshua Lay Bethel (Tenn.) Mid-South Men’s Swimming & Diving Conf Rep 2017
JT Linder Carroll (Mont.) Frontier Football Conf Rep 2017
Tressa Linson Lyon (Ark.) AMC DI Women’s Basketball At Large 2018
Tyler Lucas IU Kokomo KIAC Men’s Cross Country Conf Rep 2017
Hannah Massey Southwest (N.M.) RRAC Volleyball Conf Rep 2017
Taylor McClanahan Central Christian (Kan.) A.I.I. Competitive Cheer Conf Rep 2018
Abbie-Leigh Meneses UC Merced Cal-Pac Women’s Soccer At Large 2018
Michelle Murch St. Thomas (Fla.) The Sun Softball Conf Rep 2018
Sasha Newman Dillard (La.) GCAC Women’s Outdoor Track & Field At Large 2018
Dana Noel Oklahoma City SAC Competitive Dance Conf Rep 2018
Madison Osterlund Thomas (Ga.) The Sun Women’s Swimming & Diving At Large 2017
Hector Romero Wayland Baptist (Texas) SAC Baseball At Large 2018
Deshawn Ruffin Dalton State (Ga.) SSAC DI Men’s Basketball Conf Rep 2018
Chad Smurthwaite Warner Pacific (Ore.) Cascade Men’s Cross Country Conf Rep 2017
An'Jolique Woodson Southwest (N.M.) RRAC DI Women’s Basketball At Large 2018

*Nominations for a representative of Men’s Indoor Track had not been received at the time of this release.