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Athletes off the Field: Two SUNYAC student-athletes selected for NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program

Athletes off the Field: Two SUNYAC student-athletes selected for NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Potsdam senior volleyball player Brianna Rodda and Oneonta sophomore tennis player Mya Lipscomb are the two student-athletes within the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) that have been selected for the NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program. 

The program was created for ethnic minority candidates who have a desire to work in athletic administration. Rodda, Lipscomb and the other selected students are fully funded to attend the NCAA Convention, and they are exposed to Division III, its members and its governance process. In addition to the scheduled Division III programming, grant recipients receive DiSC training, and attend welcome and debrief meetings. The goal is to build a pipeline of talented ethnic minority candidates, with an interest in Division III coaching and/or administration, in an effort to ultimately diversify the division.

Rodda, a two-time Bears captain and business administration major, set Potsdam's all-time record for assists this season, finishing with 3,537. Over her four-year career, Rodda also amassed 1,076 digs, 177 service aces, 152 kills and 52 blocks. In 2018, she was fourth in the league with 931 assists, helping to guide her team back to the SUNYAC Playoffs.

"I am truly humbled and excited for this opportunity to attend the NCAA Convention," said Rodda. "I think diversity and inclusion are values that are essential for success in collegiate athletics. Given my athletic experience and business background, I would love to coach at the collegiate level or work the administrative side of things in Division III in the future, and I believe that this opportunity can help me get there."

Lipscomb, a business economics major, won an impressive number of her singles and doubles matches this season for Oneonta. She played an instrumental role in helping the Red Dragons tennis program make it to the SUNYAC tournament this year, while making it to the championship match for the first time in program history.

"I am able to uncover hidden aspects of the athletic headquarters that I would have never been aware of without hearing of the program," Lipscomb shared. "It's a very good opportunity to network and mingle and explore the ideas of athletics. I also hope to gain friendships that will carry me through college."

Both Lipscomb and Rodda will attend the 2019 NCAA Convention in Orlando from Jan. 23-26.

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