RALEIGH, N.C. - The Meredith College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) selected the slate of officers for the 2013-2014 academic year. After a two-year commitment as SAAC President, graduating senior softball player Sara Cranford passed her post to rising junior soccer member Megan Amanatides.
During each of the past two spring semesters, Amanatides coordinated the Meredith Service Day, which has become an annual tradition for the Avenging Angels. Athletics Director Jackie Myers and her staff strive to make community service a focus for each team within the athletics program. Coaches and student-athletes partner together for an annual team service project as well.
Serving alongside Amanatides will be rising senior tennis standout Puja Patel as vice-president, and Ila Torfin will serve as the group's fundraising chair and treasurer. Ashley Green returns for her second term as the publicity chair.
The NCAA adopted the first association-wide SAAC in 1989 in order to offer a voice to student-athletes with regard to legislation and activities affecting the student-athlete experience. Since the NCAA federated into three divisions in 1997, SAAC expanded into division-specific groups. The NCAA mandates each member institution and conference sponsor a SAAC.
Meredith's committee is comprised of at least two representatives from each of the seven intercollegiate teams sponsored by the college. The group meets regularly to coordinate student-athlete service projects and activities to promote an interconnectedness between teams. In addition to projects specific to the Avenging Angels, Meredith's SAAC participates in and supports the efforts of the USA South group.
The USA South SAAC sponsors two annual service campaigns -- "Cans Across the Conference" and Pennies for a Purpose." School SAACs collect non-perishable food items during the fall semester to be donated to a local organization just prior to Thanksgiving. In the spring committees sponsor creative activities to collect loose change, and donate the gift to a local charity.
In the spirit of competition, both of these conference service projects culminate in an annual award presented to the school leading the collection efforts. The Meredith Avenging Angels earned the 2012 "Pennies for a Purpose" Championship, and donated their gift to the Raleigh chapter of Special Olympics in partnership with the conference and NCAA national effort.