Penn State Abington's Litz & Penn College's Sinnott Elected as NEAC SAAC Officers for 2019-20

Penn State Abington's Litz & Penn College's Sinnott Elected as NEAC SAAC Officers for 2019-20

LATHAM, N.Y. – Mike Litz and Gillian Sinnott have been elected to be the NEAC SAAC officers for the 2019-20 academic year.

NEAC SAAC representatives and advisors traveled to Scranton, Pa., on September 28 and 29 to participate in student-athlete development sessions and conduct annual business. The meeting included a presentation from Justin McKenzie of Hope Happens Here about mental health and being a student-athlete as well as a team-building exercise at Electric City Escape with a pair of escape rooms. The group also discussed new NCAA legislation, and how NEAC SAAC can continue to move forward.

"I'd like to congratulate Mike Litz and Gillian Sinnott on their selection as our 2019-20 NEAC SAAC Chair and Vice-Chair", said NEAC Interim Commissioner Stephanie Dutton. "Over the last two years, Mike has shown tremendous growth as a leader of this group and as a member of Division III SAAC. Mike's dedication and enthusiasm will continue to be invaluable as he begins his third year as the NEAC SAAC Chair. I also look forward to working with Gillian in her new role. As a sophomore, it shows true initiative to volunteer to serve in a leadership role, and I am eager to see how she will help our group continue to evolve."

Along with the general business session, NEAC SAAC elected its chair and vice-chair positions for 2019-20. Litz will serve as the NEAC SAAC Chair again this year. Sinnott is the new NEAC SAAC Vice-Chair.

Litz, a senior on the Abington men's tennis team, also serves as a member of Division III National SAAC and on the NEAC Strategic Planning Committee.

"NEAC SAAC made some amazing strides last year, both in our vision for what the group can accomplish and in overall participation. I'm incredibly honored to lead NEAC SAAC once more during this exciting period of growth", said Litz.

Sinnott, who is a sophomore on the softball team at Penn College, embarks on her first year serving SAAC in a leadership position. She will assist in the coordination of SAAC meetings and initiatives while also serving as a student-athlete representative on a variety of NEAC committees.

Sinnott said, "I have been encouraged by coaches to seek leadership opportunities away from the field. I can't think of a better opportunity than being able to give back into what I have loved for many years."

Both Litz and Sinnott are eager to develop and expand NEAC SAAC this year.

Litz added, "My goal for the group is that several potential initiatives can develop into truly conference-wide efforts. As more institutions get involved, we maximize the impact that we can have through both our campus SAACs and conference SAAC."

"I plan to take an honest approach when solving problems and expanding this program to the best of my ability," continued Sinnott.

For the team-building exercise, the SAAC group was split into two teams for the escape rooms on Saturday night after the presentation.

"The escape room was a ton of fun, despite our team needing almost every possible hint," added Litz. "The team building activity Saturday night was a very accurate representation of great minds being put together to accomplish a goal. It was a truly perfect non-traditional team-building exercise," stated Sutton.

NEAC SAAC will focus on its first Mental Health Initiative, placing green pinwheels on their respective campuses on World Mental Health Day. World Mental Health Day is next Thursday, October 10. The representatives helped assemble the pinwheels during the retreat for institutions to take back to campus.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has 12 NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Morrisville State, Penn College, Penn State Abington, Penn State Berks, Penn State Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Poly, and Wells College. Associate members are: Alfred State (M Lacrosse), Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), College of Saint Elizabeth (M Tennis & M Volleyball), D’Youville College (W Lacrosse), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse), Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf), SUNY Potsdam (M Volleyball) and Wilson College (M Volleyball). The NEAC has also partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sport of men’s tennis and women’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.