Richmond, VA - The College of William and Mary played host to the 2012 Colonial Athletic Association Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Leadership Summit on November 4 & 5. The CAA SAAC is a committee comprised of two student-athletes from each of the CAA's 11 member institutions and assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. The group also offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes' lives. The theme for this year's summit was "Values and Personal Branding".

The summit kicked off on Sunday at the Williamsburg Hospitality House with a Diversity Workshop presented by Leslie Barnes, Assistant Director of Athletics for Student Welfare at Duke University. During the workshop students got to share a little about their personal background as well as stressing to student-athletes the importance of understanding and being open-minded when it comes to the topic of diversity. Following that presentation, the group headed across the street to the William & Mary Alumni House for dinner followed by the Values and Personal Branding Workshop conducted by Barnes. CAA SAAC representatives and advisors learned about accessing the values that are important in their lives, as well as, determining the values that are projected as important by one's actions.

On Monday the student-athletes met with CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager to discuss a variety of Hot Topics including relationship building across sports on campus, social networking and new media, proposed NCAA legislation and the effects it will have on the student-athlete experience and the Student-Athlete Assistance Fund. Towson's Kate Williams, the CAA representative on the national SAAC and field hockey student-athlete, spoke to the group about her committee's efforts and national issues. The campus SAAC advisors also discussed their Hot Topics including sharing of ideas for speakers, funding sources for life skills programs, community service activities, the CAA Blood Challenge, LGBT Education and anti-bullying initiatives, career programming initiatives and more.

The group discussed the idea of implementing a conference-wide food drive, in which the SAAC representatives from James Madison University presented an action plan for this initiative. This spring term project, in addition to the annual fall term CAA Blood Challenge, would provide another way for CAA members to use friendly competition to benefit their communities. A presentation was also shared with the group about the student-athlete website - - allowing the participating student-athletes to share information, provide ideas and give feedback.

The Summit concluded with the group showing interest in continuing communication with one another regarding campus SAAC activities as well as professional development opportunities that will be posted on "" website.

Participants at the summit included:

Sarah Slotoroff, University of Delaware - Women's Rowing

Erle Ladson, University of Delaware - Football
Amanda Santandrea, Drexel University - Women's Lacrosse
Garth Mahosky, Drexel University - Wrestling
Madison Beumer, George Mason University - Women's Rowing
Taylor Sargent, George Mason University - Men's Tennis
Briana Pitre, Georgia State University - Women's Soccer
Thomas Cook, Georgia State University - Men's Tennis
Nicole Osovski, Hofstra University - Softball
Ari Richman, Hofstra University - Men's Tennis
Ruxandra Andriescu, James Madison University - Women's Tennis
Marquis Woodyard, James Madison University - Football
Marlee Cadwell, UNCW - Women's Cross Country
Ryan Kelly, UNCW - Men's Track
Beth Cobby, Northeastern University - Field Hockey
Derrico Peck, Northeastern University - Men's Basketball
Shelby Davis, Old Dominion University - Women's Lacrosse
Jason Haigh, Old Dominion University - Men's Swimming & Diving
Kate Williams, Towson University - Field Hockey
John Horner, Towson University - Men's Lacrosse
Heather McDonald, College of William & Mary - Women's Lacrosse
Matt Rum, College of William & Mary - Men's Basketball

SAAC Advisors included:

Rachel Fineberg, University of Delaware

Rachel Guererra, Drexel University
Resa Lovelace, George Mason University
Jessica Summey, Georgia State University
James Lally, Hofstra University
Tiffany Hall, James Madison University
Heather Magill, UNCW
Justin Bell, Northeastern University
M.L. Morgan, Old Dominion University
Marjorie Tversky, Towson University
Deidre Connelly, College of William & Mary