Two chosen to attend student-athlete leadership conference

by Tim LoneStaff Writer

Junior soccer players Corey Miller and Erin Vinnedge attended the NCAA Division III Student-Athlete Leadership Conference in Chicago Jan. 23-25 through the CHAMPS/Life Skills Program.

Miller and Vinnedge were chosen by Simpson coaches and administrators to attend the conference. The purpose of sending student-athletes to the conference was to help them develop their leadership, bring back ideas that would help improve the environment for student-athletes and create a positive change on the campus as a whole.

Tyler Erwin, NCAA Life Skills/CHAMPS-Academic Liaison, commented on what it means to be able to send student-athletes from Simpson to such a prestigious conference.

“It’s a great opportunity for them to be there, just for their development,” Erwin said. “Interacting with some other schools, some other student-athletes and administrators, it’s more of a professional development for them, and an opportunity to see what else is out there. So I think that was a great opportunity for them.”

Miller talked about his experience at the conference and discussed some of the positive things he brought away from the experience.

“It just made you aware of the different types of leadership styles and different types of personalities that you have to deal with through any interaction with the teams or groups or even in the workplace,” Miller said. “No matter what type of leadership style you have or what type of personality you are, bringing it all together is what makes a good team.”

Vinnedge made similar comments, talking about learning how to work and collaborate with people that have different leadership styles. Vinnedge added that one of the things she liked about the conference was the opportunity to work with athletes from different schools.

“I liked the general way in which the conference was set up where we were split into small groups and met different athletes from schools all over,” Vinnedge said. “I liked that the conference was very hands-on and activity-oriented.”

Miller also mentioned part of the action plan he and Vinnedge came up with to help get the word out about all the positive things Simpson’s student-athletes are doing in the community.

“Me and Erin’s idea was to expand on the Simpson College athletic Web site because everybody knows at Simpson we have a ton of community service but nobody ever knows about it,” Miller said. “So what we want to do is implement a community service link and put up pictures, stories and make sure everybody’s aware of all the community service we want to do.”

Vinnedge made similar comments to Miller’s and added that their action plan aims to get Simpson athletic teams even more involved with community service projects.

“It would be great to showcase some of the community work that the teams do and hopefully with our naturally-competitive nature as athletes, other teams will participate in more community service projects,” Vinnedge said.

Vinnedge made further comments on what their action plan hopes to accomplish in the future and how this plan will try to improve the lives of student-athletes all over campus.

“The goal is to promote community service as well as help with the recruitment of incoming freshmen to better the retention at Simpson,” Vinnedge said. “We have a lot of planning and kinks to work out yet.”

Erwin said the conference was a great opportunity for Miller and Vinnedge to interact with student-athletes from other schools and bring some new ideas back to Simpson.

“It’s a way for Corey and Erin to bring something back from the conference,” Erwin said. “What other schools or institutions or student-athletes are doing on other campuses, and bring those ideas and energies back here to Simpson in ways that we can be better and ways that we can suit our student-athletes.”