Softball?s Cruz to Represent TSU at NCAA Student-Athlete Conference
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Nashville --- Junior softball player Melanie Cruz was selected to participate in the NCAA National Student Athlete Conference in May.


The NCAA National Student-Athlete Development Conference provides NCAA student-athletes with a forum to openly discuss issues that may affect them on their campuses and in their communities, while also providing them with the opportunity to enhance their leadership, communication, decision-making and problem solving skills.


The conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. The five-day leadership conference consists of daily exercises and activities to help the student-athletes develop as individuals and as contributing members to a group.


“We submit the names of the student athletes but we don’t have a say in the selection process. The participants are selected by a board of delegates,” commented SWA Valencia Jordan. “The students have to do essays and those carry a lot of weight in the selection process.”


The other nominees were Kathy Onwu (women’s track & field), Larry Williford (football), and Gary Mays (track and field). Onwu was selected to be the alternate for Cruz.


“All of these student-athletes would have represented well”, continued Jordan. “ In terms of leadership, Melanie definitely has gone over and beyond. She is very vocal with SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee) and with the other organizations she participates in.”


Cruz, a native of Hermitage, Tennessee, is the president of LASO, the Latino American Student Organization in addition to being a member of the T. Lewis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. She is also a student representative for the NCAA Sub-Committee of Rules and Governance.


"I feel extremely privileged to be able to represent the university at the conference", commented Cruz. “I hope to bring back useful information to our athletic department and to the student athletes that can hopefully further student athlete involvement on campus and have a positive impact on the student-athletes, administrators and the TSU campus.”


Cruz will leave for the conference at the end of May.