Emory University junior baseball player NJ Kim was chosen as a member of the Division III NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee earlier this month. Kim will be one of 24 national representatives to serve on the committee when his three-year term begins at the end of January.
Kim will be representing all of the student-athletes from the University Athletic Association (UAA) and the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) during his term. Under the membership structure of the Division III SAAC, each conference is paired with another conference and those conferences alternate representatives on the committee every three years.
"I'm excited about this opportunity," Kim said. "There's always room for improving and enriching the student-athlete experience, so I look forward to being a liaison between the UAA & CUNYAC conferences and the NCAA. I will perform to the best of my ability to solicit feedback and address student-athletes' voices. I think it's an honor and privilege to serve on this committee."
The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) represents the Division III student-athlete voice in the Division III governance structure by reviewing legislation; identifying significant student-athlete issues; implementing national student-athlete based initiatives; encouraging community outreach; and enhancing Division III student-athlete involvement in and understanding of Division III in general.
"The Emory community has invested in me and my teammates so that we have the opportunities to succeed in our academic and athletic endeavors," Kim said. "I can't express in words my appreciation for our institution. Therefore, it has become my responsibility to invest in my community and support my classmates in attaining their respective goals."
It is an opportunity that is so rare only three other UAA student-athletes have had the honor of serving on the National SAAC. Previous UAA representatives were current Carnegie Mellon Director of Athletics, Josh Centor (Brandeis University – baseball), Isaac Stein (Washington University – Tennis) and Matt Loebbaka (Carnegie Mellon – basketball).
"NJ has done a great deal for our community during his time here at Emory and his selection to the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is well earned," stated head baseball coach Mike Twardoski. "He has a genuine interest in the welfare of fellow student-athletes, and he never says no to any worthwhile cause. The only conversation I have with NJ is to make sure that he doesn't spread himself too thin. If there is someone who will have a chance to change the world, it would be NJ Kim."
From Plano, Texas, Kim is a double major in Biology and English & Creative Writing and plans to graduate in spring of 2019. During his first two years as a member of the baseball program, he has appeared in 47 games and drawn 22 starting assignments.
"I'd like to experience a new culture, and with that learn from different people," stated Kim. "Working on the implementation of policy both at conference and national level is new to me. I'm curious about how and why policies are created and what their intended outcomes are."
"The National SAAC is an important and influential committee within the Division III governance structure," stated UAA Executive Director Dick Rasmussen. "The committee members have an opportunity to represent the student-athlete voice in a significant way. NJ is a tremendous individual who, I am sure, will do an outstanding job representing Emory, the UAA, and all Division III student-athletes."