EKU Graduate Student Selected for NCAA Student-Athlete Engagement Program

EKU Diversity Office

More than 470 higher education and intercollegiate athletic leaders and student-athletes joined the NCAA office of inclusion in Indianapolis at the JW Marriott for the seventh annual NCAA Inclusion Forum April 14-16.   Marcella Rocha, former EKU Women’s Basketball player was one of 30 student-athletes chosen to attend the forum.

During the three days, the participants selected sessions to attend that would focus on topics related to research, LGBTQ inclusion, policy, race/ethnicity, women/gender equity, disability and international students. Marcella said, “These sessions were amazing and helped me understand the issues we face in athletics and on campus, such as prejudice and inequality among men and women, Black/African Americans and Whites.  Also, it was an eye opener for how we, as student-athletes, can use athletics as a platform to bring awareness and understanding among students on campus.”

On Saturday, the student-athletes’ workshop focused on leadership activities. Student-athletes presented on a current issue on their campus. The presentation included a message to increase awareness, what mechanisms they would use to deliver the message, and why they had chosen that specific issue. Marcella’s group talked about gender inequalities and how both genders should fight together to make equality a real thing.

EKU Diversity Office

During this workshop, Marcella was chosen as one of the six student-athletes selected to participate on the Reflection from the Student-Athlete Engagement Program that took place on the last day of sessions. The students discussed what they have learned and what they will take back to their campus.

“It was an incredible experience where I could learn about data and how to approach issues on campus. Also, one of the biggest information I took back with me is that student-athletes have a voice and are watched 24/7. Our actions have a huge impact among those around us, so we should better understand our role and what we can do to make our campus a better place for everyone,” stated Marcella.

Marcella is also the Athletes on a Mission graduate assistant coordinator for the Diversity Office.

Published on April 24, 2018