General 4/14/2017 4:00:00 A
WSU Athletic Media Relations
On Friday afternoon at the Wright State
Setzer Pavilion, student-athletes and
Special Olympians participated in an
indoor field day.
The Special Olympics of Greater Dayton
was selected as the 2016-17 philanthropy
partner for the WSU Student-Athlete
Advisory Committee, which includes
community engagement as one of its top
Two of the WSU student-athlete
participants at the field day were golfer
Sam Meek and volleyball player Haley
Garr. After being a part of several
Special Olympics events Meek says there
is nothing better than seeing people
smiling and having a good time. Garr
likes the inclusiveness of the events.
"I think it's really cool because
they're fellow athletes," Garr said.
"They're just like us and it's
really fun to share our experiences with
Meek also feels the community service
experiences he has been involved with are
"You can't put a price on that
feeling it gives you knowing that you did
something good for somebody else that day
and being that extra hand for the
community," Meek said.
Community service opportunities like this
are an integral part of the WSU athletic
department's Life Skills program, which
emphasizes social responsibility
development. This is not only beneficial
to the community, but also the
student-athlete, according to WSU special
assistant to the director of athletics
"It develops mentoring, tutoring,
communication and critical thinking
skills," Larsen said. "Taking
part in community service is also
beneficial for the career development of
student-athletes. It allows students to
establish lifelong connections, network
with potential employers and boost their
The festivities were part of the
overarching celebration of National
Student-Athlete Day. The purpose of the
day is to recognize college
student-athletes' successes in academics,
community service and athletics.
Some notable achievements for WSU
student-athletes include: 45 consecutive
semesters of a 3.0 cumulative GPA or
better, recent top 25 votes for baseball,
men's soccer and women's basketball,
which made the WNIT this season and over
2,400 hours of community service logged
for the 2015-16 school year.
Larsen noted that top-notch academic
advising, innovative programs, up to date
technology and readiness of quality
personal all contribute to the academic
accomplishments. The WSU student-athletes
speak highly of their professors and
classroom experiences she says.
"They love the class sizes,
resources and buildings available on
campus and the passion that their
professors have for teaching,"
Friday's event was an example of the
personal development component in the PSA
mission statement the athletic department
strives for. Meek and Garr agreed that
doing community service is a humbling
experience that broadens their horizons.
Student and athletic success are the
other two pillars of the mission. Larsen
explained the overall benefits of PSA and
how it ultimately helps the
student-athletes perform at a higher
level in competition.
"A well-rounded student-athlete is
able to cope better in stressful
situations, make better decisions and
healthier lifestyle choices, which
results in more success personally,
academically, and athletically,"
The day concluded with Special Olympian
Robbie Berkey throwing out the first
pitch at the WSU baseball game.