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SAAC Spotlight: Montana State Billings' Amanda Roark
Amanda Roark is a senior pitcher for the Montana State softball team and is the secretary for the MSUB SAAC.
Amanda Roark is a senior pitcher for the Montana State softball team and is the secretary for the MSUB SAAC.
Amanda Roark.
Amanda Roark.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, GNACsports.com uses this space to profile conference student-athletes who are members of their respective institutions' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). In addition to providing feedback on the student-athlete experience, conference and institutional SAAC members also offer input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes' lives on NCAA member institution campuses. Click here for more information on the function of SAAC at the NCAA level.

Name: Amanda Roark
School: Montana State Billings
Sport: Softball
Year: Senior
Major: Biology
Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.

Extracurricular activities: SAAC secretary.

Why did you choose to attend MSUB? When I came down on my recruiting trip, I loved the atmosphere. I meshed really way with the softball team and coaches and knew it was the place for me.

What is your favorite class you have taken in college and why? Ecology was my favorite class taken in college. I loved learning about the interactions among organisms and their environment and how they scale up to global ecosystems! The lab was especially fun because it was so hands on! We got to go to Yellowstone and perform kick and Hess samples, as well as test the water hardness, we got to euthanize fish to identify what specific fish it was. It was a lot of work but totally worth it.

Who is your favorite professor you've had in college and what did you enjoy about learning from him or her? Dr. Baron. He is such an awesome professor, he taught me bio diversity, ecology, and now verte zoology. He is so hands on and is always willing to help his students. He doesn't try and make you just memorize the information and forget it, his tests are more on either you know it or you don't. It was always about understanding the information. He was also very helpful with my softball schedule, when we traveled, he either let me schedule exams before we left or after we returned.

Years involved in SAAC: Three.

The reason I chose to get involved in SAAC: I got involved in SAAC because I wanted to have a voice in the athletic community.

Most memorable SAAC activity: Being able to attend the hall of fame induction ceremony with the SAAC president and Vice President has been my most memorable SAAC activity. It was awesome being able to listen to people give speeches on how sports have impacted their life and what they're doing now. Also, another activity I enjoyed was graffiti removal on the rims. It was fun being able to improve the community as well as hangout with all of my friends!

Favorite part of GNAC SAAC retreat: My favorite part of the GNAC SAAC retreat was all the people I met! I met so many people there around my age from different schools and we communicate on a daily basis. I also enjoyed going to the Timbers game.

If I could change one NCAA rule, it would be: I would drug test more and I would want to change the amount of days able to miss school while traveling.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics? I learned time management. Traveling as much as we do taught me to get my schoolwork done as early as possible. I also learned that communication is key all across the board. Communicating with my professors, teammates, coaches, and family was one thing I struggled with in the beginning, but being a student athlete I learned really quickly how important it is.

What does it mean to be a Division II student-athlete? You're a role model in the community, you have to set an example for those around you.

Current mentor(s): Rebekah Gasner, my softball coach. Kurt Toenjes, my academic advisor. My mom, for always being there and listening to me and helping me decide what's best for my future.

Future goals after school: I want to join the air force as an officer and study chemical engineering. I would want to get my masters in chemical engineering and then maybe go back to school to become a college professor.

Biggest obstacle overcame during collegiate career: Last year during championship season, I got really sick and I was having a bizarre problem with my eyes. With the help of my coaches, teammates, and parents, I was able to overcome and still participate in the GNAC.

Best advice I’d give to an incoming freshman: Don't be pressured to do anything and get good grades! School is very important, don't forget that!

If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)? Jim Abbott, he is such an inspiration to athletes everywhere. I would love to have an opportunity to talk to the most inspirational athlete in the world for a day!

Favorite sports team: Atlanta Braves.

Favorite athlete: Freddie Freeman.

Most memorable sports-related moment: Winning the GNAC!!!!

One thing that people don't know about me is: I love to golf!

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