SAAC Spotlight: Western Oregon's Nicole Anderson
Anderson has been involved with SAAC in all four of her years at Western Oregon.
Anderson has been involved with SAAC in all four of her years at Western Oregon.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Part of a regular series.

Throughout the year, 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.

Nicole Anderson
Western Oregon
Senior * Track & Field

Name: Nicole Anderson
Hometown: Packwood, Washington
College: Western Oregon University
College major: Exercise Science, Minor in Sports Leadership
Current sport: Cross Country and Track
Year in school: Senior
Favorite sports team: Oiselle (track/xc professional team) 
Favorite athlete: Lauren Fleshman, Kara Goucher, Alexi Pappas
Extracurricular activities: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Volunteer Assistant Cross Country Coach at West Salem High School (Fall 2014), Intern with Director of Compliance at WOU (present) Sigma Chi Alpha member.

Why did you choose to attend Western Oregon?
When I went on my official visit to WOU, I felt that it was somewhere I could see myself. I felt that I belonged. Along with having small class sizes and a familiar small town feel that I was used to, the cross country/track program at WOU was really somewhere I felt comfortable.

What is your favorite class you have taken in college and why? It's really a tie between Exercise Physiology with Dr. Armstrong and Exercise Testing and Prescription with Dr. Tom Kelly. Both of these classes really peaked my interests and both professors have a way of getting you involved in the learning process that intrigued me and made me want to learn more.

Who is your favorite professor you've had in college and what did you enjoy about learning from him or her? Again, it's definitely a tie between Dr. Armstrong and Dr. Tom Kelly. Both of these professors made classes interesting by their obvious passion for the subjects they teach. Their enjoyment in the subjects and the ways they broke down the information made the class material accessible and engaging.

How many years have you been involved in SAAC? 4

What was the reason you chose to get involved in SAAC? Athletics has always been something I valued, and once I really learned what SAAC was about I felt like it would be a good opportunity for me to help improve the atmosphere of intercollegiate athletics at WOU.

What was your most memorable SAAC activity? The GNAC SAAC Retreat in Anchorage, Alaska.

What was your favorite part of GNAC SAAC retreat? All of it - from getting to know members from different universities to the bears, the "science treadmill" and the great food. Definitely a positive experience in my life.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics? I am a student first. Yes, athletics are very important to me, but my education is what is going to get me a career in the long run. The most important thing was figuring out how to schedule classes around practice time. Then I had to stay organized enough to give myself time for homework and actually having a life.

What does it mean to be a Division II student-athlete? It means I have the chance not only to pursue my love for track and cross country, but also to give myself a valuable education. And the quality of both depends on the hard work that I put into them.

Who is/are your current mentor(s)? Randi Lydum, Director of Compliance at WOU, Coach Mike Johnson, and Bridget Johnson-Tetteh.

What are your future goals after school? To get a job in my field.

What is the biggest obstacle you overcame during collegiate career? How to handle injuries.

What is the best advice you’d give to an incoming freshman? Stay focused on your goals, but also don't forget to have fun pursuing them.

If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)? Lauren Fleshman. She just seems really cool.

What is your most memorable sports-related moment? My sophomore year on the San Francisco/Stanford trip, a group of us went to watch the night races at Stanford Invitational. It was the first time I really got to watch professionals race in person. It was definitely something I won't forget.