SAAC Spotlight: UAA's Kevin Rooke
Organizing the UAA Seawolf talent show was Rooke's most memorable SAAC moment.
Organizing the UAA Seawolf talent show was Rooke's most memorable SAAC moment.

Thursday, May 28, 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.

Kevin Rooke
Alaska Anchorage
Senior * Track & Field/Cross Country

Name: Kevin Rooke
University of Alaska Anchorage
College major:
Current sport:
Cross Country/Track
Year in school:
Favorite sports team:
Toronto Maple Leafs
Favorite athlete:
Sidney Crosby
Extracurricular activities:
Photography Videography

Why did you choose to attend UAA? UAA has a great athletic program and getting to spend time in Alaska was definitely part of the appeal.

What is your favorite class you have taken in college and why? Macroeconomics. I really enjoyed showing up every day because we talked about interesting, eye-opening issues with a different perspective.

Who is your favorite professor you've had in college and what did you enjoy about learning from him or her? Kyle Hampton. He is the most influential professor I've had, and he challenged me to turn my ideas into projects outside of the classroom.

How many years have you been involved in SAAC? Four.

What was the reason you chose to get involved in SAAC? There's more to being a student-athlete than what happens on the track. SAAC is a good opportunity to get involved in the community and the athletic department.

What was your most memorable SAAC activity? Organizing the UAA Seawolf talent show. We got the whole athletic department to participate and it was a good chance for student-athletes to get to know one another.

What was your favorite part of GNAC SAAC retreat? We stopped along the coastline and spotted a pod of beluga whales close to shore. I had never seen a whale in my four years, so that was cool.

If I could change one NCAA rule, what would it be? NCAA amateurism rules. I think amateurism in the NCAA is outdated and players should be able to accept fair payment for their abilities.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics? Being a student-athlete has forced me to manage my time better. There's less free time to get in an extra workout or finish a class paper, so it's important to take advantage of every minute of the day.

What does it mean to be a Division II student-athlete? Balancing academics with athletics.

Who are/is your current mentor(s)? My high school track coach Mike Housley. He's always there to listen and give advice and always tells it like it is.

What are your future goals after school? I'm going to pursue my master's at UMass Amherst this upcoming fall.

What is the biggest obstacle you overcame during your collegiate career? I dealt with asthma/allergies that gave me breathing problems for a couple years. I'm glad to finally be able to compete up to my potential this year.

What is the best advice you’d give to an incoming freshman:? Be different. Find ways to separate yourself from your peers. Take big risks, and have fun.

If I could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)? Rory McIlroy. My golf game could use a little work.

What is your most memorable sports-related moment? Being part of an NCAA trophy winning team at cross country nationals in 2012. One of the best races of my career and a moment I'm going to remember forever.

What is one thing that people don't know about you? I spent 20 minutes looking at this question trying to think of something. I'm an open book.