SAAC Spotlight: Seattle Pacific's Gillian Edgar
Gillian has recently been selected by the NCAA as the GNAC's National SAAC Representative.  Her term began February 1, 2019 and will end in January 2021.
Gillian has recently been selected by the NCAA as the GNAC's National SAAC Representative. Her term began February 1, 2019 and will end in January 2021.
Gillian Edgar was named by the College Rowing Coaches Association as an All-American in 2018.
Gillian Edgar was named by the College Rowing Coaches Association as an All-American in 2018.

Friday, February 22, 2019

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.

Name: Gillian Edgar
Sport: Women’s Rowing
School: Seattle Pacific University
Year: Junior
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Seattle, Washington
Title: GNAC National SAAC Representative (term ends January 2021)

Extracurricular Activities: Hiking, backpacking, snowshoeing, skiing and swimming are among my top choices for ways to spend a free weekend.

Why Did You Choose To Attend Seattle Pacific: Growing up a five-minute drive from campus, I was originally opposed to staying so close to home. After my first tour, however, I fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere. Seattle Pacific has an amazing sense of community and support. I truly believe there are opportunities here for every student to thrive.

What Is Your Favorite Class You Have Taken In College And Why: My favorite classes I have taken at SPU are microeconomics and macroeconomics. It is a topic that I am fascinated with and spend time learning about on my own. Those classes were the first business classes I took at SPU and it was amazing to be in a class full of people who were excited about the same things I was.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor You’ve Had In College And What Did You Enjoy About Learning From Him Or Her: Dr. Sara Koenig was my favorite professor at SPU for two of the three Christian foundation classes. Her optimism and joy overflowed into her teaching and the classroom. She created a welcoming environment that I was always excited to participate in.

Years Involved In SAAC: One year. 

The Reason I Chose To Get Involved In SAAC: I chose to join SAAC in order to become more involved in the athletic community at SPU. I love my teammates and wanted to get to know other teams as well. SAAC was the perfect opportunity to step into a leadership role as well as support all our teams on campus and give back to my community.

Most Memorable SAAC Activity: Last year SPU hosted Tent City 3; a portable, self-managed community of people experiencing homelessness. Our SAAC organized a dinner prepared by athletes and shared with Tent City. We spent an amazing evening trading stories over the meal and spending time with people who have very different perspectives than our own. I am so thankful for opportunities like this to serve others in our own backyard.

What Is The Most Important Thing You’ve Learned From Balancing The Demands Of Athletics and Academics: How to be disciplined and work efficiently while still taking time for myself. I think these skills will help me enormously wherever I end up in life.

What Is The Most Important Thing You’ve Learned From Balancing The Demands Of Athletic And Academics: The most important thing I have learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics is how to prioritize. I know what it's like to have too many things on my plate.  I have been learning the skill of saying no to some things, so I can maximize my time on things that are truly important to me like academics and athletics.

What Does It Mean To Be A Division II Student-Athlete: Being a Division II student-athlete means having perspective. Being a student at a Division II school generally does not mean having your competitions televised on ESPN or the Pac-12 Network. You are rarely recruited to play professionally out of college. Being a Division II student-athlete means competing in your sport because you love it and understanding that life goes outside your sport after college. This perspective gives me the ability to choose to do what I love, to look at my life from a bigger picture and to understand how the copious amounts of time I pour into refining my one, very repetitive athletic skill will benefit me in the long run in areas outside my sport as well.

Future Goals After School: Sports have played a massive role in shaping who I am right now and I hope to be able to give back in the future. Right now, I'm looking towards working in sports administration, whether that means working for the NCAA, a college or in professional sports. I'm excited to keep working hard and see what doors will open.

Favorite Sports Team: It’s a tie between UCLA Gymnastics and Bowerman Track Club, an elite group of Nike sponsored runners. Both of these teams project competitive, yet supportive atmospheres that I think every team, from rec soccer to division I water polo, can emulate. It is a joy to watch these athletes and teams compete because of the enthusiasm and passion they bring to their sports.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Through my own sports career and others', I have experienced and witnessed many powerful moments catalyzed by sport. Personally, racing at the historic Dad Vail Regatta last season and finally understanding how far we've come as a team was and unforgettable experience. Moments like watching the UCLA gymnast Peng-Peng Lee win the NCAA beam title as a final testament to her 20-year gymnastics career, are also amazing because they show the fruits of unparalleled dedication. I think, however, the Larry Nassar trial in 2018 has had the biggest impact on how I view sports. I followed the seven-day trial and watched as 156 women gave their personal statements against him, the terrible things he's done, and the culture that allowed it to happen. This opened my eyes to the true cost of the 'win at all cost' mentality, which I have been guilty of, and allowed me to rethink my perspective of what sports truly are which is a tool for building real-life skills while expelling some extra energy.

One Thing That People Don’t Know About Me: A lot of people ask about a large, red mark I have on my shoulder and, as a joke, I always say I was struck by lightning when I was little. A surprising number of people believe me, but it's simply a birthmark.