SAAC Spotlight: Montana State Billings' Kyle McLaughlin
McLaughlin finished 15th at the 2019 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in 800 meters in a time of 2:00.77.
McLaughlin finished 15th at the 2019 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in 800 meters in a time of 2:00.77.
Kyle McLaughlin
Kyle McLaughlin

Friday, November 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.

Name: Kyle McLaughlin
Track and Field
Montana State University Billings
Year: Senior
Criminal Justice
Belgrade, Montana

Why Did You Choose To Attend Montana State Billings?: I chose to attend Montana State Billings because it was away from home and allowed me to learn who I wanted to be and pursue my dreams. Montana State Billings was the most appealing to me because of the opportunities it provided. I get to earn my degree while competing as an athlete.

What Is Your Favorite Class You Have Taken And Why?: My favorite class would have to be Sociology of Corrections. This class taught me about the world of criminal justice. I believe that my education will benefit me in understanding what the correctional system is like in today's society. Since I am pursuing a degree in law enforcement, this was a great experience toward earning my degree.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor And What Did You Enjoy About Learning From Him Or Her?: My favorite professor is Jennifer Scroggins. She teaches a lot of the classes pertaining to my degree and the way she teaches has been the most effective for me during my time at MSUB. She has helped me to develop new skills and push my understanding of learning.

Years Involved In SAAC: Two years.

The Reason You Chose To Get Involved In SAAC: I chose to get involved in SAAC because it was a way for me to develop new leadership skills, provide advocacy for student-athletes at MSUB and help coordinate ways to give back to the Billings community. SAAC was the perfect opportunity for me to achieve these goals during my time here.

Most Memorable SAAC Activity To Date: I would say my most memorable SAAC activity would be helping out with a food drive on campus last year. We raised over 800 pounds of food to a local nonprofit organization.

How Do You Feel Participating In SAAC Will Help You In Life After You Graduate?: After I graduate, my time in SAAC will have helped me communicate effectively in ways such as advocating, coordinating and problem-solving. I have been faced with numerous tasks during my time as a SAAC member at MSUB, and I haven't encountered anything that I couldn't overcome with the help of our SAAC representatives.

What Does It Mean To You To Be A Division II Student-Athlete?: Being a Division II student-athlete means that even though I may come from a small school, I am connected to something bigger. My voice is heard by those who have the power to help me change something for the better of those around me.

What Is The Most Important Thing You’ve Learned About Balancing Athletics And Academics?: Make time for each of those subjects, but make sure you also leave time for self-care. They are both demanding of your time, energy and focus. Setting time aside for yourself to have fun is important for you to have a great experience as a student-athlete because we are all more than just athletes.

Biggest Obstacle Overcome During Your Collegiate Career: Time management has been a big obstacle for me to overcome with being a student and an athlete at the same time.

Favorite Thing About Competing In The GNAC: Being able to compete at a high level of athletics while earning my degree at the same time.

Most Memorable Sports-Related Moment: Being able to compete at the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships in Nampa, Idaho last year. I competed in the 800-meters and moved up in the ranks from 20th to 15th.

If You Could Change One NCAA Rule, It Would Be: If I could change one NCAA rule, it would be that student-athletes should have easier access to mental health counseling.

Current Mentor(s): My current mentors are my head coach, Jonathan Woehl, my athletic director, Krista Montague, my throwing coach, Jessica Goosmann, and my associate dean of student engagement, Aaron Like.

Best Advice You’d Give To An Incoming Freshman: Get involved and get out of your comfort zone. College is all about learning about what your passion is and what you can do all by yourself. You will never know what your passion might be if you don't go out and practice it.

If You Could Spend The Day With One Person (Past Or Present), Who Would It Be (And Why)?: I would want to spend that time with my younger self to encourage him to not be afraid to be himself and pursue his dreams. I want to make sure he knows that the world is much bigger than what he sees every day.

Extracurricular Activities: I am a residential assistant at MSUB as well as the vice president of the Resident Halls Association. This is also my first year as president of MSUB's SAAC.

Future Goals After Graduation: My future goal after graduation is to apply for the Montana Highway Patrol and pursue my lifelong dream of beginning a career in law enforcement.

Favorite Sports Team: Boston Red Sox.

Favorite Athlete: David Ortiz.

One Thing People Don’t Know About You Is: I never actually wanted to go to college when I was in high school. I have seen quite the change from freshman Kyle to senior Kyle.