SAAC Spotlight: Saint Martin's Malia Pinder
Malia Pinder hit .275 in 51 at-bats as a freshman for Saint Martin's
Malia Pinder hit .275 in 51 at-bats as a freshman for Saint Martin's
Malia Pinder
Malia Pinder

Friday, December 24, 2021

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: Malia Pinder
Sport: Softball
Institution: Saint Martin’s University
Year: Sophomore
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Bothell, Washington

Why Did You Choose To Attend SMU?: I chose Saint Martin's because of the softball program but also because of how small the school is. Everyone knows everyone and our class sizes are small, so the community aspect of SMU is really strong. Campus is also really beautiful and it felt like home from the first time I visited.

What Is Your Favorite College Class And Why?: My favorite class so far has been the Benedictine Leadership Practicum course. In this class we got to plan, implement, execute and reflect on a service project of our choice all while learning about Benedictine Leadership. This course had us think about not just what leadership looks like in our lives currently, but also what we want service and leadership to look like for the rest of our lives.

Who Is Your Favorite Professor?: My favorite professor to date would be John Hopkins. He taught one of my classes on Benedictine Theories of Leadership. He did an amazing job getting us to think about all perspectives of an issue and challenged our ideas to get us to dive deeper. He was clearly knowledgeable and experienced in social justice areas, and got us to think more critically about issues we were passionate about, too.

How Many Years Have You Been Involved In SAAC?: One year.

Why Did You Choose To Get Involved With SAAC?: I feel as though our athletic community is really close-knit, but I also feel like there is a lot of work to be done to bring our entire community together as well. Our goal for this year is to really connect with the entirety of campus and the community of Lacey.

What Has Been The Most Memorable SAAC Activity?: We had a SAAC poster-making night one day after all of our practices finished. It was super casual and we made posters outside until it got too dark to see anymore. We all made ones for different fall sports with funny sayings. It was still pretty early in the year, so it was a good chance to get to know more people in SAAC.

What Have You Learned From Needing To Balance Athletics And Academics?: I've learned that I can actually handle a lot more than I thought I could! Being a student-athlete can be extremely demanding, and if you add extracurriculars, it can feel almost impossible at times. Balancing all of it and getting to do all the things I enjoy outside of school and softball has just taught me that if it's a priority to me, I can definitely make time for it.

What Is The Biggest Obstacle You Have Overcome During Your Collegiate Career?: The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome has been finding a healthy balance between all the things I value. I let softball consume my time and lost time in my day for community service, social time, mental health and other things that are extremely important to me. Since I've found that balance I have been a lot happier and have been able to enjoy all the things that motivate me in life.

Who Is Your Current Mentor?: My biggest mentor has always been my mama! She's the strongest woman I know. She's always persevering while going above and beyond for the people around her.

What Are Your Future Goals After Graduating?: I hope to go back to school to either get my master's in business or to become a lawyer. My dream is to work in human resources at the higher corporate level to advocate for women of color in the business world. There is a serious problem in the wages for women of color compared to others that needs to be addressed. If I were to become a lawyer, I would want to work in divorce law, advocating for children who suffer in settlements for their parents divorce.

What Advice Would You Have For An Incoming Freshman?: Get involved! There is so much more to college than just your sport. It's so important to give your best self to your teammates and your coaches every single day, but explore clubs and service opportunities as well.

What’s Your Favorite Thing About Being Part Of The GNAC?: I grew up in the greater Seattle area, so I get to play against a lot of people I played against growing up. I also get to stay relatively local so my family can come watch me play as often as they'd like.

What’s Your Favorite Sports Memory?: We qualified for the GNAC playoffs in my freshman season. It came down to our very last series and we won our last game on a walk-off against Western Oregon. We all stormed the field and got to enjoy how much we grinded the entire season to make it there. Can't wait to do it again!

Favorite Sports Team: The San Francisco Giants. When I started to get into baseball, the Giants were really good. I used to be able to name their entire starting lineup. This past baseball season was super exciting to watch and made me love the Giants even more.

Favorite Athlete: Buster Posey. He played baseball for the Giants and led them to three World Series Championships over the course of his career. He's extremely humble, hard-working, and knowledgeable. He's what people call a “clubhouse guy.”

Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student writer for our school newspaper, the Benedictine Scholar.

What’s Something People Don’t Know About You?: How much I love ketchup. Most people like ketchup, but I LOVE it. I would put it on pretty much everything if I could.