SAAC Spotlight: Northwest Nazarene's Elizabeth McMullen
McMullen was recognized as All-Academic Team recipient for NNU's Track and Field team in the 2020-2021 season.
McMullen was recognized as All-Academic Team recipient for NNU's Track and Field team in the 2020-2021 season.

Friday, October 14, 2022

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: Elizabeth McMullen
Sport: Track and Field
Institution: Northwest Nazarene
Year: Senior
Major: Kinesiology (Athletic Training and Sports Psychology)
Hometown: Ilwaco, Washington

Why did you choose to attend NNU?: I chose NNU because of the amazing community. Their love of Jesus and love for the students made me feel welcomed and valued from the very beginning.

What is your favorite class you have taken in college and why?: My favorite so far has been Human Diversity. It opened my eyes to see the world through a different lens. I learned so much about how to love other humans better and use my privileges to make an impact.

How many years were you involved in SAAC?: Two years.

What made you want to be involved in SAAC?: I really wanted to learn more about the NCAA and how I can make a difference.

What is your most memorable SAAC activity to date?: I participated in our 'Mental Health Awareness Month' video where we had a conversation about how to break the stigma in sport and find ways to better our campus. I shared part of my story about my injuries and struggles with mental health. It was scary to be vulnerable but it was so rewarding. That opportunity opened the doors for more conversations about mental health and relationships I wouldn't have made elsewhere.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics?: Be able to ask for help. My college career has been anything but easy and reaching out to a counselor, my coaches, athletic trainers and professors have made a big difference in all aspects of my life.

What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome during your collegiate career?: I have gone through four ankle surgeries and suffered two concussions in my college career. Through those injuries, I learned to be vulnerable and lean on those around me, be able to celebrate the little wins and that I am so much more than just an athlete.

Who are your current mentors?: My mentors are the director of Counseling Services at NNU, Julie Barrass, and coach Shane Peterson.

What are your future goals after graduation?: I plan on attending graduate school to get a degree in sports psychology or athletic training but I haven't decided which one yet. No matter what my career is, I want to make an impact by helping athletes physically and mentally.

What is the best advice you would give to an incoming freshman?: You are so much more than an athlete! You are loved because you're you, not because of what you can do.

What is your memorable sports-related moment?: I was able to participate in my first full practice of my college career just a little bit ago on Sept. 12, 2022. I've been plagued with injuries throughout my career, so being able to be cleared and to experience my first practice with my teammates was a fantastic little moment I'll never forget.

Favorite Sports Team: WNBA Las Vegas Aces

Favorite Athletes: Kelsey Plum and Lindsey Vonn

What is one thing that people don't know about you?: One of my dreams is to someday write a book.