SAAC Spotlight: Saint Martins' Kayla May
May played in 40 sets in Saint Martins' 2022 season.
May played in 40 sets in Saint Martins' 2022 season.

Friday, November 18, 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: Kayla May
Sport: Volleyball
Institution: Saint Martin's
Year: Junior
Major: Communications
Hometown: Portland, OR

Why did you choose to attend SMU?: I chose Saint Martin's for the small, tight-knit community. I saw an opportunity to be more than just a number or statistic at the university and be able to build relationships with professors, staff and students.

What is your favorite class you have taken in college and why?: I am currently taking Introduction to Race and Ethnic Studies, which I really enjoy because we are learning about how deep-rooted racism is, the way that racism and discrimination effects different races and ethnicities and how we can solve these problems. Another favorite class of mine was social psychology which I took spring of my sophomore year, where we learned about social experiments and human behavior/patterns.

How many years have you been involved in SAAC?: Two years.

What made you want to be involved in SAAC?: I was in many leadership roles in high school (student government and athletic council) and enjoyed it when I did it then, so I figured I would like it at the college level as well. I also wanted to help make the student-athlete experience here at our smaller school as enjoyable as possible.

What is your most memorable SAAC activity to date?: The welcome back barbeque that we had at the end of the first week of school this year was pretty memorable. There was great attendance, every team was there and a variety of activities such as corn hole and Spikeball that everyone seemed to enjoy. Good music and good food on a sunny afternoon made for a really good way to start the year.

How do you feel participating in SAAC will help you in life after you graduate?: I think being on SAAC gives me skills like working with others as a team to complete a task, meeting deadlines, planning events and understanding the wants and needs of the people/community around me. These are all skills that I think will be beneficial in my life after college.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics?: The most important thing I’ve learned from balancing athletics and academics is that your planner is your best friend. Having three hours of classes a day and then three hours of practice leaves you little time to get homework done on top of all the other things you have to do, so it’s important to be productive during those homework hours and plan out what you’re going to do. It’s also important to schedule time for yourself that isn’t athletically or academically related; finding time where you can de-stress, relax and reset your mind and body.

What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome during your collegiate career?: Making it through the COVID-19 year was definitely the hardest thing I’ve had to get through during my collegiate career. I had been looking forward to playing collegiate volleyball since I started playing in the sixth grade. So, to have my first year be "COVID-style," basically an entire year of practices with three games at the very end, was extremely disappointing. I was lucky that Saint Martin's allowed us to be on campus and have some in-person classes but not getting the normal college experience as a student-athlete was really hard, especially when at the time it didn’t seem like we would ever get back to normal.

What does it mean to you to be a Division II student-athlete?: Being a division II student-athlete to me means taking academics as seriously as you take athletics. It's understanding that you can’t play sports forever and making sure you get a quality education to prepare for life when your sports career comes to an end.

What are your future goals after graduation?: I want to work in athletics at any capacity. My big goal is to work for an NBA, NFL, or MLB organization in their communications/advertising/marketing department but would be content with working in an athletic office for an NCAA school or high school. Another goal of mine is to travel. I want to experience as many different cultures and countries as much as I can.

What is the best advice you would give to an incoming freshman?: My advice to incoming freshmen would be to put yourself out there. Go to all the different events that interest you on your campus. Try everything at least once so you can really figure out what’s for you. Also, put yourself out there by meeting new people. It’s always hard and scary meeting new people at first but some of the people you meet could end up being lifelong friends so it’s definitely worth the awkwardness in the beginning.

What is your most memorable sports moment?: My most memorable sports-related moment would be when I made the all-conference team in my junior year. Only two people from my position are chosen for this team and there was great competition that year, so it was a really big accomplishment for me.

Favorite Sports Team: Portland Trail Blazers
Favorite Athlete: Devin Booker

What is one thing that people don't know about you?: I have the same birthday as Michael Jordan.