SAAC Spotlight: Western Oregon's Deshaun Stevens
Stevens contributed to the Wolves' second-place finish in the DMR event during the 2023 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, clocking in at 10:14.38.
Stevens contributed to the Wolves' second-place finish in the DMR event during the 2023 GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships, clocking in at 10:14.38.

Friday, April 7, 2023

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: Deshaun Stevens
Sport: Track and Field
Institution: Western Oregon
Year: Fourth Year
Major(s)/Minor: Dance and Secondary Education in Chemistry/
Minor: English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
Hometown: Peyton, Colorado

Why did you choose to attend WOU?: I transferred to Western Oregon after my first year from a small university in Tennessee. I love the Pacific Northwest and I wanted to compete in Division ll. Western Oregon University was a great fit because it had a great education program, as well as great class sizes. I came on a visit, saw the beautiful campus and then I was sold.

What is your favorite class you have taken in college?: Improv dance was my favorite course. Improv is a great space to listen to the body and clear the mind. This class was low-stress but extremely beneficial.

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

What made you want to be involved in SAAC?: I initially didn't have time, but I decided to participate after seeing more closely how the school operated. There was a time when our athletics budget was at risk of being reduced and the athletes made a huge splash and essentially blocked the bill. I saw the role that student voices played and decided to devote more time to the athletics department. This year is more open for me, so I took a larger role in SAAC to support from the inside.

What is your most memorable SAAC activity to date so far?: The end-of-the-year athlete award ceremony in my first year has been my most memorable SAAC activity to date. Annually, we have a fun banquet in late May that we call The Wolfies. The theme that year was "Red Carpet," and we dressed up! There were such good vibes that year and we had so much fun taking pictures. It was well put together and I didn't even realize it was a SAAC event.

What is the most important thing you've learned from balancing the demands of athletics and academics?: I usually take on too much in my schedule. So I have learned that less is more. This allows me to fully apply myself to what's most important.

What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome during your collegiate career?: There was a lot of pressure on me last year. My schedule was overloaded, so all of my individual stuff was being neglected. I had to take a step back from everything in order to get to my end goal. It was a hard decision to make but it was worth it.

What does it mean to you to be a Division II student-athlete?: I think of this to be a prestigious group. I've been realizing more recently how many people don't get to continue playing sports. I have to work hard to continue earning my place in the company of intelligent, athletic, ambitious people.

What are your future goals after graduation?: I plan to graduate, then substitute or assistant coach to save money. Once I have saved enough, then I'll move overseas. Currently, the plan is to go to Portugal where I will coach and teach English.

What is the best advice you would give to an incoming freshman?: Do what you need. Don't allow other people to dictate your life.

If you could spend the day with one person (past or present), who would it be (and why)?: I would pick Gandhi. I just feel like he would say something that would be truly life-changing. It would be a very worldly view as well because he has traveled all over.

Favorite Sports Team: The Cincinnati Bengals. I picked them out of spite back in 2010 because my brothers liked their rival team. It's been so fun seeing their progression over the last few years, it's been awesome.
Favorite Athlete: Allyson Felix has been a huge inspiration since early high school. I love her work ethic.
What is one thing that people don't know about you?: People don't know that I am a cook. I love to grill, bake, and meal prep. It's a really relaxing activity for me.