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Eastern's Student Athlete Advisory Committee Announces Executive Board Members for 2019-20 Academic Year

Eastern's Student Athlete Advisory Committee Announces Executive Board Members for 2019-20 Academic Year

CO-PRESIDENT / Hayley Brodeur

A returning E-Board member, senior track and field student-athlete Hayley Brodeur has been appointed as co-president of SAAC. The Old Saybrook native and three-year letterwinner and three-sport (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track) participant last year is majoring in sociology and early childhood education. Her career goals are to be an elementary school teacher. The LEC Academic Honor Roll student earned All-New England honors in outdoor track last year and won the LEC outdoor championship at 400 meters after placing second during the indoor season. She won a combined four LEC honors in indoor and outdoor track in the 2018-19 season.

The responsibilities of the co-president are to fill in when the other co-president is absent, perform duties which the committee requires, and assist the co-president with his or her needs.


CO-PRESIDENT / McKenzie Maneggia

A returning E-Board member, senior volleyball student-athlete Mckenzie Maneggia will serve as this semester’s SAAC co-president. The Andover native and two-year letterwinner is majoring in sport management and minoring in sociology and hopes to have a career in college athletic administration. In the fall of 2018, the LEC Academic honor roll student and co-winner of the Holly E. Zimmerman Memorial Award helped her team to a Little East Conference regular season and tournament championship, the Warriors earning a bid to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 11 years.

The responsibilities of the co-president are to establish and maintain a healthy climate, recruit and retain members, set goals for the future, and attend as many events and meetings as possible.

Regarding her involvement in SAAC, Mckenzie says that “I am grateful for my experience in SAAC because I have been able to meet so many new people and have a positive influence on the community. This year, my goal for SAAC is to continue to uphold the values and events that we worked hard to establish last year. I hope we can build the club up to be something that everybody wants to be a part of and continue to have fun and bring the athletic community together.”


VICE-PRESIDENT / Lizzy Cretella

Junior women’s basketball student-athlete Lizzy Cretella will serve as vice president of SAAC. The Cheshire native is majoring in english with a minor in pre-law and coaching. After missing much of the 2017-18 season with a knee injury, the LEC Academic honor roll student came back as a captain this past year and helped her team to the NCAA tournament, for the second time in her career at Eastern.

The responsibilities of the vice president are to coordinate programs with the presidents and committee, and provide timely information to the secretary for inclusion in future meetings.

Says Lizzy of her involvement in SAAC: “So far, it is obvious how important student-athletes are to the community. I have been able to impact the community of Willimantic and the community of Eastern students. I have learned that the programs we run are beneficial for the morale and unity of our athletes as a whole and how important those qualities are in having successful sports teams. Our goals for the future are to continue to grow the number of athletes that want to participate actively in these programs. The more athletes that want to help the more of an impact we can make!”


TREASURER / Max Parent

A returning E-Board member, senior men’s soccer student-athlete Max Parent serves as treasurer of SAAC. The South Yarmouth, MA native is majoring in biology with career plans of being a physician’s assistant. In a three-year career, the LEC Academic honor roll student has 9 career goals with 3 assists for a total of 21 career points. Max helped his team to the 2018 LEC regular-season championship by appearing in 19 games and averaging 47 minutes a game with 3 goals and 2 assists and scoring the team’s only goal with one minute remaining of last year’s LEC tournament 2-1 semifinal loss.

The responsibilities of the treasurer are to manage the SAAC budget, track expenses and revenue, and generate fundraising ideas for the committee.

Notes Max of his time with SAAC: “So far, I’ve gotten a lot of experience in managing events and also reaching out to groups and organizations such as CCE (Center for Community Engagement) other than just my own (soccer team).


SECRETARY/ Tegan Ruschmeier

Junior swimming student-athlete Tegan Ruschmeier holds the position as secretary of SAAC.  The Vernon native is majoring in elementary education and english and is planning for a career in teaching. The LEC All-Academic student and two-time varsity letterwinner qualified for last year’s NEISDA meet in the 200 butterfly and 400 IM, improving her times by five seconds over the course of the season in each. In the 200 and 400 IM, and 100 and 200 butterfly, only teammates with last names of Lasto had faster times last year.

The responsibilities of the secretary are public speaking, keeping attendance and taking minutes at all SAAC meetings, and preparing a SAAC event calendar.

Speaking of her exposure to SAAC, Tegan explains that “my experience with SAAC has allowed me to create bonds with other Eastern athletes. It's also allowed me to become more involved in and give back to the Willimantic community. My goal for SAAC this year is to represent the swim team and other less well-known sports, as well as remaining involved in both the Eastern and Willimantic communities.”



Junior swimming student-athlete Amanda Mitchell will serve as community service liaison for SAAC. The Rocky Hill native is an exploratory social science major and a two-time varsity letterwinner. Qualifying for the NEISDA meet, the LEC Academic honor roll student improved her 50 butterfly time by more than 3 seconds over the course of the season. Last year, she swam the second-fastest time on the team in the 50 butterfly, and third-fastest time in the 50 freestyle.

The responsibilities of the community service liaison are organizing and assessing all community service activities, and being the liaison between SAAC and the community.

 For Amanda, her involvement with SAAC has provided many benefits: “I have gotten to meet more people within the athletics department, team members, coaches, other administrators or faculty members than I ever thought I would. I have gotten to see some of the work that needs to be done in order for all of our events to work and I'm excited to be more involved. As the community service liaison, my goal is to have eastern athletics play a larger, or more interactive role in the community.”



Senior baseball student-athlete Sam Gagnon has been appointed to the public relations position for SAAC. The Andover native is a business major and sport management minor with plans to attend law school after graduation. The three-time letterwinner has appeared in 28 games on the mound in his career with a 3-1 record and 23 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings. This past spring, the 6-foot-5 inch, 235 pound righty appeared in nine games out of the bullpen, winning his only decision in 2/3 of an inning in an 11-4 win over the University of Scranton at Port Charlotte, FL. He is a member of the LEC All-Academic team and earned an Eastern Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award in his first year of eligibility last year.

The responsibilities of the public relations director are to actively promote an understanding of what SAAC is, serve as the social media coordinator, inform the campus and local media concerning SAAC events, and maintain a social media presence.

Observes Sam, “SAAC has put on great events to show how we can take the skills we’ve developed as athletes and translate them to the working world. I’m excited to see how we can have SAAC have a greater impact on the student-athletes in the Eastern community.”



Senior women’s soccer student-athlete Linnea Reich serves as the marketing/events coordinator for SAAC. The Middletown native is a digital art and design major employed in that role with the athletic department (creating the SAAC logo at the top of the page) who plans to work in advertising upon graduation. The three-time letterwinner was a member of the All-LEC second team as a midfielder, overcoming an injury to start 13 games and average 81 minutes per game. Both of her assists on the season came in a 4-0 conference home win over Southern Maine October 20. Last year, she also qualified for an LEC All-Academic award on a team which shared the conference regular-season championship. She is an Eastern Outstanding Scholar-Athlete award-winner. 

The responsibility of the marketing and events coordinator entail maintaining a working relationship with other campus entities, planning event entertainment, and communicating with the public relations director in order to create effective marketing for each event.

Linnea points to the new ESPAS awards instituted last year and volunteering at the school supply drive as her favorite SAAC events so far. “As a member of the E-Board this year, I am excited to continue the spectacular work which this club has executed throughout the years. As a digital art and design major, I would love to work on building SAAC’s overall brand into one cohesive package. I’d love to design a new logo, a club-wide letterhead, a new newsletter, and maybe even t-shirts! All of this will help SAAC express a professional image to our community with which we can continue to make an even more forceful impact.”