NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Saint Joseph's women's soccer freshman Asia Whittenberger is one of 10 Atlantic 10 Conference student-athletes that will join more than 500 athletic leaders and other student-athletes from across the country for the 2019 NCAA Inclusion Forum in Atlanta, Ga., from April 26 – 28, thanks to a new league initiative to fund the opportunity.
This year marks the first time student-athletes will be funded by the A-10 to attend the Forum. The 10 student-athletes selected competed for the opportunity by creating videos highlighting their personal story and interest in attending the Forum.
“Establishing a culture of inclusive excellence is a priority for the conference and our member schools,” stated A-10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “The student-athletes selected to represent the league at this event have indicated a commitment and passion for diversity and inclusion, as evidenced by the powerful messages in their video submissions. Our hope is they become voices on their own campuses, as well as in their future careers.”
The forum sessions engage student-athletes on a broad range of topics related to policy, research and best practices that support racial and ethnic minorities, women, international student-athletes, LGBTQ and athletes with disabilities.
“I am beyond excited to be returning to the NCAA Inclusion Forum for a second year and I’m grateful to the A-10 for providing me with this opportunity. Through the personal, professional and networking experiences, I hope to further develop the tools and connections to amplify my voice as a student-athlete around issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion at Richmond, within the A-10 and nationally,” said Jaide Hinds-Clarke, a women’s basketball student-athlete from the University of Richmond who attended the forum last year.
The 10 student-athletes from the A-10 hail from seven member institutions, representing six A-10 sports, including two from women’s basketball, one from men’s basketball, one from rowing, three from women’s soccer, one from cross country/track and field and two from women’s volleyball. The representatives include:
NAME SCHOOL SPORT YEAR Emily Jones Dayton Women’s Soccer Junior Liz Wayne Duquesne Volleyball Junior Lara Negron George Washington Rowing Freshman Alexis Williams George Washington Women’s Soccer Sophomore Gabrielle Shilling Rhode Island Volleyball Freshman Blake Francis Richmond Men’s Basketball Junior Jaide Hinds-Clarke Richmond Women’s Basketball Junior Alex Parson Richmond Women’s Basketball Sophomore Natalie Cummings St. Bonaventure Cross Country/Track & Field Sophomore Saint Joseph’s Women’s Soccer Freshman
Five additional student-athletes from the A-10 will also be attending the Forum, funded by their respective institutions, and include Brittany Ward, a junior from Dayton on women’s basketball team, Jordy Tshimanga, a sophomore from Dayton on the men’s basketball team, VCU sophomore CiCi Fox, a member of the women’s soccer team, Rachel Chalsma, a junior from George Mason on the women’s swimming and diving team, and Gjaudy John-Wallace, a sophomore on the George Mason women’s track and field team.