Student Athlete Shares NCAA Leadership Role with Southeast Board of Regents

Megan Parks, a student at Southeast Missouri State University from Bonne Terre, Mo., gave a presentation today to the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents, highlighting her experiences as both a student and as an athlete. Parks said she initially became interested in Southeast when her older sister attended the school, prompting her to schedule a campus tour. “When I visited Southeast,” Parks told the Board, “I realized this was the perfect-sized university for me, and also was close enough to home that I could still see my family on the weekends if I wanted. I loved Southeast from the minute I set foot on campus.” Parks, a runner, also met with Southeast cross-country coach Ryan Lane. “Coach was able to see enough potential in me to give me a small track and field scholarship.  I also received a Regent's Scholarship based on my academics. Combined, the two scholarships made Southeast the most affordable and prestigious option on my list of colleges where I could also be a Division 1 athlete,” she said. Parks is the team captain of the cross country team, president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, vice president of the Health and Wellness Association, and a member of Club Red, which works with the American Red Cross to help with disaster prevention and relief efforts.  She also tutors other athletes at the Holcomb Success Center. Parks has an outstanding academic record, and plans to graduate with a 3.9 grade point average.  She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and has been named to the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioners’ Honor Roll three times.  She has been a member of the Southeast Dean’s List four times and is a recipient of the Ohio Valley Conference Medal of Honor. “I learned to balance academics and athletics here at Southeast” she said. Parks also serves as the student athlete representative for Southeast to the Ohio Valley Conference, and represented the Conference at the NCAA Leadership Forum. As Parks explained, “Coach Lane nominated me to be the track and field representative for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee on campus. I found that SAAC was a way for me to express myself, exhibit leadership and improve the student-athlete voice on campus. Through SAAC, I was able to attend the NCAA Leadership Forum, become the OVC Division 1 National SAAC representative, participate on the Athletic Director Search Committee and help to improve the experiences of student-athletes here at Southeast.” Parks expects to graduate from Southeast in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science with a major in health science, pre-physical/occupational therapy option, and has been admitted to the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri.  She begins classes in June and plans to specialize in pediatric physical therapy for special needs children. “The experiences I have had and the lessons I have learned through SAAC are so valuable and these experiences would not have been possible without the help of my Southeast support system,” she said.  “I will always be a Redhawk.”