PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore athletics department aims to keep a high standard of diversity.
Numerous Hawks teams have already taken strides in diversifying their rosters. The track & field program has students from Kenya, Spain and Dominica.
Neema Connor, the UMES Intercollegiate Athletics Director of Compliance and Senior Woman Administration, is from Guyana herself. Aside from promoting gender equality at UMES, Connor wants to continue to give student-athletes from different countries a chance to receive an education while pursuing their athletic dreams.
“Diversity is an important component to the growth of any athletic program,” Conner said. “With diversity you would find different viewpoints, work ethics and discipline both academically and athletically to ultimately enhance all the student-athlete’s experience.”
Connor recently spoke at the U.S. Elite International Track & Field Annual Scholarship and Athletic Convention in Kingston, Jamaica. Her goal is to get educate student-athletes who are college bound on the process of being recruited to a Division I or II NCAA program.
“This is an opportunity I wish I was afforded when I was in Guyana because it would of allowed me to be prepared and not have to go to a Junior College since I was a non-qualifier coming out of high school,” Connor said.
These student-athletes in Jamaica will be paired with mentors to help them through the recruitment process. They learn about scholarship accessibility and the importance of balancing academics and athletics.
The NCAA will unveil new eligibility requirements on Aug. 1, 2016. Connor is thankful she can help guide students through that process.
Expect the Hawks to continue to build their rosters form around the globe.