WATERVILLE, Maine – Former Thomas College basketball, lacrosse and track & field student-athlete Amira Jones was one of 40 individuals chosen to participate in the NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program. The program, taking place January 23-26 at the NCAA Contention in Orlando, Florida, provides juniors and seniors who have a goal of working in Division III athletics an opportunity to attend the NCAA convention.
"One of the core values for Thomas Athletics is to demonstrate and develop leadership, so I am thrilled that Amira has been given this opportunity to develop her leadership skills above and beyond those provided to her in her time at Thomas College," said Thomas Director of Athletics Shanda Ness. "I am confident she will gain greater insight into the NCAA as well as possible career opportunities that lie ahead."
As a participant, Jones will attend educational sessions about hot topics in collegiate athletics, sit in on conference meetings and participate in the annual DIII business session. In addition, she will have an opportunity to talk with professionals in collegiate athletics, develop a mentoring relationship and meet other students aspiring to a career in collegiate athletics.
Jones, a sport management major from Chicopee, Massachusetts, was a two-year member of the Thomas women's basketball team after playing two years at Southern Maine Community College. She was a 1000-point scorer and collected 920 rebounds in her career. She was also a member of the women's lacrosse team her senior year, starting all 13 games and scoring eight goals. She joined the track & field team this past semester, competing in the USM meet and registering a third place finish in the weight throw. Jones is also a member of Thomas College Action, an athletics leadership group.
Jones hopes attending this program, coupled with her academic and athletic experience at Thomas, will lead to a career in coaching and athletic administration after graduation
"I am grateful for the opportunity to attend this program and the NCAA Convention," said Jones. "I look forward to networking with NCAA officials, athletic administrators and other program participants."
Created in 2015, the Student Immersion Program was created at the recommendation of the Division III Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, the Division III governance staff and the NCAA Office of Inclusion. Ethnic minority students—upperclassmen with an interest in a career in athletics—are selected and fully funded to attend the Convention. According to the program details, "the goal is to build a pipeline of talented ethnic minority candidates, with an interest in Division III coaching and/or administration, in an effort to ultimately diversify the division."