NAC VALUES: Sportsmanship, Leadership & Community Service
This week for NAC Values, the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) has chosen to feature Thomas junior women's basketball student-athlete, Tess McClenahan (Salmon, Idaho) and University of Maine at Farmington senior dual-sport student-athlete, Sean Cabaniss (Vassalboro, Maine).
To view the previous NAC VALUES feature stories, please click HERE.
NAC Value: Community Service
Name: Tess McClenahan
School: Thomas College
Major: Criminal Justice
Sport: Women’s Basketball
Hometown: Salmon, Idaho
Being a good teammate is something that is very important to Tess, but not something that is just limited to her time as a member of the women’s basketball team at Thomas. She is also a “teammate” on campus and in the community, as she truly enjoys volunteering her time and service. “Community service teaches compassion and understanding . . . and has taught me to stay humble and help those in need,” Tess said. “Volunteering in service projects positively assists the organizations in your community.”
She has been involved in several service projects, including work with Habitat for Humanity, at Blood Drives, and has spent time in the summer repainting a local elementary school. However, one of her favorite annual community service projects is working the Taylor Tip-Off Basketball Tournament. This is an event that Thomas College hosts every year with proceeds going towards helping victims of domestic violence. Being a criminal justice major and knowing how serious of an issue domestic violence is, she has always been at the forefront to help raise money for this important cause.
As Tess continues to be a positive influence on campus and in the community, she plans to continue her service work into her career. After one more year of undergraduate work, Tess would like to continue her education in medical school while studying in the field of forensic pathology to become a medical examiner. She has acquired many skills from her time as a student-athlete, but one that she believes is underrated and very important, is the art of patience. “As I continue with my studies, I know that I will have to not only be patient with myself, but with my peers and co-workers as well. Being a part of a team, you naturally have ups and downs and knowing how to prosper out of those not-so-great times is a skill I will keep with me throughout my career.”
Service, dedication, and patience are just a few words that drive Tess, but they do not speak to all that she contributes to the Thomas campus and community. “Tess is an outstanding young lady, role model, and leader in our basketball program, in the classroom, and on campus,” said Emily Cummins, Thomas Head Women’s Basketball Coach. “She has, and continues to, positively impact everyone she encounters. Tess defines a true competitor and she approaches everything that she does with the highest level of commitment, dedication, and enthusiasm. She will continue to achieve great success here at Thomas and throughout her future. I am extremely proud of her and all that she does.”
NAC Value: Leadership & Sportsmanship
Name: Sean Cabaniss
School: University of Maine at Farmington
Major: Secondary Education (concentration in Math)
Sport: Baseball and Men’s Track & Field
Hometown: Vassalboro, Maine
Sean has a passion for sport, specifically baseball, while also enjoying the competitive nature of track and field. When he began his freshman year at the University of Maine at Farmington, he knew he wanted to be a part of the baseball team, but he was also interested in running track and field. However, UMF did not sponsor track and field as a varsity or club sport. So Sean and his friend Josh Wynne decided to take matters into their own hands and started a club team at the university. Three years later and as Sean began his senior year, the club team was elevated into a full varsity program, something that Sean is very proud of and considers one of the most rewarding experiences in college so far.
Sean has always been passionate about sport and highly values the philosophy of sportsmanship. He places strong emphasis on the integrity of the "game" that goes beyond the playing rules and etiquette. “When I play I try and remember that the only thing I can control is my play . . . at the end of the day we are DIII athletes, we play our sports because we love the game and I think it is important to respect that among all athletes.”
“Sean reflects everything we want in our players: commitment, loyalty, leadership, and integrity,” said UMaine-Farmington Head Baseball Coach Chris Bessey. “He has worked hard to make himself a very good baseball player and has become a tremendous ambassador not only for Beaver baseball, but for Beaver athletics in general. His leadership on and off the field is second to none and his tireless work ethic makes him a great role model for teammates and classmates alike. Any program, athletically or otherwise would be better for having Sean involved with it.”
His plans for after graduation are to use his degree and experience to become a high school math teacher and a baseball coach. He will use his experience as a student-athlete to help him be successful in his career. “Baseball is a great analogy to life, as it teaches you a lot of lessons. If you get down on yourself it turns into a snowball effect and it just gets worse. Playing sports has taught me to try to be 100% positive 100% of the time. This is particularly important in teaching, encouraging students and making them feel like they can succeed, that’s half the battle. Getting them to enjoy math will be the other half.”
--Portions courtesy of Jenna Paul, NAC Administrative Intern
What are NAC VALUES?
Member institutions of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) place a high value in the overall student-athlete experience. The NAC will be featuring student-athletes at all ten member institutions in a bi-weekly series that is based around one or more of the following NAC Values: Sportsmanship, Community/Global Service, SAAC/Campus Leadership, and Diversity and Inclusion. To view all of the NAC VALUES feature stories, please click HERE.