National Student-Athlete Day: NJIT's Liz Benson & Ryan Darrow

National Student-Athlete Day: NJIT's Liz Benson & Ryan Darrow



LakePoint, Ga. –
In celebration of the 25th annual NCAA National Student-Athlete Day, the ASUN Conference is highlighting student-athletes from all eight of its member institutions that go behind their contributions on their field of competition and in the classroom. 

These student-athletes put in additional time and work to make a difference on their campus through participation with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, helping to amplify the voice of student-athletes locally, in the conference and across the NCAA. Selected by NJIT's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee were Liz Benson (Volleyball) and Ryan Darrow (Men's Lacrosse) as they answered a few questions about their involvement with SAAC and its Impact on their lives.

Liz Benson, Volleyball - NJIT SAAC Social Media Coordinator
Q1: How has being involved with SAAC impacted your life?

- SAAC has impacted my life because it has shown how student athletes can come together and work towards a common goal. I feel like being apart of SAAC is bigger than just participating in an extracurricular; whether it be a SAAC hosted event or a service project, when NJIT athletes come together, we can make a difference.

Q2: What has been your favorite part about being involved with SAAC on your campus or in the ASUN?
- My favorite part of SAAC is meeting new athletes here at NJIT. Being a social media coordinator, I interview the athletes of the week and ask about why they play their sport and other fun facts about them. I learned a lot about the athletes' background and got to share that on our social media platforms.

Q3: How have you helped promote SAAC to other student-athletes that aren't involved currently?
- SAAC is a way for athletes to have a voice within their institution. The reason I joined SAAC was so I can be involved and share my thoughts and opinions on ways to organize and promote athletics in NJIT. When we have events in the beginning of the year, we emphasize that you can have a say in how to improve athletics at NJIT and that is very appealing to many student-athletes.

Q4: What project/community service effort are you most proud of during your time at your institution and describe it shortly. 
- Last year SAAC held a 24 hour relay to raise money for one of our own, an alum who played basketball here at NJIT. She had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor and her medical bills were piling up. SAAC organized, marketed and hosted a 24 hour relay where we raised over $1,000 with 100% going to her. This was my favorite project because it showed that Highlanders will support Highlanders their entire life and that was really awesome to see in action.

Ryan Darrow, Men's Lacrosse
Q1: How has being involved with SAAC impacted your life?
- Being a part of SAAC has given me the opportunity to connect and interact with other students and student-athletes to bring together the NJIT community through various activities around campus and athletic contests.

Q2: What has been your favorite part about being involved with SAAC on your campus or in the ASUN?
- My favorite part of my involvement in SAAC has been the ability to connect with the community on a personal level and not just from behind a computer screen. It has allowed me to meet so many more people and make connections that can last a lifetime.

Q3: How have you helped promote SAAC to other student-athletes that aren't involved currently?
- As one of the Personal Relations and Social Media Representatives for SAAC here at NJIT, I have been able to share and pass on the exciting and fun activities and events we are involved with in order to inform and educate fellow athletes and students to get active by participating in the NJIT community. Engaging fellow peers is my main goal and I feel confident that my SAAC team has accomplished this goal.

Q4: What project/community service effort are you most proud of during your time at your institution and describe it shortly. 
- Being able to work with and volunteer for the Project Life Movement Bone Marrow drive we hosted here at NJIT was amazing. Having the opportunity to potentially save a life and uniting our community for a great cause was very special for me and the rest of the SAAC community.