The NCAA convention is an annual event that features representatives from higher education athletics across the country to discuss important ideas for the governing body that regulates all of the sports played at colleges and universities. Generally, this get together is four days long and features rule proposals, awards, dinners and information on new topics that affect the idea of sport at large in the collegiate sphere.
In 2015, a panel created specifically for the NCAA Division III to address diversity and inclusion throughout its ranks established a new program. Each year, the NCAA selects 40 ethnic minority students interested in coaching, or athletic administration, to attend the convention, fully funded, in order to see the occupation in real time and create a pipeline of talented future candidates. JWU junior softball outfielder Olivia DiGiacomo received the invitation to attend the 2020 convention, which will be held in January in Anaheim, California. She is the first Wildcat to ever receive the invite through the Immersion Program.
For consideration into this program, a student-athlete must be a junior or senior, have interest in the collegiate athletics field, and fill out an application that requires some explanation as to why he or she may be a good fit. DiGiacomo, from Franklin, Massachusetts, was a second team all-conference player last year in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference and also was selected as a NFCA All-American Scholar-Athletes for carrying a 3.5 GPA or higher. She is majoring in business administration and says this about her selection to attend the convention:
"I am extremely excited for the opportunity to go to the NCAA Immersion Convention. I have always had a passion for coaching and giving back. This convention will provide me the opportunity to network and meet other students who have similar passions as myself. I am looking forward to meeting other minority student athletes that share similar interests in coaching and administration at the collegiate level. Being Hispanic Latino allows me the opportunity to go this convention and network."