Senior receives grant to attend NCAA Convention

Nene Jones '16, a two-sport student-athlete, is headed for first — and to San Antonio in January to attend the 2016 NCAA Convention, thanks to a Division III grant program. Photo by Pete Emerson.
Nene Jones ’16, a two-sport student-athlete, is headed for first — and to San Antonio in January to attend the 2016 NCAA Convention, thanks to a Division III grant program. Photo by Pete Emerson.

Shaniqua “Nene” Jones ’16 has been selected to attend the 2016 NCAA Convention via a Division III Ethnic Minority Grant.

Jones will be a participant in the pilot program, which seeks to increase diversity in all divisions of the NCAA by inviting students to attend the convention, says Sweet Briar athletics director Teresa Boylan. Jones is registered for the Jan. 14-16 event in San Antonio, Texas, and will have her hotel and flight accommodations taken care of by the NCAA.

Boylan nominated Jones as a candidate who has “shown growth and leadership as a student-athlete” during her time at Sweet Briar. Nominees were required to submit an application and questionnaire detailing why they want to attend.

“Nene’s answers must have been compelling,” Boylan said. “She has indicated an interest in sport psychology, which is a trending profession in the NCAA. I thought she might be exposed to some interesting perspectives and options by attending the convention.”

Jones says she feels lucky to have been chosen. She worried that she didn’t say enough on the application, which only had two questions.

“I talked about how sports changed my life for the better,” she says. “I talked about my coaches and how they have impacted my life and how I have hopes to do the same.”

The convention will show her “another side of the NCAA,” she says — not to mention, she’s never been to Texas or traveled by plane before.

“This is not an opportunity that arises every day. I would love to look into a career in athletics, and this is where it starts for me. I love the idea that Sweet Briar is being represented at such a pivotal time! I am overjoyed that I am the one who gets to represent the College.”