As one of the nation’s premier NCAA Division III conferences, the MIAA is pleased to partner in the association’s Division III identity initiative. On this page you will find current stories about how MIAA student-athletes, teams and coaches exemplify attributes of the identity initiative on the athletic field, in the classroom, and in their communities. The six attributes featured in the initiative are proportion, comprehensive learning, passion, responsibility, sportsmanship and citizenship.

In addition, the MIAA will also be highlighting another category with these stories, Athletic Excellence. This category will feature examples of excellence from throughout the conference’s past and present, ranging from individual accomplishments to team championships at the conference and national level.

To read more about a specific attribute or to access previous stories, click on the link for each attribute and you will be taken to that specific page.

Check back to this page for new stories from our member colleges every month.


Hope's Wiese: An "Elite" Student-Athlete
Although athletic participation at the collegiate level is time demanding, athletes at MIAA member schools are students first and athletes second. They have their priorities in line. Hope senior Chelsea Wiese of Rochester, Mich. is an exemplary example of the Division III student/athlete. Chelsea recently received the NCAA Elite 89 award for Division III women's swimming and diving. The Elite 89 is presented to the athlete with the highest grade point average who is competing at the national championship for a particular sport. An accounting major, Chelsea has a 4.0 cumulative GPA.Learn more >>


Saint Mary's Mahoney: Seeing the Big Picture
When senior basketball player Patsy Mahoney arrived on campus nearly four years ago, she had full intentions to study engineering through the dual degree program offered between Saint Mary's and the University of Notre Dame. Three years later, she has traveled across Indiana State Road 933 for another academic pursuit."I have kind of always been interested in the new media part of art," said the native of Nashville, Tennessee. An art major earning her degree with concentrations in new media and photography, she first made the leap toward art thanks to a math class at Saint Mary's. Learn more >>


Calvin Volleyball: Training the Next Generation
The Calvin volleyball team has been sharing its love of sport with third and fourth-grade girls from local Christian schools through its "Girls In Training" program, an initiative designed to get girls thinking holistically about health. Since February, the volleyball team has met twice weekly with students. In the first four weeks of the 10-week program, the girls exercised and had discussions at Grand Rapids Christian Elementary School. For the remaining six weeks, the team hosted the girls at Calvin to run on the track, practice in the gym and talk about health issues. The program will culminate with each of its 28 members participating in Calvin’s 5K Fun Run, held in April. Learn more >>


Albion: Men's Basketball Players Honored
The highlight of the week for many children at Albion’s Harrington Elementary School is the one-hour visit by their mentor who happens to be a student from Albion College. Three senior members of the men’s basketball program – Sean Hendon, Luke Walker, and Bob Wernet – were among 25 Albion students who recently received Michigan Campus Compact Heart and Soul awards for their dedication to community service. They were also among the recipients of the Jessie Longhurst Rotary Service Award. Learn more >>


Albion's Towler: Showing Appreciation
Young tennis players have not always grown up with good role models as far as sportsmanship is concerned. Albion College senior Sarah Towler was sheltered from scenes of bad sportsmanship because tennis was not her No. 1 sport growing up. The Milan product, who was selected for the MIAA's Sue Little Sportsmanship Award by her peers at the end of the 2011 league season, played more competitive soccer because she didn’t enter youth events sponsored by the United States Tennis Association and her high school didn’t sponsor a tennis team until her senior year. Learn more >>


Albion: Student-Athletes Assist City
Academics are an essential part of the everyday life of a Division III athlete. But it’s not every day that athletes are given the opportunity to enter their surrounding community and take a hands-on approach to their learning. Albion College baseball pitcher Brett Timmer (Jenison, senior), women’s tennis’ player and Katie Blumberg (Farmington Hills, sophomore), football kicker Steve Seward (Trenton, sophomore), and women’s soccer midfielder Lindsey Lubanski (Lathrup Village, sophomore) were part of a school project charged with assisting Albion’s local government during the spring semester. Learn more >>



Calvin's Verkaik: A Shining Example
Calvin junior Carissa Verkaik was recently named the 2012 NCAA Division III women's basketball Player of the Year by DIII News. It's the latest in a series of honors for Verkaik, who has been the MIAA's Most Valuable Player three consecutive years. She was also one of two finalists for the Division III Player of the Year award, presented by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and State Farm. But Verkaik is particularly proud of one honor she received last month - that of being named to the Division III Academic All-America team.
Click here for full details>>