SB: Brown travels to Florida for NCAA convention


Wilkes Athletics/Steve Finkernagel

Senior softball player Caitlin Brown was selected as one of 40 ethnic minority students in the country to attend the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) convention in Florida this past January.

Caitlin Brown, senior nursing student and softball player at Wilkes University, was one of the 40 ethnic minority students in the country who was selected to attend the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) convention. The convention took place in Orlando, Fla. from Jan. 23 through Jan. 26.

The NCAA focuses on respect, integrity and responsibilities on and off the field to help student-athletes prepare for their future. They are committed to making changes to better sports and athletes as a whole. They look for new ways to keep the athletes safe while playing on the field with better equipment. 

The NCAA is a non-profit athletic organization founded in 1910. It was created to provide opportunities for student-athletes in a higher education.

Upon attending the NCAA convention, Brown noted, “It was an honor to be able to attend and represent my team, the athletic department and the university.”

Brown’s head coach Sarah Maulrico echoed similar sentiments, reflecting on the honor it was to have one of her players be selected.

“I am unbelievably proud of everything our players do, but to have one of our own represent Wilkes Softball, and the University as a whole, is a really something special,” said Maulrico.

Softball is known to be a sport that requires teamwork. Brown believes that every player and position on the team is equally important to each other and the game. 

At the convention, Brown learned new skills to work with others effectively. She found that teamwork can be incorporated in a work environment and day-to-day life. 

“The team’s chemistry is good,” said Brown’s fellow teammate Sydney Cogswell. “We all hang out a lot outside of practice. Many of our girls room together every year. This makes for a good dynamic once we’re on the field because we build up trust and respect for one another off the field.”

In addition to sportsmanship, culture and diversity are also very important.

The NCAA is in tune with the constant changing of society, its cultures and the problems they may bring. Some of the things they are working to change off the field is the way that people look at the LGBT community, mental health issues, sexual violence issues, interpersonal relationships and harassment. 

Along with other universities, Wilkes University is becoming more active in changing the culture, starting with a few people or even a team of athletes. Brown believes that working together with her team and other student athletes, they can take on cultural issues. 

During the convention, Brown also gained insight on what type of person she is by using the DISC assessment. This personality and traits assessment is a tool used to describe human behavior in different situations and learn more about one’s self. 

Softball helped mold Brown into the person she is today by meeting extraordinary people and being influenced by her coaches, as well as helping her identify her strengths and weaknesses and develop many skills. 

Brown stated that Maulorico helps sculpt and mold the team and focuses on building character. 

“One thing that coach said that always stuck with me was, ‘I’m molding you into people that will give back to society and people who she (Coach Maulorico) would want to work with,’” Brown said. 

According to many of Brown’s teammates and her coach, Brown is a hard worker and a natural leader.

“Caitlin is the type of player that everyone looks up to,” said teammate Megan Magoon. “She plays the game with all her heart and leads by example in all aspects of life.”

Brown initially decided on Wilkes because it is a smaller school and that helps her to stay focused on her athletic and academic career. 

Motivation is a very important key to success. Brown stays motivated during pre-season and trainings because she knows how important the performance and the work being put into it beforehand is. She believes in working to be at her best in order to be able to push her teammates to become even better. Putting in the practice is a very important factor to achieving your goals.

Brown aspires to become a nurse after graduation and continue into graduate school. She balances herself between her academics, sports and officer positions throughout nursing to achieve her goals. 

“She has been an excellent example to the players that have come in behind her, showing them that we do not get outworked,” said Maulorico. “Her work ethic has allowed our program to make major strides during her tenure, and I am confident her influence will be felt for many years after she has graduated and moved into the world of nursing.” 

Despite being an excellent example, Brown does not take all of the credit for her accomplishments, noting that all of her coaches have influenced, supported, believed and pushed her to strengthen her skills for her future. However, she believes that she would not be able to succeed without her family, especially her mother and grandparents. 

“My family has been there for me 110 percent. They have been there for me through all of the ups and downs,” Brown said. “Without their support and sacrifices, I would not be here right today.”

Having a big support system helped Brown strive to chase her dreams, emphasizing the point that opportunities are endless if you are willing to put in the work.

“Take any opportunity that is given to you because you might regret it if you don’t. Success takes work. Capitalize on every little success. It’s the little things,” Brown stated.