NORTON, Mass. - Whether shooting hoops with friends, watching his Yankees take on the Mets in the Subway Series, trying out for the Wheaton College baseball team his freshman year or working in the Lyons athletic department for four years - sports have been a part of Kyle Diangkinay's '17 life for as long as he can remember.
So when he received the opportunity to attend the 2017 NCAA Division III Student Immersion Program this January, it was the start of a life long passion turning into a potential future.
"I've realized that I'd like to pursue a professional career in athletics from the administrative standpoint because I thoroughly enjoy helping in the dissemination of student-athlete information to bridge the gap between the fan and the player,' said Diangkinay. "The benefits that I received from the NCAA Convention are immeasurable and priceless."
The goal of the Immersion Program is to build a pipeline of talented ethnic minority candidates, with an interest in Division III coaching and/or administration, in an effort to ultimately diversify the division.
"Coming from the most ethnically diverse place in the world of Queens, New York, I still hold very close the friends that I made through sports teams as an adolescent. Had it not been for the several sports clubs that I had been enrolled in growing up; my friend group would likely be far less diverse," he said. "Even as college has progressed, I have made friends from all over the world. My study abroad experience was made far better by participating in basketball games with individuals from China, South Africa, England, to name a few nations. Being in an administrative position would allow me to use my experience and knowledge to truly endorse exemplify the concept of diversity and inclusion with athletics as the vessel."
While in Nashville, Diangkinay participated in programming specific to students wanting to pursue a professional career in athletics, while having the opportunity to attend NCAA legislative voting session. The senior received DiSC training, did a Special Olympics Unified activity, learned how to conduct a successful employment search, learned the continuing importance of Title IX, while also being able to attend several seminars featuring guest speakers from all over the NCAA.
"Attending the convention showed me how many career opportunities are available throughout intercollegiate athletics - especially at the Division III level. Many workshops pointed to the slight lack of diversity in administration, but learning more about how much the NCAA cares about inclusion was encouraging for a person of color interested in the Sports Information field like myself."
"Meeting 40+ other equally-as driven individuals in the Student Immersion Program was a great experience as well. Getting to surround myself with a diverse group of people that share my same passion for sports was encouraging to me. We all got along really well and feel confident that we can turn to each other for networking opportunities throughout the future."