As part of the annual MASCAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee meeting in December, the conference will host Ivy Watts as a speaker for this year's meeting.
Every other year, the MASCAC has a speaker present to the conference SAAC on issues that are prevalent to what is currently happening in their lives or in the world. During the other years, each institution presents and votes on a community service project to be done during the spring semester.
Ivy Watts has been speaking around New England and the US for several years. She presented for the NCAA, ECAC, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and many DIII institutions.
"The MASCAC is excited to welcome Ivy Watts to speak at our December SAAC meeting," Commissioner Angela Baumann said. "Taking from her own life experience as not only a student-athlete who struggled with mental health issues but also as a African-American female will provide insight to many of the issues our student-athletes are currently facing. We look forward to her presentation and the impact she will make on our conference."
According to the about section on her website, "A former track & field student-athlete who appeared to have it all together, graduating Summa Cum Laude and a top 30 finalist for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, on the inside struggled daily with anxiety, self-worth and depression. After finally seeking help, Ivy, who is Mental Health First Aid Certified, promotes mental wellness and reduces stigma around mental illness by sharing her story through public speaking and her blog, Beautifully Simply You. Ivy empowers others to speak their truths, know that they are not alone, learn the beauty of self-love and find strength to keep fighting for their tomorrows. Ivy has her undergrad in Psychology from University of New Haven, her Masters in Public Health from Boston University, and also has her certification in Mental Health First Aid."
During her virtual presentation to MASCAC SAAC, she will speak on the mental health issues she faced, the impact that the pandemic is currently having on the student-athletes and also the racial issues that are facing the country today.
"These are incredibly difficult times for student-athletes right now," Watts said. "So much loss has occurred in a short time and athletes may be struggling with their mental health for the first time ever, or struggling even more than before. I am so grateful that MASCAC is creating a space to create meaningful discussions for their SAAC student-athletes to practice mental wellness and self-care for themselves and for others during these tough times. I am excited to share my experiences as a Black student-athlete who appeared like I had it all together, to help MASCAC student-athletes know that they are not alone in their struggle, and that it is okay to not be okay. Although COVID, racial injustice, and other personal issues have caused a lot of anxiety and fear in our lives, I am excited that the MASCAC is committed to promoting mental wellness, and I am incredibly honored to be able to play a role in empowering MASCAC student-athletes to find the power of self-compassion, self-love and mental wellness."
For more information, visit Watts website here.