Newkirk continues to thrive for student athletes


Fairfield High School graduate Abigail Newkirk continues to make an impact for students athletes as she goes into her senior year at Bluffton University where she will be playing her fourth season of soccer for the Beavers.

Miss. Newkirk was a very well rounded student athlete for Fairfield High School, she played basketball, soccer all four years of high school, and also was on the softball team and cheerleading squad for one year each.

Newkirk however excelled in soccer, she finished her high school career with being named First Team All-District two times and went on to receive the Leo Pathera Award and Pausch Scholar Athlete Award on top of named to be on the Senior District All-Star games for soccer and basketball to finished her high school career.

Abigail was academically successful also as she graduated with honors, member of the National Honors Society, and was apart of the Academy of Scholars.

She decided to take her education and athletic abilities to another level when she decided to go Bluffton University and play soccer and to major in speech language pathology and audiology, she minors in special education, coaching, and exercise science.

Working has never been something that Abby is afraid of as she takes on numerous jobs and responsibilities at Bluffton such as working as the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (NSSLHA) President, Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Executive Board Member, Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President on Campus, National Division III Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Representative, Represent the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) and the North Coast Atlantic Conference (NCAC), National Division III Committee for Women’s Athletics (CWA) Representative, and she volunteers at the Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton, Ohio.

Newkirk also works close with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), she is a Division III National SAAC Representative for the HCAC and the NCAC.

Abigail stated “The primary duty of a SAAC representative is to relay comments and concerns of all D-III student athletes back to the NCAA, where we serve as a liaison to the student athletes and the NCAA staff. Not only do we advocate for all D-III student athletes, but we are also the student voice that the NCAA wants to hear from. We provide input on pressing matters related to athletics.”

“We create and maintain relationships with all our institutions presidents, athletic directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletic representative, and sports information directors. We also communicate with our conference and partner conference commissioner, SAAC members, and our associate member as well.”

“We attend D-III and Association-Wide governance committee meetings when invited to do so.”

She is currently working with groups on the sustainability document to all institutions to improve sustainable campus practices and she’s apart of the mental health campaign #BreakTheStigma that is taking place from May. 4, to May. 7

Since the Covid-19 pandemic has began Abby has had a lot of projects pushed back but various members from the NCAA are in the process of trying to find ways to talk to student athletes on how feel at ease about losing sports season and future season situations along with ways on how to return to sports, mental health of student athletes.

“We are being the voice that student athletes around the world need to hear from.” stated Abigail Newkirk

Reach Tate Erkenbrecher at 937-402-2572 or [email protected].


By Tate Erkenbrecher [email protected]

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