By Erica Wells '19
(Carlisle, Pa.) - Dickinson Football student-athlete Malcolm Davis '19 (St. Louis, Mo./Ladue Horton) was nominated by Director of Athletics, Joel Quattrone to participate in the NCAA Division III Immersion Program during the 2019 NCAA Convention, from January 23-26 in Orlando, Fla.
Davis represented Dickinson in professional development sessions, meetings with various athletic administrators, fellow student-athletes from the Centennial Conference, and from dozens of Division III institutions across the country. After Dickinson, Davis is pursuing a position in public relations for a professional sports franchise.
In 2015, the Division III governance staff and the NCAA Office of Inclusion collaborated to create the NCAA Immersion Program. This program brings 40 ethnic minority student-athletes to the NCAA Convention each year. The Division III Student Immersion program is held annually, in conjunction with the NCAA Convention.
"Overall, my favorite part of the NCAA Convention was the NCAA Division III Issues Forum. Division III is unique, and it was nice to see what issues we have in comparison to other divisions," Davis reflected. "The main thing I learned is that everything is more complicated than it seems. If you disagree with a rule or procedure, it is implemented for the greater good of the college or university. The world is changing at a fast-pace, and we must analyze our policies in order to make sure we have the best policies moving forward."
Among many leaders featured at the convention, Davis was inspired most by track and field Olympic gold medalist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, who delivered a keynote at the convention. Joyner-Kersee competed in four Olympic games (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996), and along with other professional athletes such as Andrew Agassi, Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, and others, she has served as co-founder of Athletes For Hope, a charitable organization that helps athletes get involved with charitable causes, and also encourages non-athletes to volunteer and support their communities.
"Jackie is one of the best athletes of her generation," Davis shared. "We're both from St. Louis, and she recently moved back home and started her own foundation to give back to the community where she grew up. Her story definitely resonated with me."
As Davis prepares to graduate in May, he intends to take what he learned from the NCAA experience and apply it to a career in the sport industry. As a four-year student-athlete, Davis gained an understanding of NCAA policies at the Division III level, and plans to share what he's learned with his teammates to contribute to the success of the Dickinson Football program.
"The Student Immersion Program taught me how to network, and how different policies and procedures shape an NCAA Division III campus," Davis said. "This opportunity in the NCAA Immersion Program was a great addition to my senior year. I am extremely thankful that Joel Quattrone enabled me to have this experience. The world is interconnected, so the more people you know the better chance you have to be successful."