April 6, 2018

My #WhyD3: Megan McLean (Maine Maritime) & Matt Richard (New England College)

The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) 10 member institutions are participating in the NCAA Division III Week (April 2-8), which is a celebration of the division’s unique philosophy that equally values academics, athletics and student-athletes’ involvement in a full and rich campus life. Division III Week provides an opportunity for all individuals associated with a Division III institution or conference to recognize the powerful impact of athletics on their lives, their campus and the surrounding communities.

Throughout Division III Week, the NAC will be releasing a daily feature titled "My #WhyD3." The conference has gathered a variety of individuals willing to answer some questions relating to their personal Division III experiences. The NAC will feature a variety of conference members, from current and former student-athletes to faculty members to administrators and coaches.

Follow all of the DIII Week stories being told across the country by checking out the Twitter hashtag #D3week and if you want to tell a Division III story of your own, use the Twitter hashtag #whyd3.

Friday, April 6, My #Whyd3: Megan McLean (Maine Maritime) & Matt Richard (New England College)

  • Tuesday, April 3, My #Whyd3: Aaron Smith (Castleton) & Paige Carter (UMaine-Farmington) - click HERE
  • Wednesday, April 4, My #Whyd3: Curtis Warren (Colby-Sawyer) & Lexie Walker (Lyndon) - click HERE
  • Thursday, April 5, My #Whyd3: James Black (Johnson FAR) & Mark Marsolais (Thomas FAR) - click HERE



Name: Megan McLean
Institution: Maine Maritime Academy
Major: International Business and Logistics
Minor: Environmental Sustainability
Class: Junior
Varsity Sport: Women’s Basketball
Hometown:  Eliot, Maine


: Matt Richard
Institution: New England College
Major: Accounting and Business Administration
Class: Senior
Varsity Sport: Men’s Lacrosse
Hometown: Weare, New Hampshire

What does being a Division III student-athlete mean to you?

  • McLean: “Being a DIII student-athlete allows me to play the sport that I love while pursuing a degree I enjoy. I have also met many great people who have already made a large impact on my life.”

  • Richard: “Being a D3 student athlete to me, means I have more of an opportunity to broaden my horizons. Although hard work is required in the classroom and on the field, I believe being a D3 student athlete has given me the chance to be more involved in school and in the community. For example, I have been president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee for 3 years. Attending a D3 school has given me the time to help this committee run school wide events and community events such as toy and can drives.”

How do you balance being a student and an athlete, while maintaining your grades?

  • McLean: “Getting homework done before practice during the day is key. Waiting until after practice when you are tired is a recipe for disaster and stress.”

  • Richard: "Balancing being an athlete and maintaining my grades is something that I still haven’t fully mastered, but over the last 4 years I have really learned how to prioritize my time. Being in college there are many distractions and always something else to be doing. A key is to use the resources the college gives you, for example, tutors or the library.”

What do you believe are the most important skills to possess when trying to excel on the “field” and in the classroom?

  • McLean: “The most important skills are being respectful of everyone and having the ability to listen and take in information to better yourself and others around you.”

  • Richard: “I think the best skill is to realize that that the sport you play is a privilege, not a right. This means not taking it for granted. Your 4 years will go by very quick and if you haven’t put the hard work in both areas of being a student and an athlete then you are just wasting precious time.”

Are you involved on your campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)? If yes, why do you believe the formation of this committee is important?

  • McLean: “Yes I am. This is important at our school because it brings the athletes together and provides an avenue to support each team.”

  • Richard: “I am involved in SAAC. I believe this committee is very important because it gives the students a voice on campus. Having representatives from each team gives each program a place to funnel their ideas where they will actually be heard. Also, the committee does much more than just working with athletes, it also helps the community. Collecting donations for the local food shelter and having toy drives are just some things the NEC SAAC has done to help the community.”

Is there any advice you would give to your peers or aspiring collegiate student-athletes that you believe would help them benefit more from their collegiate experience?

  • McLean: “Make sure that you take in all the important moments and try as hard as you can with the things you choose to be a part of.”

  • Richard: “If I could give any advice, I would tell fellow peers or future college athletes to take advantage of all of the opportunities that NEC or whichever college you pick gives you. Whether it’s joining a club or taking an international trip, these opportunities are what will help you get the most out of your experience.”

Beyond your sport, what are you most passionate about?

  • McLean: “I am passionate about helping people in the community, whether it’s at youth basketball practices or helping with Special Olympics events.”

  • Richard: “Besides lacrosse I am passionate about being a part of the school in more ways than just competing as an athlete. I like to show support to other athletes at their games and also go to as many events as possible that the school is holding. These events are a great way to enhance your college experience and also meet new people.”

What are your plans after graduation?

  • McLean: “I want to find a job in logistics and/or the supply chain and get a dog."

  • Richard: “After graduation I hope to further my education by becoming a graduate assistant at another college. This will help me with my future career goals in business or accounting and also let me stay in touch with lacrosse.”

More information on Division III Week:

For resources regarding NCAA Division III Week click HERE.

Any institutions that are celebrating DIII Week should submit their activities to the NCAA by clicking HERE.

Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement.

During NCAA Division III Week, every member institution and conference is encouraged to schedule at least one activity, which celebrates an aspect of the Division III student-athlete experience, from these three categories:

  • Academic accomplishment, including activities such as taking time during a game to acknowledge student-athlete academic achievement, or asking teams to select a faculty member to serve as a guest coach for a practice or competition.
  • Athletics activity, including conducting events such as a youth sports clinic or competition, or scheduling recognition of school teams’ or individuals’ athletics accomplishments during a game.
  • Community or campus outreach, such as scheduling a community-service activity during the week, or participating in an event involving a local chapter of Special Olympics as part of Division III’s partnership with that organization.

Follow all of the DIII Week stories being told across the country by checking out the Twitter hashtag #D3week and if you want to tell a Division III story of your own, use the Twitter hashtag #whyd3