For the second summer in a row, the EMU Athletic Department has expanded its graduate assistant program. This program has shown to be extremely beneficial to the student athletes as well as head coaches as it has allowed to provide positive results across all of athletics.
After having six GAs last year, the program will now encompass nine within the department. Here are the graduate assistants beginning this fall:
Women’s Basketball – Shakeerah Sykes (Dumfries, Va.) is a 2015 graduate of Eastern Mennonite where she played basketball as a four-year starter including being part of the run where the women’s basketball team went to back-to-back-to-back NCAA National Championships. She was selected as All-ODAC three times as well All-Region and All-State. Shakeerah is pursuing a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Counseling.
Field Hockey – Anna Cooke (Ann Arbor, Mich.) is a 2012 graduate of Salisbury University where she played field hockey as the starting goalie all four years, including winning the 2009 National Championship in her sophomore season and posting 33 career shutouts. She was selected as All-CAC two times as well as an ECAC Mid-Atlantic All-Star. Anna is pursuing a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and Counselling.
Sports Information/Men’s Volleyball – David Meehan (Virginia Beach, Va.) is a 2017 graduate of Eastern Mennonite where he played baseball as a two-year starter and was selected to the ODAC All-Academic Team. He is pursuing a Master in Business Administration.
Women’s Volleyball – Jasmine Johnson (Staunton, Va.) is a 2018 graduate of Eastern Mennonite where she played volleyball as a four-year starter at setter and finished second in program history in career assists as well as being selected to the ODAC All-Academic Team. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.
According to Director of Athletics Dave King, the benefits that come with the graduate assistant program has allowed for additional capabilities within the athletic department.
“The increases in student athlete enrollment as well as the record number of scholar-athletes in our conferences last year are both a direct result of the work of the graduate assistants,” explained King. “With the rising demands on our head coaches, the work of the GA becomes extremely critical to our efforts to recruit quality student athletes and provide a quality student athlete experience.”
The Royals open the 2018-19 year with home events this weekend. Women’s volleyball hosts the two-day Route 42 Classic, while men’s soccer also opens the season at home with games both days.