NEWARK, Del. – Two University of Delaware student-athletes, Jessica Grisler of the Blue Hens Softball team and Dan Costenbader of Delaware men’s golf, represented Delaware at the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Student-Athlete Advisory (SAAC) Leadership Summit on November 3rd and 4th.

Costenbader is a senior on the golf team and was named team captain for the 2013-14 season. Grisler, a third-year member of the Blue Hen softball team, was a 2013 second team All-CAA selection and set the Delaware program record for runs scored in a single-season last year.

The 2013 Summit was hosted by Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. One male and one female student-athlete from each CAA institution attended the summit representing their school as school as a student-athlete leader. Nine campus SAAC advisors along with the CAA National SAAC Representative, Kate Williams, were also in attendance.

Delaware’s SAAC advisor, Rachel Fineberg, enjoyed her experience at the 2013 Summit. “The CAA and Hofstra University did a great job hosting the CAA SAAC Leadership Summit this year,” said Fineberg. “The Summit allows student-athlete leaders from different schools to share ideas and experiences about what's happening on their own campuses and fosters an energy and enthusiasm that the student-athletes bring back to better their fellow SAAC members.  Our two attendees, Dan & Jessica, were fantastic representatives of UD and shared all of the great things our Blue Hens are working towards.”

The first day of the summit, student-athletes participated in an interactive session on Leadership utilizing the DiSC Behavioral Assesment.

“Participating in the DiSC assessment really helped all the student-athletes in determining what kind of leader we are based on our qualities,” said Costenbader.

The student-athletes wrapped up Sunday's events by attending dinner at Borrelli’s Italian Restaurant which included a second session  with guest speak Brian Chashman, the general manager of the New York Yankees.

“Hearing from Brian Cashman it really gave me personally a lot of inspiration to work hard and not be afraid to try anything and not be afraid of failure,” said Constenbader. “He was very generous by giving us his time and is something I'll never forget, especially trying on his World Series Ring from 2000 which still had the twin towers on it.”

The final day of the event was held in the University Club Conference Room on the campus of Hofstra University and the Axinn Library on the campus of Hofstra University. The student-athletes and advisors discussed “Hot Topic” issues with the group. Areas that were focused on included student-athlete welfare issues, recognizing academic & athletic achievements, social media, and other issues. Commissioner Yeager, who is in his 29th year at the helm of the CAA, will solicit input from CAA student-athletes on issues that affect them and hear their ideas about ways to enhance the student-athlete experience.

“Discussion with the commissioner gave us student-athletes a behind the scenes look at what all goes into running such a wonderful conference and how much hard work we don't see that goes into allowing student-athletes like me to participate in collegiate athletics,” said Constenbader. “One of the greatest part of the conference was meeting fellow-student athletes in the CAA.”

"The SAAC summit was a great experience for me,” said Grisler. “Not only did I learn about my leadership style as an individual, but I learned different techniques for applying my leadership skills. I met a ton of other great athletes and was able to meet Brian Cashman, which was a very rewarding experience. It will be fun seeing the other athletes I met compete in their respective sport this year. The SAAC summit was an incredible experience, and I am hoping to be invited back next year."