America East Celebrates Black History Month
To commemorate Black History Month this year, the America East has dug into the storied athletic histories of each of our nine institutions. The result is a four-part video series which will air each Wednesday throughout the month of February via the conference website. These mini-documentaries will examine the meaning of Black History Month as well as the role athletics has played in fostering equality.
This series will attempt to cover athletics in a broad fashion, as we have interviewed current and former players, coaches and administrators. Some of these distinguished individuals have dedicated their lives to college athletics while others have gone on to become successful in business or education. All of them are leaders and many can be viewed as pioneers in one way or another. Many of them will continue to guide us in the coming years.
Please join us throughout the month of February as we celebrate Black History Month and these nine individuals.
Click below for each week’s video feature:
Week 1 Feature
Ian Boyce – University of Vermont
Ian Boyce, a St. Laurent, Quebec native, was one of the best players the hockey-rich history of the University of Vermont has ever seen. Boyce led Vermont to its first ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 1987-1988 and then captained the 1988-1989 squad that reached the ECAC Division I Championship game. The recipient of numerous awards for his leadership and service at Vermont, Boyce went on to become Buffalo’s first choice in the 1989 NHL Supplemental Draft. After a pro campaign of 10-plus years, Boyce went on to become a successful business man and serve on the Vermont Board of Trustees.
Rob Dixon – University of New Hampshire
Rob Dixon is a shining example for inner-city kids from all over the country. Growing up in Dorchester, Mass., Dixon attended Thayer Academy, in Braintree, Mass., where he transformed himself into a scholarship basketball player headed for the University of New Hampshire. Dixon would go on to become the second all-time leader scorer for the Wildcats and parlay his success into a professional career. But Dixon’s true passion is back at Thayer Academy, where he has taught since 1989 and coached basketball until recently. Thayer is also the home of Project RISE, a program which changes the lives of hundreds of local at-risk kids.
David Bobb – UMBC
David Bobb is now in his 15th season as the head track and field coach at the University of Maryland Baltimore Country. In his college days, Bobb became one of the most successful athletes in school history, having earned All-America status five times during his career. Bobb’s career was highlighted by a second-place finish in the 100 meter dash at the NCAA Outdoor Championships where he was the top American runner. He has gone on to guide multiple athletes to the NCAA Championships as the head coach. Bobb was inducted into the UMBC Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
Week 2 Feature
Ed Scott – Binghamton University
After an outstanding baseball career at the University at Albany, Ed Scott took his professional career to Binghamton University. Scott was known for his speed on the basepaths as a Great Dane, stealing 52 bases throughout his four year career as a .329 lifetime hitter. He stayed at Albany to begin his career as an athletics administrator while earning his master’s degree in Educational Administration and Policy Studies. After a stop at the University of Louisville, Scott found a home at Binghamton. Recently, Scott was named to the NCAA Division I Baseball Selection Committee. He is the only minority member of the panel and the first Binghamton staff member to be named to a Division I selection committee.
Lee McElroy – University at Albany
Lee McElroy began his illustrious career in college athletics as a scholarship football player at the University of California Los Angeles in the late 1960’s. He came there from a small town in Texas, where he witnessed firsthand the Jim Crow days of the South. McElroy went on to forge a legendary career as an administrator, with stops at California State University-Sacramento, the University of Houston and American University among others. Along the way he served as the president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and testified before congressional committees on issues such as the welfare of the minority student-athlete and gender equity. McElroy is now in his 12th year as the Vice President and Director of Athletics at Albany.
Andrew Goba – Stony Brook University
Andrew Goba is from Durban, South Africa, where he found great success as a basketball player. Goba played for the South African Junior National Team and was part of the NBA Africa Top 100 Camp. Coach Steve Pikiell brought him to Stony Brook, where he served two years as a captain of the men’s basketball squad. Goba has continually given back to the community, serving as a mentor and coach for the Playing for Peace program in Washington D.C. He is also fluent in five languages. After earning degrees in public health and nursing from Stony Brook, Goba now works as a nurse at the Stony Brook Hospital in the Emergency Psychiatric Department.
Week 3 Feature
Nick Ceme – University of Hartford
A senior lacrosse player at the University of Hartford, Nick Ceme is a model student-athlete. A three-time selection to the America East Academic Honor Roll, Ceme is also the Hartford representative for the America East Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Ceme appeared in 15 games during his junior year making 10 starts and is expected to play a big role for the defense during his senior year. A civil engineering major, Ceme was three-sport athlete at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Conn.
Noelle Leon-Palmer – University of Maine
An Ajax, Ontario native, Noelle Leon-Palmer is a soccer player at the University of Maine. She come to Maine after having great success as a member of Team Ontario, which one the Canadian National Championship in 2008, and Pickering Soccer Club, where she also won a Canadian Club National Championship in 2010. That success translated to the America East, as Leon-Palmer was named to the All-Rookie team after her first season. Leon-Palmer is intelligent on the field as well as in the classroom, where she is majoring in biology.
R.J. Page – Boston University
A senior track athlete from Swedesboro, N.J., Page has rewritten the America East record book during his career at Boston University. Page owns several America East records in both indoor and outdoor track, including the 100-meter dash. A three time Most Outstanding Track Performer at the indoor and outdoor championships, he also has an impressive record of success in the classroom. Throughout his career, Page has been named a top scholar athlete for both the America East and Boston University.
Week 4 Feature
America East Concludes Black History Month
The final feature brings all nine institutions together, helping to show what Black History Month means to them and what they want it to mean to others.