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Trish Surfus
IU Alumni Association

Last modified: Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Student Alumni Association team to compete in IU's Little 500

April 6, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- For the first time, the Indiana University Student Alumni Association has a team competing in the Little 500, the IU Student Foundations' annual bike race benefiting student scholarships.

SAA Team

The SAA's Ride On team. From left, Megan Caldwell, Laura Bliss, Danielle Thoe, Morgan Smith, Helen Han and Kelsey Holder.

Print-Quality Photo

Making up SAA's women's RideOn team are Laura Bliss, a junior from St. Louis studying communications and culture in the Liberal Arts and Management Program; Megan Caldwell, a junior from Lafayette, Calif., studying policy analysis and Near Eastern language; Helen Han, a sophomore from Bloomington, Ind., studying economics; Kelsey Holder, a sophomore from Fort Branch, Ind., studying journalism; Morgan Smith, a freshman from Bloomington, Ind., studying marketing and graphic design; and Danielle Thoe, a junior from Plymouth, Mich.

The team qualified for the April 15 (Friday) race with a time of 2:59:49.

"I am overwhelmed by the commitment of this team in the first year of what I anticipate will become an SAA tradition," said Trish Surfus, associate director of student programs at the IU Alumni Association. "Our students have rallied around this team. The IU Alumni Association and IU Foundation are strong partners, and I'm excited to have our students be an active part of the Little 500."

To build excitement for the team, the SAA has a community bike ride and walk, following the "A" bus route, planned for noon on Sunday (April 10). Participants should arrive at the DeVault Alumni Center, 1000 E. 17th St., Bloomington, at 11 a.m. The event is free, but a canned food donation is requested.

Those who walk or ride and bring three or more canned goods to donate to the Hoosier Hills Foodbank will enjoy a free lunch at the DeVault Alumni Center after the Sunday event. To sign up, contact Jess Rubin, Team RideOn events director, at

The RideOn team came about through the efforts of student Megan Caldwell. In 2010, Caldwell and teammate Danielle Thoe rode with Team Relativity for IU's Collins Living-Learning Center. When that team disbanded, Caldwell saw the need to create another strong independent women's team to participate in the Little 500. She brought the idea for the team to the SAA due to her involvement as the association's vice president.

The RideOn team shares more of its story on its blog at

The Student Alumni Association is sponsored by the IU Alumni Association, dedicated to serving the university and its diverse alumni, students and friends. As one of the nation's largest alumni organizations, serving more than 540,000 graduates worldwide, the IUAA provides many programs and services to its members, nonmember alumni, and the university. For information on the IUAA, visit or call 800-824-3044. For information on the SAA, go to