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NCAS and Scholar-Baller® Announce National Academic Momentum Award Recipients: 49 Student-Athletes Recognized for their Academic Improvement Orlando, FL…December 7, 2011 - The Scholar Baller® program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS), on December 7, 2011, announced the recipients of the Academic Momentum Award. Eighty-nine nominations were received from 55 different colleges and universities across the country. The nominations were broken up into three tiers based on the level of academic improvement and the impact of his or her momentum on themselves and their peers. A total of 17 male and female award recipients from the NCAS schools were chosen for tier one, and 16 recipients were chosen for both tier two and tier three. The names, schools, majors, and sports of the Tier One Academic Momentum Award recipients are: Christopher Bass, Louisiana State University, General Studies, Basketball Chelsea Carrier, West Virginia University, Child Development, Track and Field Erin Davis, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, Psychology, Gymnastics Antonio Fenelus, Univeristy of Wisconsin, Football Janae Fulcher, Arizona State University, Interdisciplinary Studies, Basketball Curenski Gilleylen, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Civil Engineering, Football Robert Golabek, University at Buffalo, Communication, Track and Field Gimel Gordon, Georgia State University, Nursing, Soccer Shannon Hoffman, University of Wisconsin, Human Development and Family Studies, Rowing Connor Lade, St. Johns University, Sports Management, Soccer Robert McLarney, Rutgers University, Communication, Soccer Jessica Pariza, North Carolina State University, Business Management, Gymnastics Latoya Parkinson, Auburn University, Mathematics, Track Trent Richardson, University of Alabama, Undeclared, Football Anthony Salciccia, University of California Berkley, Social Welfare, Soccer Allison Venella, Villanova University, English, Cross Country Natalie Villarreal, Texas A&M University, Agricultural Leadership and Development, Softball Tier Two award recipients are: Tyler Bitancurt, West Virginia University, Multidisciplinary Studies, Football Aunye Boone , Virginia Tech, English, Track & Field Brook Borneman, Indiana University, Fitness Specialist, Field Hockey
Dakota Crockett, Texas A&M University Commerce, Graphic Design, Volleyball Janelle Davis, Canisius College, Childhood Education, Volleyball Michael Genovese, Seton Hall University, Elementary Special Education, Baseball Jamion Hartley, Ball State University, Business, Volleyball Kari Honomichl, Niagara University, Communications, Volleyball Sarah Lizotte, UC San Diego, Undeclared, Water Polo Amanda Montalto, Ball State University, General Studies, Softball Stephanie Norton, University of Connecticut, Environmental Engineering, Lacrosse Jamal Parks, Oklahoma State University, Education, Wrestling Cecille Perez, Abilene Christian University, Criminal Justice, Basketball Luke Spencer, Xavier University, Pre Occupational Therapy, Soccer Shealyn Sullivan, Georgian Court University, History, Soccer Kayla Vitale, Dowling College, Psychology, Soccer Tier Three award recipients are: Stephen Bailey, Florida International University, Criminal Justice, Football Ashley Benson, Indiana University, General Studies, Volleyball Mark Dodds, Florida International University, Liberal Studies, Baseball Janae Grimes, San Jose City College, Fashion Design/Business, Softball April Hutchens, Valdosta State University, Deaf Education, Softball Verdell Jones II, Indiana University, Sport Communication/Broadcasting, Basketball Chanel King, St. Johns University, Criminal Justice, Track and Field Lindsey Lamar, University of South Florida, Communications, Football Shelly Lyons, Arizona State University, Criminal Justice, Football Geoffrey Navarro, Monmouth University, Health Studies, Track and Field DeShawn Painter, North Carolina State University, Social Work, Basketball Matthew Pierce, Valdosta State University, Criminal Justice, Football Korney Rhoades, University of South Carolina, Public Health, Soccer Kiersten Tupper, University of Connecticut, Human Development and Family Studies, Lacrosse Athalia Smith, Sacred Heart University, Business Administration, Track and Field Khymest Williams, University of Central Florida, Sports and Exercise Science, Football This years nominations included stories of: overcoming learning disabilities to progress academically; persevering on the quest for academic success while inspiring peers and teammates to do the same, becoming the first in their family to graduate with a degree from college or a university; being an international student who had to persevere through hardships both academically and economically; and organizing local community service involvement within their community. The NCAS is an ever-growing organization of colleges and universities that provides opportunities for current and former student-athletes to continue their pursuit of higher education, while working in the community with children to address social issues. Established in 1985, the overall mission of the NCAS is “to create a better society by focusing on educational attainment and using the power appeal of sport to positively affect social change.” Established in 1995, the Scholar Baller® movement evolved in response to concerns that the student-athlete’s athletics role increasingly superseded the student role. In order to address
this issue, the founding members of Scholar Baller® developed a groundbreaking program to bridge the gap between education and sport utilizing student-athletes’ passion for entertainment and athletics. As a result, the Scholar Baller® program has produced unprecedented outcomes in student retention and academic achievement. Each award recipient will receive a recognition certificate and authentic Schollar Baller® medal. All nominees are individually and collectively a testament to the “student” in “student-athlete.” Their commitment to academics and athletics is truly an inspiration.