Feb. 5, 2013
PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh hosted its annual Scholar-Athlete Awards ceremony to honor and recognize 350 student-athletes for their outstanding academic achievements. The awards presentation was held Tuesday, February 5 in the Connolly Ballroom of Alumni Hall. Pitt Alumni Association President-Elect Jeffrey Kondis, Manager of Corporate Marketing at the L.B. Foster Company, was among the special guests. Life Skills Coordinator Lisa Auld served as the master of ceremonies.
“I’ve had the pleasure of teaching in the College of Business Administration and always look forward to having student- athletes in my class,” Kondis, a 1977 Pitt graduate and a former student-manager with the 1976 Football National Championship team, said to those in attendance. “You have shown what it takes be successful on the field and in the classroom. You get it. Because of that, I’m very confident that you will know what it takes to be successful in whatever you choose to do after you graduate. I look forward to welcoming you into our alumni family of almost 300,000 members around the world.”
Members of Pitt’s Academic Support Services for Student-Athletes handed out “Blue” and “Gold” awards to students who earned above a 3.0 GPA during the 2012 spring and fall semesters. In total, 189 student-athletes accumulated a GPA of 3.0-3.49, while another 145 individuals earned a 3.5-3.99 - including students who achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The list of 4.0 student-athletes included Luke Novosel (baseball); Hannah Brady ,Jillian Grossman, Jhana Hawrylak, Brittany Jackson ,Kayla Missigman, Julia Runco, Danielle Scalise (cheer and dance); Bradley Lukasak, Michael Shanahan (football); Katelyn Lippert (women’s soccer); Catherine Dunseith, Christina Lisella, Lauren Matevish, Lauren Mills (women’s swimming and diving; Kimberly Borza, Jocelyn Lu (women’s tennis); Benjamin Kisley (men’s track and field); Megan Hebda, Elizabeth Kline, Korinne Piper (women’s track and field); and Tyler Wilps (wrestling).
“I believe what you are doing is exactly what we hope every student- athlete will do. You are doing so well in your sport, you are doing so well in your personal life and you’re committed to doing so well in school.” Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. “When you walk in (to a future employer) as a student-athlete with this great Pitt degree, having accomplished all the things you have accomplished and your lined up next to somebody else interviewing for a job and because you been there, and because you have fought through adversity. And lastly, because you have been knocked down and gotten back up that you understand that you have the edge and you will have the edge the rest of your life.”
In addition to individual awards, Pederson announced the academic team awards. The most improved team was softball, which earned cumulative 3.14 GPA.
Earning the top men’s academic award was the men’s soccer team, boasting a collective 3.09 GPA. The squad has captured the men’s top honor for the fourth-straight year.
The women’s tennis team was named the top academic team and the best women’s squad for the third consecutive year with an impressive 3.35 GPA.
“This is such a great event because it combines all the things that I think are so important in what we are trying to do as and athletic department. The ACC puts great emphasis on academic success and they honor the very finest athletes in their conference,” said Pedersen “I can’t wait until Pitt student-athletes are walking up on that stage to receive honors. I hope each one of you commits right now, to do everything you can to be among that very elite group.”