Feb. 7, 2012
PITTSBURGH-The Pitt Alumni Association sponsored the annual University of Pittsburgh Scholar-Athlete Awards Breakfast in Alumni Hall this morning. Two hundred and eighty-four student-athletes were recognized for their excellence in the classroom. Pitt Alumni Association President Dr. Jack Smith was among the special guests, while Life Skills Coordinator Austin Ransom served as the master of ceremonies.
"We are extremely proud of our student-athletes and their exceptional performances in the classroom," Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. "It takes an incredible amount of commitment, discipline and sacrifice to achieve Scholar-Athlete honors at the University of Pittsburgh. These young men and women truly embody the very best of Pitt and Pitt Athletics."
The program started with remarks from Dr. Smith. Next, 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 2011 calendar year. There were 163 student-athletes who accumulated a GPA of 3.0-3.49 (blue) and 121 who posted a 3.5-4.0 (gold) - including, 18 student-athletes who achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA.
The list of 4.0 student-athletes included: Adela Aprodu (tennis), Abby Baldys (women's soccer), Justin Boehm (men's soccer), Kimmy Borza (tennis), Abby Dowd (women's basketball), Keli Gaynor (softball), Philip Konieczny (baseball), Jennifer Larimore (tennis), Susan Martinez (women's track), Cookie McIntyre (women's swimming and diving), Kristen McMullan (women's swimming and diving), Pierre-Antoine Meunier (men's swimming and diving), Lauren Mills (women's swimming and diving), Korinne Piper (women's track), Lisa Taylor (gymnastics), Ryan Tomei (wrestling), Leah Ulizio (women's track) and Sarah Zetlmeisl (women's swimming and diving).
During the program, Pederson announced team academic awards. The most improved team was gymnastics, who earned a cumulative 3.10 GPA.
Earning the top men's academic award for the third-straight year was the men's soccer team.
The women's tennis team was named both the top women's team and overall team recipient for the second consecutive year, boasting a collective 3.33 GPA.
"On behalf of the women's tennis team, I would like to thank Athletic Director Steve Pederson, the Provost's office and Academic Support Services for the academic award we earned today," Pitt head coach George Dieffenbach said. "I want to congratulate all of the student-athletes honored today, and personally thank them for their discipline and hard work. We also owe thanks to our student-athlete's parents who did an outstanding job instilling pride in their academic excellence."
The tennis team garnered its first-ever nod at last year's breakfast and improved upon its then-3.32 overall GPA. Seven members of the squad have earned a 3.5 GPA or better, including two with a perfect 4.0 GPA.