April 17, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C.--Three University of Pittsburgh senior student-athletes--track and field's Ashley Corum, tennis' Jocelyn Lu and gymnast Katie O'Rourke--were honored by the Atlantic Coast Conference as 2014 Postgraduate Scholars. The awards were announced on Wednesday at the ACC's annual Postgraduate Scholar-Athlete Luncheon held in the Guilford Ballroom at the Sheraton Greensboro Hotel at Four Seasons.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan and Jim and Pat Thacker postgraduate scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient receives $5,000 toward his or her graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
"Ashley, Jocelyn and Katie represent the best of the best student-athletes at the University of Pittsburgh," Athletic Director Steve Pederson said. "The recipients of these prestigious ACC awards are truly remarkable people who set a standard for all future student-athletes to follow."
Corum was honored with the Thacker Award, which was originated in 2005 and named in honor of the late Jim and Pat Thacker of Charlotte, N.C. Thacker was the primary play-by-play announcer for the ACC's first television network. Recipients of the award must demonstrate outstanding performance both in athletic competition and in the classroom and intend to further their education through postgraduate studies at an ACC institution.
Lu and O'Rourke both received the Weaver-James-Corrigan Award. The Weaver-James-Corrigan Award is named in honor of former ACC commissioners Jim Weaver, Bob James and Gene Corrigan. Prior to 1994, the Weaver-James postgraduate scholarships were presented as separate honors. The Jim Weaver Award, which originated in 1970 recognized exceptional achievement on the playing field and in the classroom, while the Bob James Award, established in 1987, also honored outstanding student-athletes.
The ACC honored 50 overall student-athletes from each of its 15 institutions at the luncheon.
ASHLEY CORUM (Thacker Award)
Women's Track & Field
Major: Applied Developmental Psychology
Hometown: Carlisle, Pa.
Future Plans: Admitted to Pitt's graduate school in Social Work
BIO: Ashley Corum has been recognized for her academic excellence throughout her time at the University of Pittsburgh. She has been named to the University's Dean's List in three of her semesters at Pitt, and has been named to Pitt's Athletic Director's Honor Roll five times. In 2012-2013, Corum achieved the title of Conference Academic Honoree. Most recently this past fall, Corum earned a 4.0 GPA for the semester. Her achievements carry over to the track where she has placed in the top-five over the past four years at the Big East Championships. In her freshman debut, she impressed with a winning performance in the triple jump (41-0.51) at the Big East Outdoor Championships. She then took home 14th place that same season at the ECAC Championships. As a sophomore, she claimed fifth place in the triple jump at the indoor and outdoor Big East Championships. In her junior campaign, Corum placed fourth in the triple jump event at the Big East Championships (indoor). In her last Big East performance, she was awarded fourth overall for her performance in the triple jump, qualifying her for the first round of Regionals.
Hometown: Mission Viejo, Calif.
Future Plans: Applying to medical school
BIO: Jocelyn Lu played 22 singles at No. 2 and 20 doubles matches at No. 1 as a junior, leading the team with a 4.0 GPA and helping Pitt tennis to assemble the highest team GPA at Pitt. As a sophomore, she played at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles and registered 11 wins when paired with Taylor Washington at No. 1 doubles. The doubles team never lost more than two consecutive matches. Lu was named team MVP following a stellar freshman campaign, leading the team with 20 victories in singles action and posting a 20-8 singles record that tied for ninth overall in single-season wins. She compiled a .714 season win percentage that ranks No. 14 in Pitt's school records. As a senior, she has competed at No. 6 singles five times.
Major: Media & Professional Communications
Hometown: Springfield, Va.
Future Plans: Planning to pursue an MBA and career in athletics
BIO: A 10-time All-EAGL or All-EAGL Tournament team member, Katie O'Rourke has won five event titles to date as a senior on beam and floor. As a junior, O'Rourke helped lead Pitt to an NCAA Regional berth while competing on the beam and floor. O'Rourke earned All-EAGL first team for floor and second team for balance beam and EAGL All-Tournament First Team on beam and was named to the EAGL All-Academic team for the second consecutive year. As a sophomore, she competed at NCAA Regional Championship where she scored a 9.700 on the floor for the ninth-best score. She was named to the All-EAGL Second Team on both floor and beam, EAGL All-Academic team, All-Tournament First Team on floor at 2011 EAGL Championships, finishing 5th as a freshman and the All-Tournament Second Team on vault at 2011 EAGL Championships. She earned the 2011 Most Valuable Freshman Award.
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