UIC honored nearly 100 student-athletes who have compiled a cumulative 3.0 or better GPA over the past three semesters at the annual Academic Ceremony on Monday, April 11. The ceremony was emceed by Fox News Chicago host Corey McPherrin in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd at the UIC Forum.
The great news was abundant at the UIC Forum. It was announced that UIC student-athletes cumulatively hit the best mark ever with an overall program-wide grade-point average (GPA) of 3.09. Five academic scholarships presented and the top male and female team GPA leaders were fêted. UIC Provost Susan Poser presented awards to nine Flames who have boasted a 4.0 GPA over the past three semesters.
The Sidney L. Port Academic Scholarship honors one male and one female student-athlete who have most benefited from the Port Academic Center and the services it provides. The winners of this award have made great strides over the past three semesters in the pursuit of academic success. Port Center scholarships for $500 each was awarded to Kaleigh Nagle from softball and Andrew Putna of men's soccer.
The Don Nash Scholarship honors the memory of Don Nash, an enthusiastic supporter and the first major corporate sponsor of UIC Athletics with Coca Cola. Nash believed in the total development of the UIC student-athlete when it comes to academics and civic responsibility. This award is presented to a student-athlete who has best exemplified the values and life skills that Don Nash stood for then, and is remembered for now. The recipient of the $1,500 scholarship was men's basketball player Gabe Snider.
The third award is the Aileen S. Andrew Award. This award was established in 1997 in memory of Dr. Victor Andrew and his wife, Aileen. The Andrew Foundation has been a major supporter of UIC Athletics. The mission of the Andrew Foundation is to emphasize the important balance between academics and athletics. Each year two student-athletes majoring in Engineering who demonstrate excellence in academics and athletics are each gifted with a $1,000 award. The winners were announced as cross country runners Emma Preston (women's) and Alex Bashqawi (men's).
Oliver and Peggy Colvin created the Colvin Communication Award in 1999 to highlight the UIC tradition of enhancing academic achievement and career development of student-athletes in the communications field. The recipient will assist the athletic communications staff in the office and at home events, allowing her or him to gain valuable practical experience in this field. The $1,000 award went to a member of the softball team, Dana Capocci.
The Thomas Beckham Memorial Scholarship was established in 1996 and honors Thomas Beckham, who served as the first Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs from 1983 to 1991. He provided unprecedented leadership which enhanced the quality of campus life. Moreover, Beckham was instrumental in establishing the foundation for UIC Athletics and its importance on campus. This year’s recipients, Nathan Bosse from men's swimming and diving and Cecilia Magos from women's soccer, each earned $1,000 scholarships.
The top academic teams honored were led by head coach Hans Neufeld's men’s tennis team with a GPA of 3.62. Head coach Michelle Venturella's softball squad paced the way among the women’s teams with an overall GPA of 3.38.
The following student-athletes achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA:
Alex Bashqawi, Men's Cross Country - Mechanical Engineering
Taylor Cairns, Softball - Biological Sciences
Max Cederkall, Men's Tennis - Marketing
Christopher Cole, Men's Tennis - Economics
Olivia Everin, Softball - Biological Sciences
Haley Kittle, Women's Soccer - Biochemistry
Piotr Lagowski, Men's Soccer - Finance
Erin Sivak, Women's Swimming - Education
Savannah Soppet, Softball - Biological Sciences