Feb. 22, 2012
Houston - Rice Athletics and the R Association honored 18 student-athletes who were named the top academic performers in their respective sports at the 26th annual Rice Scholar-Athlete reception Wednesday evening in the R Room.
The Rice Scholar-Athlete Award is presented to a junior, senior, or fifth-year senior who has accumulated the highest cumulative grade point average on their respective team.
"It's great to be able to honor our student-athletes as they excel on their playing surfaces as well as in the classroom and we are privileged to do so," stated Julie Griswold, Rice's Associate Director of Academic Advising for Athletics.
"Julie Griswold was the creator of this event and she put it on herself for a couple of years and then she was able to partner with the R Association to make it a better event," said John Coles, current president of the R Association. "The R Association now funds the event for her and we love sponsoring it and it has become one of our favorite events of the year."
"This ceremony is symbolic of everything that we are trying to do at Rice where we recognize not only great athletic achievement, but academic achievement and we do it with our faculty who are such key players in mentoring and providing discipline, and inspiration for these young people," stated Rice Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan.
Each of the honored scholar-athletes were able to share their moment of recognition with members of the Rice faculty who inspired them to attain their lofty academic results by inviting them to join the honorees at the reception. The Scholar-Athletes and their guests were also introduced at halftime of the Rice-UCF men's basketball team on Wednesday night.
Dr. Dennis Huston, professor in English, attended the event at the invitation of swimmer Louise Gliga.
"She's a scientist and Louise got interested in what we were doing. She had a little trouble with the first paper and I spoke to her about what she needed to do to write better papers. After that, she wrote nothing but terrific papers and she was great to teach," commented Huston.
Dr. Rob Griffin, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and Master of Hanszen College, was the guest of baseball player Daniel Gonzales-Luna, who was unable to attend in person as the Rice Baseball team was playing New Mexico State at the time of the ceremony.
"It has been really great to have Daniel both at Hanszen and in class," said Griffin. "At Hanszen he has managed to stay involved with the college, while being a member of the baseball team and that is something that I really value and respect about him. He's a civil engineering major and is also pre-med and that is rare. It has been pretty special for me to have him in class."
Rice University Dean of Undergraduates and professor of chemistry Dr. John Hutchinson expressed his admiration of the combined efforts of the 2012 honorees. "These are some of the most extraordinary students at Rice. They exhibit the highest levels of athletic achievement and combine that with the highest levels of academic achievement really represents a set of unique people. I believe these are the very best scholar-athletes in the country and they deserve our recognition, our praise, and our gratitude," Hutchinson said.
In addition to the 18 honorees, 73 other junior and senior student-athletes who have compiled at least a 3.3 cumulative grade point average were recognized for having earned the R Association's Honor Athlete Award. All were recognized at half-time of Rice's men's basketball contest vs. UCF.
R Association Scholar-Athlete Award Winners
Men's Basketball: Connor Frizzelle, Kinesiology (McMurtry College)
Women's Basketball: Jessica Goswitz, Kinesiology, Sports Medicine (Duncan College)
Baseball: Daniel Gonzales-Luna, Civil Engineering (Hanszen College)
Jeremy Rathjen, Economics (Brown College)
Men's Cross Country: Matthew Carey, Economics (McMurtry College)
Women's Cross Country: Rebecca Wade, History, Psychology, Sociology (Martel College)
Football: Travis Bradshaw, Chemical Engineering (Wiess College)
Matthew Nordstrom, Civil Engineering (Brown College)
Golf: Erik Mayer, Mathematical Economic Analysis (Wiess College)
Soccer: Lauren LaGro, Kinesiology, Sports Medicine (Duncan College)
Swimming: Louise Gliga, Chemistry (Will Rice College)
Danielle Spence, Mathematical Economic Analysis (Will Rice College)
Men's Tennis: Andy Wang, Political Science, History (McMurtry College)
Women's Tennis: Ana Guzman, Psychology (Wiess College)
Men's Track & Field: Daniel Sloat, Civil Engineering (Sid Richardson College)
Women's Track and Field: Allison Pye, Kinesiology, Policy Studies (Martel College)
Sophie Peeters, Track & Field, Hanszen College, Kinesiology, Psychology
Volleyball: Jordan Meredith, Sport Management (Will Rice College)
R Association Honor Athletes:
Anthony Fazio (baseball), Bradley Kottman (baseball), Craig Manuel (baseball), Matthew Reckling (baseball), Tyler Spurlin (baseball), Tolulope Akinwumi (football), Justin Allen (football), John Gioffre (football), James Hicks (football), Ross Hill (football), Clayton Kiesewetter (Football), Klein Kubiak (football), Michael Kutzler (football), Tanner Leland (football), Stephen Noh (football), Paul Porras (football), Michael Poynter (football), Nathan Shuck (football), Scott Solomon (football), Jamael Thomas (Football), Lucas Kuipers (basketball), Omar Oraby (basketball), Nathan Schwarze (basketball), Samuel Garforth-Bles (tennis), Michael Nuesslein (tennis), Oscar Podlewski (tennis), Sammy Abuhamra (track & field), Dylan Bradley (track & field), Gabriel Cuadra (track & field), Jordan Hmaidan (track & field), Alec Hsu (track & field), Lee Johnson (track), Anthony Lauriello (track & field), Jack Spinks (track), Michael Troop (track & field), Tyler Wiest (track & field), Nick Williams (track & field), Alexander Zinchenko (track & field), Candace Ashford (basketball), Opal Taskila (basketball), Julia Barrow (soccer), Amelia Beger (soccer), Alex Burton (soccer), Marie Hunnell (soccer), Anne Kadota (soccer), Andie Obermeyer (soccer), Victoria Rellas (soccer), Hope Ward (soccer), Shelby Bottoms (swimming), Nicole Delaloye (swimming), Alexandra Ernst (swimming), Alison Godbe (swimming), Lauren Lewis (swimming), Alexandra O'Brien (swimming), Kylee Talwar (swimming), Jessica Jackson (tennis), Daniela Trigo (tennis), Sarah Agara (track & field), Halsey Fowler (track & field), Amanda Gutierrez (track & field), Frances Hsu (track & field), Farrah Madanay (track & field), Sarah Mason (track & field), Lindsay Miller (track & field), Johanna Ohm (track & field), Cleona Oliver (track & field), Heather Olson (track & field), Aaren Pastor (track & field), Candace Springer (track & field), Marie Thompson (track & field), Laurie McNamara (volleyball), Megan Murphy (volleyball), and Megan White (volleyball).