May 2, 2011
WACO, Texas - Thirty-one Baylor University student-athletes and eight of its athletic teams were honored for academic excellence and community service during the annual Student-Athlete banquet Monday evening in the Ferrell Center.
"Tonight's banquet is the conclusion of another outstanding academic year in Baylor Athletics. Our student-athletes continue to prove that Baylor is dedicated to excellence in the classroom and in competition," said Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "The accomplishments of our student-athletes continue to amaze. Academic excellence is our tradition in Baylor Athletics and our student-athletes spend countless hours after games and practices in order to excel in the classroom."
Each year, the University salutes the student-athlete from each team that records the highest grade-point average. McCaw handed out academic achievement awards to the following Baylor student-athletes:
Jacob Neubert -- Men's Basketball
Lindsay Palmer -- Women's Basketball
Caitlyn Trice --Volleyball
Kayce Walker -- Softball
Kolt Browder * -- Baseball
Nick Florence -- Football
Joakim Mikkelsen -- Men's Golf
Morgan Chambers -- Women's Golf
Jordan Rux -- Men's Tennis
Taylor Ormond -- Women's Tennis
Bethany Johnston * -- Soccer
Dana Larson * -- Soccer
Jessica Ubanyionwu -- Women's Track & Field
Cate Westenhover -- Women's Cross Country
Ryan Batson * -- Equestrian
Philip Raaf -- Men's Track & Field
Blake Niccum * -- Men's Cross Country
DeLainey McDermott -- Women's Cross Country
Maria Lara -- Trainer
The Big 12 Conference Senior Award, which recognizes a male and female senior athlete who has excelled in the classroom, on the field and in the community, was awarded to baseball's Chris Slater and women's track's Tiffany Townsend.
The President's Cup, which is awarded to the team that carries the highest cumulative grade-point average, was presented to the women's cross country team. The women's cross country team had a 3.485 GPA and won the award for the second time.
The Provost Award, which is given to teams for academic accomplishment, was given to Baylor's men's and women's cross country, equestrian, soccer, women's tennis, men's and women's track and volleyball teams. This award honors teams that established their highest cumulative grade point average in team history.
The NCAA Champs/Life Skills program is designed to encourage academic excellence and community outreach for student-athletes across the country. Student-athletes from all sports participate in a variety of community outreach programs throughout the academic year. For the second straight season, coach Ellen White's equestrian team was the winner of Baylor's Champs Cup for community service.
Track student-athlete Diamond Richardson was presented with her Elite 88 plaque, which she earned at the 2010 Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The Elite 88, an award founded by the NCAA, honors the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships.
Women's basketball's Melissa Jones and football's Byron Landor were recipients of the second John Westbrook Student-Athlete Achievement Award which annually recognizes one male and female Baylor senior student-athlete who has overcome great personal, academic or emotional challenges to achieve academic success while making positive contributions to their respective teams. These young men and women have preserved throughout their college careers to ensure continued success after their Baylor playing careers are finished.
In addition, 14 student-athletes earned the Dr. Gerald Lage award, the Big 12 Conference's highest academic honor. Baylor student-athletes listed include: Morgan Chambers (golf), Terrance Ganaway (football), Leigh Ann Ganzar (track), Caroline Korsawe (women's tennis), Betsy Kyle (soccer), Dominik Mueller (men's tennis), Taylor Ormond (women's tennis), Lindsay Palmer (women's basketball), Lucy Quintana (soccer), Logan Roberts (track), Chris Slater (baseball), Caitlyn Trice (volleyball) and Nicole and Tiffany Wesley (softball).
Each year all student-athletes are asked to vote for the Baylor professor they believed had the greatest impact on their academic career. Twenty-one individuals received Outstanding Professor Awards during Monday's banquet: Randy Jacobs (Sociology), Paul LaBounty (Health, Human Performance and Recreation), John Cunningham (Communication Studies), Jim Moshinskie (Information Systems), Steve Sadler (Religion), Loeen Irons (Health, Human Performance and Recreation), Maura Jortner (English), Fred Hulme (Information Systems), Blair Browning (Communication Studies), Kathryn Mueller (Sociology), Rizalia Klausmeyer (Chemistry), Pete Grandjean (Health, Human Performance and Recreation), Wes Hinze (Sociology), Derek Dodson (Religion), Renee Michalski (Psychology), Kim Scott (Health, Human Performance and Recreation), Alton Hassell (Chemistry), Margy Thomas (English-Doctoral Student), Phil Van Auken (Management), Randy Waller (Information Systems) and Gabrielle Sutherland (History).
*denotes 4.0 GPA