Dr. Jolene Koester Praises Cal State Northridge Scholar-AthletesNorthridge, Calif. - More than 100 family and friends, faculty members, coaches, and University and athletic department personnel honored 55 outstanding Cal State Northridge scholar-athletes for their success in the classroom on Thursday afternoon at the home of University President Dr. Jolene Koester.
The large gathering included distinguished members of Dr. Koester's cabinet including Tom McCarron (Vice-President, Administration & Finance), Bob Barker (Associate Vice-President for Finance), Terry Piper (Vice-President for Student Affairs), Dr. Aki Hirota (Faculty Athletic Representative), Fred Dukes (Executive Assistant/Administration & Finance VP), Hilary Baker (Vice-President for Information Technology), Barbara Gross (Chief of Staff/President's Office), and Matador Athletic Director Rick Mazzuto.
"All of you (student-athletes) honored today are students first," said Dr. Koester. "Athletics drives an enormous portion on how you structure each day of your lives. Each of you works an incredible number of hours in support of the sports you have chosen to participate in. The amazing thing about what you do is how you manage to keep the word `student' in the student-athlete equation at an extreme high level. The University is very pleased to participate in honoring that `student' part in who you are."
The scholar-athletes, who have completed a minimum of one season of varsity competition and have a minimum 3.2 grade point average for the previous two semesters, were named to the 2008 Varsity `N Academic Athletics Honor Roll.
The Cal State Northridge Athletic Department has held this annual event since 1982 to honor the academic excellence of their student-athletes. While the student-athletes participated in intercollegiate athletics, their ability to balance athletics and demonstrated academic excellence is highly regarded at Cal State Northridge.
"Congratulations to this group of outstanding student-athletes," said CSUN Athletic Director Rick Mazzuto. "We honor you for your excellence on the playing field, and in the classroom."
Also acknowledged was CSUN history professor James Sefton, who originally thought of the concept of honoring Cal State Northridge student-athletes called the Varsity `N Academic Athletics Honor Roll.
Sarah Kahn-Shamout, a member of the softball team, was named the 2008 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Kahn-Shamout, a junior, is majoring in Biology. Nic Saylor, a member of the track & field team, was named the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Saylor is a senior who will graduate with a degree in Sociology.
Jessica Beach, a member of the Matador track & field team, was given the Outstanding Graduate Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Beach, in 2007, earned the Wolfson Scholar award, the University's highest honor for a graduating senior. Beach graduated with a 4.0 gpa in Pre-Med/Biology.
Beach offered two suggestions on how to be and continue to be a successful student-athlete.
"Use your resources," said Beach. "Your coaches, professors, academic counselors, your tutors ... they are all here to help you. They want you to be the best student-athlete you can be. Don't be afraid to ask for help and take advantage of those resources.
"Secondly, don't be afraid to offer your help. As a successful student-athlete, you have the opportunity to serve as a role model for not only other student-athletes but to other students in the general population. My experience as a tutor and a mentor has taught me that there is nothing more rewarding than helping other students get a good grade through encouragement and a little guidance."
Alex Alvarado (Sophomore, Visalia, Calif.) - Softball
Jeff Baxter (RS Freshman, Simi Valley, Calif.) - Men's Volleyball
Allison Brookes (Senior, San Diego, Calif.) - Water Polo
Ashley Cambaliza (Senior, Palmdale, Calif.) - Women's Track & Field
Kellie Drenner (Sophomore, Palmdale, Calif.) - Women's Soccer
Theo Edwards (Sophomore, Northridge, Calif.) - Men's Volleyball
Major: Urban Planning
Kathleen Fox (Freshman, Simi Valley, Calif.) - Women's Soccer
Rachel Gillis (Senior, Saugus, Calif.) - Women's Soccer
Siara Grayson (Sophomore, Sandy. Ut) - Women's Volleyball
Valerie Kepler (Junior, Simi Valley, Calif.) - Women's Volleyball
Major: Business Marketing
LaJoyce King (Compton, Calif.) - Women's Basketball
Major: Apparel Design & Production
Kankey Koichumanova (Senior, Bishkek, Kyrgystan) - Tennis
Major: Asian-American Studies
Kristin Krohn (Senior, Northridge, Calif.) - Women's Soccer
Kirra Kylander (Sophomore, Murrieta, Calif.) - Water Polo
Sherrina Lofton (Sophomore, Fairfield, Calif.) - Women's Track & Field
Mercedes Lovato (Senior, Simi Valley, Calif.) - Softball
Major: Communication Studies
Kristin McLaughlin (Sophomore, La Canada, Calif.) - Water Polo
Major: Political Science
Lauren Michaels (Sophomore, Tempe, Ariz.) - Women's Track & Field
Major: Marine Biology
Laura Nunes (Sophomore, Garden Grove, Calif.) - Women's Soccer
Bobbie Patton (Senior, Santa Maria, Calif.) - Women's Track & Field
Jeremy Quant (Freshman, Santa Clarita, Calif.) - Men's Track & Field
Krystal Quinn (Senior, Palmdale, Calif. ) - Women's Track & Field
Major: Sociology/Criminal Justice
Emily Rogers (Junior, Mill Creek, Wash.) - Women's Swimming
Major: Business Management
Jaclyn Rymer (Sophomore, Bakersfield, Calif.) - Softball
Jonathan Sakurai (Alea, Hawai'i)- Baseball
Nic Saylor (Senior, Quartz Hill, Calif.) - Men's Track & Field
Bethany Scamara (Sophomore, Fontana, Calif.) - Water Polo
Olesya Senicheva (Novgorod, Russia) - Women's Swimming
Jillian Stapf (Sophomore, Hudsonville, Mi) - Water Polo
Mike Stotland (Senior, Encino, Calif.) - Men's Track & Field
Major: Finance/Information Systems
William Swanson (Anaheim, Calif.) - Baseball
Katrina Thompson (Sophomore, Sylmar, Calif.) - Women's Basketball
Nanci Velarde (RS Freshman, Lake View Terrace, Calif.) - Women's Track & Field
Bethany Wagenhoffer-Strader (Brea, Calif.) - Women's Soccer
Jessica Beach (Senior, Olympia, Wash.) - Women's Track & Field
Lucy Davies (Senior, Northridge, Cakif.) - Women's Golf
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Mallory Gonzalez (Junior, Sylmar, Calif.) - Women's Golf
Major: Exercise Science
Kevin Guppy (Junior, Chino Hills, Calif) - Men's Soccer
Crystal Hahs (Junior, San Clemente, Calif.) - Women's Basketball
Major: Deaf Studies
Kelley Hanson (Junior, Moorpark, Calif.) - Women's Volleyball
Katie Holloway (Senior, Lake Stevens, Wa) - Women's Basketball
Terrell Jones (Carson, Calif.) - Men's Basketball
Sarah Kahn-Shamout (Junior, Quartz Hills, Calif.) - Softball
Kathryn Kerr (Junior, San Diego, Calif.) - Women's Swimming
Isaac Kneubuhl (Junior, Pukalani, Hawai'i- Men's Volleyball
Sonya Kumar (Senior, Amber Grande, Singapore) - Tennis
Simone Luker (Junior, Adelaide, Australia) - Women's Swimming
Suzanne Mischenko (Senior, Arcadia, Calif.) - Women's Soccer
Kevin Nious (Senior, Alameda, Calif.) - Men's Track & Field
Major: Television Production
Cody Pearce (Junior, Folsom, Calif.) - Men's Track & Field
Eric Vance (Junior, Camarillo, Calif.) - Men's Volleyball
Sandra Velarde (Sophomore, San Fernando, Calif.) - Women's Track & Field
Major: Spanish Language & Culture
Kayla Wright (Junior, Murrieta, Calif.) - Women's Volleyball
Major: Business Marketing