COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA recognized a record-number 4,587 student-athletes for their success in the classroom Tuesday with the presentation of the 2015-16 NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards. Click here for a complete listing of this year’s recipients.
Among those were several Western Wyoming Student Athletes. The Mustangs honored included three on the men’s basketball team, five on the lady’s basketball squad, five on the women’s volleyball team, four on the men’s soccer team and two on the women’s soccer team. Wrestling information was not available on the NJCAA website.
Mustang Athletes included
Brandon Davies – Superior
Earl Russell – Exemplary
Porter Wallentine – Pinnacle
Irene Garrido Perez – Exemplary
Julia Hanni – Exemplary
Recce Bauer – Superior
Shayla Strauss – Exemplary
Sydnee Ward – Exemplary
Andrea Huntsman – Pinnacle
Dunja Subot – Superior
Katelyn Brown – Superior
Peyton Lish – Superior
Rachel Nielson – Superior
Adam Stocks – Superior
Alan Wendlandt – Superior
Seth Romsa – Exemplary
Tanner Trumble – Pinnacle
Katelin Nielson – Exemplary
Melia Davley – Superior
Nationwide, of the 57,472 student-athletes that participated in the NJCAA during the 2015-16 academic year, 7.98 percent earned national academic honors – over double the previous mark of 3.31 percent set last year.
Honoring academic performance throughout each individual’s collegiate career, there are three classifications of the NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards based on the following cumulative GPA qualifications:
- Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence: 4.00 GPA
- Superior Academic Achievement Award: 3.80-3.99 GPA
- Exemplary Academic Achievement Award: 3.60-3.79 GPA
In a change from previous years, first-year student-athletes with at least 24 semester-hours or 36 quarter-hours became eligible for the awards in 2015-16. This modification to the award qualifications led to a 133 percent increase in the number of student-athletes earning national recognition for their academic achievements.
Of the student-athletes honored, a record 663 were presented the NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence after posting a 4.0 GPA. A total of 1,610 individuals earned the Superior Academic Achievement Award, while an additional 2,314 received the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award – both setting new records.
Itawamba (Miss.) boasted the highest number of honorees with 60 student-athletes earning recognition. The Magnolia State institution garnered 23 Pinnacle awards – the most in the country – to go along with 18 Superior and 19 Exemplary.
NJCAA Region 6 – consisting of member colleges in the state of Kansas – claimed the most awards with 499. Following close behind with 408 recipients was Region 23 which is made up of programs from Mississippi and Louisiana. Colleges in central and southern Illinois compiled 342 awards for Region 24.
About the NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards
Formerly known as NJCAA Academic All-America honors, the NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete Awards program has annually recognized the academic success of the association’s student-athletes since the program’s inception in 1983. Nominations are submitted by each student-athlete’s respective institution.