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Atlantic 10 Names 2014 Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients

Release: 06/18/2014
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Courtesy: Atlantic 10 Conference

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. -- Atlantic 10 Conference Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade announced Wednesday the 10 recipients of the annual A-10 Postgraduate Scholarship. 

The honorees were selected from a pool of 40 applicants and features seven women and three men from seven different A-10 institutions.  The group includes Juliana Libertin, Sarah Senoyuit and Andrew Steffensmeier of Dayton; Simon Gomez of Duquesne; Lyndse Hokanson of George Mason; George Washington’s Jacob Mortensen; Renee Washington of La Salle; Chelsea Paulin from Rhode Island; and both Erin Shields and Emma Slattery of Saint Joseph’s.  The 2014 recipients are the first Postgraduate honorees since the A-10 Directors of Athletics voted to more than double the number of honorees from four to 10 awards and increase the distribution to $7,000 to each student.

"I congratulate these outstanding student-athletes on receiving one of the Conference's most prestigious awards," stated McGlade. "Awarding 10 Postgraduate Scholarships is a great statement for the A-10. I commend the ADs and CEOs for making these funds available to our students."

Each recipient will receive $7,000 to contribute towards full-time enrollment in a graduate or professional program.  All 10 student-athletes have performed with distinction both in the classroom and in their respective sports throughout their career, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community. The final selections were made by a panel of five Faculty Athletic Representatives (FARs) after the full Atlantic 10 Council of FARs reviewed and ranked the full pool of applicants. 

"Through this postgraduate scholarship program, the Atlantic 10 has made a strong commitment to support student-athletes as they pursue graduate or professional degrees”, said Saint Joseph’s Dr. Stephen J. Porth, Chair of the A-10 Faculty Athletics  Representatives.  "We are delighted to recognize the outstanding academic and athletic achievements of these 10 scholar-athletes and to honor them with these postgraduate scholarships."

The Postgraduate Award is part of a broad-based commitment to academics by the Atlantic 10, which currently ranks fifth amongst all Division I Conferences in both Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and the Academic Progress Rate (APR) data released by the NCAA. 

The league APR average is 984, marking the fourth consecutive year the A-10’s average APR has improved. In addition to this overall success, 58 A-10 teams earned national recognition from the NCAA in the APR. The 58 programs, which is the most for the A-10 since 2010, ranked in the top 10 percent of their respective sports in APR scores compiled through the 2012-13 academic year.

A listing of the 10 Postgraduate Scholarship winners is below.

JULIANA LIBERTIN, DAYTON - Women’s Soccer | Pre-Physical Therapy | Green, Ohio
Graduate School: Northwestern University | Expected Field of Study: Physical Therapy
Libertin, an NCAA Woman of the Year nominee and a team captain, is a three-time member of the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region Team (2011, 2012, 2013). She led the Flyers to Atlantic 10 regular season crowns (2010 and 2013) and two A-10 Championship titles (2010 and 2011). She was named to the A-10 All-Championship Team in 2011 and 2013 and led Dayton to two NCAA appearances (2010 and 2011). An All-Atlantic 10 First Team selection three times (2011, 2012, 2013), she was a Top 30 selection for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award, and was named Atlantic 10 Midfielder of the Year in 2013. Libertin received numerous awards, both as a senior and throughout her career. This included Capital One Academic All-America honors as a junior and Second Team of the Capital One Academic All-District Team. She received First Team recognition from the NSCAA All-Mid-Atlantic Region as well as Second Team NSCAA Scholar All-American honors also.  She was named the Dayton 2013 Presidential Scholar Athlete, the highest honor an athlete can earn from the University of Dayton. A tutor for Dayton’s Health and Sport Science department, she also was a student assistant and student associate/intern. She participated in Kicks for Kids, assisted in aquatic therapy for patients with multiple sclerosis and coached for TOPSoccer, an outreach program that teaches soccer to disabled children. Libertin was a volunteer coach for youth and church teams as well.


- Women’s Soccer | Psychology | Hilltown, Pa.
Graduate School: Xavier University | Expected Field of Study: Clinical Mental Health Counseling

Senoyuit, the 2013 Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Year and member of the All-Conference First Team, has twice been named to Atlantic 10 All-Academic team (2012 and 2013). The 2013 team captain has also been recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as a member of the 2013 Academic All-District 5 First team, the 2013 Academic All-America Division I Third team, the 2012 Academic All-District 5 Second team and the 2011 Academic All-District 5 Third team. She received the Kenneth J. Kurtz Award for Outstanding Service in Psychology presented by the University of Dayton Department of Psychology. Senoyuit serves as Dayton’s representative on the Atlantic 10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and serves as the RUDYS Coordinator within the University of Dayton SAAC, assisting in the planning of an award ceremony that celebrates student-athletes and athletics at Dayton. She also serves on the Student-Athlete Leadership team for Athletes in Action. She has volunteered with the organization For Love of Children, including coordinating student-athlete participation with For Love of Children. She has also volunteered with Oak Tree Corner, a counseling center for grieving children, Samaritan Behavioral Health, and cooked and distributed meals to homeless veterans at the Philadelphia Veteran’s Comfort House.

- Men’s Golf | Pre-Medicine | Columbus, Ohio
Graduate School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine| Expected Field of Study: TBD
Steffensmeier, the Flyers’ MVP this season, led the team with the lowest scoring average of 73.71. He finished 29th at the 2014 A-10 Championship (81-78-75) and won 2013 the Columbus Public Amateur Championship shooting 67-72. Off the course, Steffensmeier was a member of the University of Dayton All-Academic team (2012-14), the Golden Key International Honours Society (2011-14), the 2013 Capital One First Team All-Academic Regional Team and was the recipient of the University of Dayton Trustees’ Merit Scholarship (2010-2014). He was also awarded the Joseph E. Scherger, MD, Leadership in Medicine Award, the 2014 Presidential Scholar Athlete Award, given to one male and one female who have demonstrated academic excellence, qualities of leadership, and service to the University of Dayton Community, and the John C. Johnson Award for Excellence in Student Research by the Beta Beta Beta National Biology Honors Society. A member of the University of Dayton Honor Program since his freshman year, Steffensmeier has been a member of the UD Student Athlete Advisory Committee and also served on the Faculty Awards Committee Executive Board. He has conducted research of the neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer’s, in the Drosophila melanogaster and also presented his own research at the 53rd and 54th Annual Drosophila Conferences hosted by the Genetics Society of America. He has volunteered with the ReachOut Physician’s Free Clinic, started the Zambia Library Project in his high school and church, which collects books and donates funds to start a library in Chroma, Zambia, and served as a volunteer tutor and volunteer youth basketball coach.


- Men’s Soccer | Athletic Training | Toronto, Ontario
Graduate School: University of Pittsburgh | Expected Field of Study: Sports Medicine
Gomez, a two-time team captain ranks second in Duquesne school history in points (67) and assists (27), and fifth all-time in goals with 20. He was named to Atlantic 10 All-Conference First Team in 2010 and 2011 along with being a member of the 2010 Atlantic 10 All-Rookie team. He was also named to the Hermann Award watch list prior to the 2012 season and was recognized on the NSCAA First Team in 2011 and the Second Team in 2010. Gomez was a 2012-13 NSCAA Scholar All-East Region Honorable Mention award winner and has been recognized on the Dean’s List, Director of Athletics Honor Roll and Commissioner’s Honor Roll the past four years. He has been named Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference (2011-2013). Off the field, Gomez has served as a group leader for the Salvation Army Canada, represented the Men’s Soccer team on the Duquesne Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), worked with DUSAT (Duquesne University Students in Athletic Training), a student organization established to promote the field of athletic training and provide students with networking and professional development opportunities. He also is a member of NATA (The National Athletic Trainer’s Association). He volunteered with Special Olympics, Salvation Army Canada, and at Best Buddies – Duquesne University where he volunteered with sports-related activities with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. 


- Women’s Soccer | Communication | Crofton, Md.
Graduate School: Valdosta State University |  Expected Field of Study: Communication Arts

The Crofton, MD native will be attending Division II Valdosta State University in the fall as a graduate assistant coach for the women’s soccer team. She graduated from George Mason with a B.A. in Communications with a concentration in Journalism and a minor in Sports Communication. She was honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) being named to the 2013 NSCAA University Division Women’s Scholar All-East Region Second Team. She is a three-time George Mason Provost Scholar Athlete, earning above a cumulative 3.75 GPA. She appeared in 24 games for the Patriots this season and finished her senior season with five shutouts and a .760 save percentage. In her four-year playing career, Hokanson posted a 1.33 goals-against-average to go along with a .751 save percentage and 10 shutouts. She has left her mark in the all-time record book in career saves (199), save percentage (.751), GAA (1.33), shutouts (10), as well as in the all-time season stats. Off the field and away from the classroom, Hokanson was a Mason Ambassador who assisted the Office of Admission in recruiting prospective students. Following the 2012-13 school year, Hokanson received the Mason Ambassador Presidents Award which is given to the Ambassador who best exemplifies the aims of the organization and goes above and beyond the required duties to positively impact the campus and the community. She was also involved in Campus Ministries, the American Cancer Society and the Chi Alpha service fraternity. Hokanson was also selected to participate in the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program (URSP) in which she received a grant for a yearlong research project on the use of mythic and heroic language in sports media. 

JACOB MORTENSEN, GEORGE WASHINGTON - Men’s Swimming | Civil Engineering | Albuquerque, N.M.
Graduate School: New Mexico | Expected Field of Study: Civil Engineering specializing in Water Resources Engineering
A civil engineering major with a minor in sustainability, Mortensen has been named to the GW Athletics Academic Dean's List every semester of his career and is a six-time member of the A-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll. Mortensen took home eighth place in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke events at the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championships with times of 50.26 seconds and 1:49.65, respectively. He was also a part of two school record-setting performances as he swam the leadoff leg of the fourth-place 400-yard medley relay that snapped a 16-year-old GW record in 3:19.45, as well as the 200 medley relay that tied the school record in 1:31.32. Out of the pool, Mortensen is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and in 2013 served as an intern with the DC Water Clean Rivers Project. Mortensen also volunteered at the Center for Health and Environmental Justice and took part in George Washington Student-Athlete Community Service Commitment.

- Women’s Soccer | Communication | Ewing, N.J.
Graduate School: Lehigh University |  Expected Field of Study: Educational Leadership
A team captain,  La Salle’s Co-Female Scholar Athlete of the Year and an NCAA Woman of the Year nominee, Washington led La Salle to two A-10 Championship titles and three NCAA appearances. She was an All-American selection by the NSCAA in 2011 and an All-Region pick in 2012 and 2013. Washington has over 100 career points and is the all-time leader in career points at La Salle and she’s also tied for first in all-time goals. A four-year All-Conference honoree, she also was on the A-10 All-Championship teams in 2012 and 2013, earning Most Outstanding Player honors in 2013. Named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each semester through her four years, she was also a CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-American and a three-time NSCAA Scholar All-American (2011, 2012, 2013). She also was a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award and was on the Hermann Trophy Watch List as a junior. She coaches youth soccer for multiple organizations, including Total Soccer Academy and the Hibernian Cyclones U14 team and has also worked the Explorer Soccer Camps. She oversaw the Score for the Cure program and founded the Make your Mark program. Make your Mark is a non-profit organization that works to raise money for Crohn's disease research. Washington raised roughly $3,500 in the first six months following Make Your Mark's inception. She also was a selected speaker for Gateways to Careers and the La Salle Charter Dinner. She participated in the Emerging Leaders Program, and also volunteered her time with multiple organizations, including serving as a tutor and helping community cleanup efforts. 

- Women’s Rowing | Nutrition & Dietetics | Egg Harbor Township, N.J.
Graduate School: University of Rhode Island | Expected Field of Study: Masters/Dietetic Internship

Paulin, a two-year team captain, served as the coxswain for the Varsity 8 during the 2014 season and for the Second Varsity 8 for the 2012 and 2013 Atlantic 10 Rowing Championship teams. She helped the Rams clinch the A-10’s first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Championship in 2013. During the 2013 season she led the Second Varsity 8 to a 20th place finish in its flight. She was also a 2012, 2013 and 2014 College Rowing Coaches Association Scholar Athlete and was named to the 2013 and 2014 Atlantic 10 All-Academic teams. Paulin has been named to the Dean’s list for seven semesters along with the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years since enrolling at URI. She is also a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. During her time at Rhode Island, Paulin has served as an undergraduate research assistant in the University of Rhode Island Lipid Laboratory, a student note taker for the Department of Disability Services for students at the University of Rhode Island, and as a laboratory technician at the New Jersey American Water Company in Egg Harbor Township, N.J.. She has also volunteered at Inspira Medical Center in the Dietary Department, worked as book research intern at Jenny Westerkamp, LLC and served as a mentor for a freshman transition class (URI 101). 


- Women’s Basketball | Finance | Drexel Hill, Pa.  
Graduate School: Saint Joseph’s| Expected Field of Study: Business Administration 
An NCAA Woman of the Year candidate, Shields led Saint Joseph’s to the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two seasons and the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship. As a senior she had a team-best 14.9 points per game, while setting the single-season mark for three-pointers with 96. She was named to the All-Big 5 First Team and its Scholar Athlete of the Year as well as Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team this season. Shields finished her career as SJU’s all-time leader in free throw percentage and finished fifth in three-point percentage. Her stellar senior season came on the heels of a junior campaign where she was named Atlantic 10 All-Conference Third-Team and the A-10’s Most Improved Player. A two-time captain, Shields was a member of the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her four years, earned a spot on the Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball All-Academic Team as a junior and as a senior and was a two-time member of the Division I AAA Scholar Athlete Team. Shields also served on Saint Joseph’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, while volunteering with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Developing Champions Everyday.  She also took part in Philly’s Girl Got Game as well as food and sneaker drives.  

- Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field | Biology | Downingtown, Pa
Graduate School: TBD | Expected Field of Study: TBD
Slattery, a senior team captain for the Cross Country and Track & Field teams, was a member of the 2012 Cross Country All-Conference team. A 2012 and 2013 ECAC All-Star First Team Cross Country selection and a two-time ECAC All-East Outdoor Track & Field selection, she was a part of both the 4x800 relay and Distance Medley relay teams that hold current school records. She was named to the 2012 Atlantic 10 Cross Country All-Academic Team, the 2012-13 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District First Team and the Philadelphia Inquirer Women’s Cross Country All-Academic team in both 2012 and 2013. She was named to the Saint Joseph’s University Dean’s List, Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll (2010-2014). The Kinney Center of Excellence at Saint Joseph’s University, a center to teach and support individuals on the Autism Spectrum, awarded Slattery the Kinney Center Excellence Scholarship given to an individual that shows commitment and passion in their work. A member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honors Society, she performed undergraduate genetic research, worked with SCHOLAR (Students Committed to Helping Others Learn about Autism Research and Support) at the Kinney Center for Autism to create and implement plans to teach specific skills to individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and served as a board member of Center for Developing Everyday Champions, a group devoted to finding more out of the Division I experience through faith, reflection and friendship. She has also served as a board member of AutismU, Saint Joseph’s chapter, which is a collegiate branch of the National Organization Autism Speaks and aims to raise money and awareness for autism research and support.  She has volunteered with the Center for Autism Research and Regional Autism Clinic at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Saint Elizabeth’s Giving Tree, Kristen’s Krusade, and served as a tutor for adults working toward their GED.

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