June 28, 2012

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Just like they’ve done throughout their careers as student-athletes, Justine Raterman and Manuela Marin Salcedo have another chance to represent the Atlantic 10 Conference among the NCAA’s elite.

The A-10 announced Thursday that Raterman, a Dayton women’s basketball standout, and Salcedo, a St. Bonaventure women’s tennis student-athlete, will be the Atlantic 10 Conference nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.

The pair will join nominees from member institutions from all three NCAA divisions. The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.

Hailing from Weston, Fla., Salcedo was a four-year standout, playing No.1/No.2 singles and doubles for Bona women’s tennis. An All-Conference selection in three of her four years, Salcedo served as team captain and also was a member of the Bonnies’ Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She led Bona to four A-10 Women’s Tennis Championship appearances, herself competing in each of those tournaments.

An honors student, Salcedo graduated this spring Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Journalism/Mass Communication and minors in English and Italian.  The impressively multi-lingual Salcedo is fluent in Spanish, English and French and proficient in Italian. A Dean’s List member, she was awarded the Dr. Mary A. Hamilton Woman of Promise Award and is a recipient of the SBU student-athlete merit award.

Besides exemplifying the term student-athlete, Salcedo, who has studied abroad at Oxford in England, also has a strong attraction to photography. She worked as the photo editor for the Bona student newspaper The Intrepid and as a photographer for the independent student paper The Bona Venture. She has assisted Buffalo Bills photographer Craig Melvin and is a recipient of the prestigious Father Cornelius Welch Award for Achievement in Photography. This award is given to one journalism/mass communications senior each year.

Salcedo’s honors thesis involved travel to Rincon del Mar, a small coastal village in Columbia, where she studied the village’s culture and story, hoping to help the people of the tiny town. Instead, she found the people of Rincon del Mar helping and teaching her on her journey through life.

Raterman, who led Dayton to four post-season appearances, was the first player in A-10 women’s basketball history to be named to the Atlantic 10 All-Championship team all four years. A native of nearby Bradford, Ohio, the 2012 First Team All-Conference selection led her hometown Flyers to their first-ever A-10 title and to the NCAA Tournament. The Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year as a freshman, Raterman garnered All-Conference honors her final three years and All-Rookie honors her first year.

Like Salcedo, Raterman was a leader as an active member of Dayton’s SAAC, while also participating in Athletes in Action. One of her best leadership examples came during her junior year when she persevered for three games through a torn ACL, holding off on surgery until after the season was over. This prompted long-time women’s basketball analyst Debbie Antonelli to wear Raterman's jersey at the Final Four after naming the then junior one of her top five favorite players in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

Raterman graduated this spring with a degree in mathematics and AYA education major. Along the way she collected an impressive academic awards list, including being named to the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award All-America Frist Team. She also is a CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, a seven-time member of the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and a Dean’s List member.

A long list of volunteer accomplishments, from working with children to the elderly, line Raterman’s resume. She has served as a tutor, has volunteered her time for child and family care and for kids clubs. She has spent time helping at the Special Olympics, at the YMCA Olympics, at Habitat for Humanity and at hospitals and the Ronald McDonald House. Her success and willingness to volunteer led to her receiving the 2010 Erin Ritchy Memorial Volunteer Service Award for working with special needs individuals through MRDD Clinics and Spirit Nights. She also received the 2010-11 Student Service Award.

Both A-10 candidates will be reviewed by the NCAA, which will then announce the top 10 honorees per division in August. That list will be narrowed to three finalists in each division and the Woman of the Year will be awarded on Oct. 14 at a ceremonial dinner. The NCAA established the Woman of the Year Award in 1991 to celebrate the achievements of women in intercollegiate athletics. From 1998 through 2005, an average of 410 female student-athletes per year were nominated for the award; and since the program’s inception in 1991, 2200 women have been recognized as state or conference honorees.