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Student-Athletes Garner 76 Winter Academic All-Big Ten Honors

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March 30, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.-- Penn State student-athletes continue to add onto their academic achievements with the announcement of the 2016-17 Winter Academic All-Big Ten honorees. The Nittany Lions tallied 76 honorees, the second-highest winter total in school history, just shy of last winter's record total of 79.

The Nittany Lions ranked third among all Big Ten institutions in 2016-17 winter Academic All-Big Ten honorees.

Penn State leads all Big Ten institutions with 5,730 Academic All-Big Ten honorees since 1991-92, its first year of competition in some Big Ten sports. Ohio State is next with 5,667 over the past 25 years.

The Nittany Lion wrestling team, fresh off winning its sixth NCAA National Championship in the last seven years, led Penn State's winter teams with 15 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, which also topped all Conference wrestling squads.

Directed by Coach Cael Sanderson, the 2017 National Champions were led by sophomore Devon Van Cura (Wilmington, N.C.), who has a perfect 4.0 grade-point average in chemistry. Two of Penn State's NCAA record-tying individual five national champions were recognized with Academic All-Big Ten accolades -- sophomore Jason Nolf (Yatesboro, Pa.) and junior Zain Retherford (Benton, Pa.), who was a 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-American.

The 2017 Big Ten Champion and NCAA quarterfinalist men's hockey team also continued its success in classroom, totaling 14 Academic All-Big Ten honorees. Guided by Coach Guy Gadowsky, the Nittany Lions had the third-highest total of honorees in the Conference.

The women's swimming and diving squad also had 14 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, tied for second-highest among Penn State's winter squads. Directed by Coach Tim Murphy, the women's swimming and diving team earned a 3.41 team GPA during the 2016 fall semester, second only to women's hockey (3.45 GPA) among the Nittany Lions' winter teams. (Women's hockey's Academic All-Big Ten honorees will be included in the Spring/At-Large category).

The men's gymnastics team had 12 Academic All-Big Ten recipients, including junior Noah Roberson (Williamsville, N.Y.), who owns a 4.0 GPA in biomedical engineering. Led by Coach Randy Jepson, the Nittany Lions were second in the Conference in honorees. The women's basketball team, directed by Coquese Washington, had five Academic All-Ten honorees, tied for third among all Conference teams. Women's gymnastics (7), men's swimming and diving (6) and men's basketball (3) comprise the remainder of Penn State's winter total of 76 recipients.

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, students must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

The winter announcement for conference academic laurels is the latest in Penn State's growing list of academic accomplishments for the 2016-17 academic year:

  • Last fall, the NCAA released its annual national graduation rates study, which revealed that Penn State student-athletes earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 89 percent compared to the 84 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2006-07 through the 2009-10 academic year. The 89 percent graduation figure was just one point off Penn State's 90 percent all-time graduation record mark and one point higher than last year's figure.
  • The NCAA data revealed student-athletes from seven Penn State squads earned a Graduation Success Rate of 100 percent, an increase of two from last year's five teams. The seven Nittany Lion squads posting perfect graduation scores were: men's basketball, field hockey, women's golf, women's gymnastics, men's soccer, softball and women's tennis.
  • Penn State has had 195 Academic All-Americans all-time, which ranks fifth among all NCAA institutions and fourth among Division I schools. Women's volleyball All-American Haleigh Washington (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and football's Tyler Yazujian (Royersford, Pa.) were honored last fall.
  • Wrestling's Geno Morelli (DuBois, Pa.) was named the Big Ten's 2017 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award recipient by the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership. The award is an annual scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership.
The complete listing of Penn State's Academic All-Big Ten honorees for winter sports is as follows:

Academic All-Big Ten - Winter 2017

Men's Basketball

Julian MooreSr. Information Systems and Technology
Isaiah Washington Jr. Health Policy and Administration
Alex Zhao So. Business Administration

Women's Basketball

Sarah McMurtrySo. Division of Undergraduate Studies
Kaliyah MitchellSr. Childhood and Early Adolescent Education
Sierra MooreSr. Human Resources and Employment Relations
Lindsey SpannSr. Advertising/Public Relations
Peyton WhittedSr. Journalism

Men's Gymnastics

Joseph Boyle Sr. Biology
Michael Burns So. Engineering
Franz Card Sr. Mechanical Engineering
Colin Coates Jr. Mechanical Engineering
Benjamin Cooperman Jr. Management
Dominic DiFulvio Sr. Aerospace Engineering
Christian McSwain Sr. Biobehavioral Health
Jeremy Munn Sr. Kinesiology
Noah Roberson Jr. Biomedical Engineering
Chris Sands So. Health and Human Development
Alex Thomason So. Engineering
Wyatt Tyndall So. Health and Human Development

Women's Gymnastics

Mason Hosek So. Health and Human Development
Jessica Jones So. Health and Human Development
Nicole Medvitz Sr. Management
Christina Postiglione Sr. Psychology
Chanen Raygoza Jr. Communication Arts and Sciences
Peyton Schuller So. Engineering
Briannah Tsang Jr. Health and Human Development

Men's Hockey

Erik Autio Jr. Kinesiology
Chase Berger So. Business Administration
Ricky DeRosa Sr. Management
Chris Funkey So. Finance
David Goodwin Sr. Economics
Derian Hamilton So. Supply Chain and Information Systems
Kevin Kerr So. Finance
Matt Mendelson So. Business Administration
Vince Pedrie So. Communication Arts and Sciences
Dylan Richard Sr. Kinesiology
James Robinson Jr. Supply Chain and Information Systems
Zach Saar Sr. Management
Andrew Sturtz So. Recreation, Park and Tourism Management
David Thompson Sr. Finance

Men's Swimming and Diving

Nathaniel Bledsoe So. Biology
Hector Garcia Boissier So. Aerospace Engineering
Samuel Petrini So. Information Sciences and Technology
Connor Scanlon Jr. Risk Management
Andrew Schuehler Sr. Accounting
Matt Stasiunas Sr. Biology

Women's Swimming and Diving

Mackenzie Cornell Sr. International Politics
Tommie Dillione Sr. Information Sciences and Technology
Casey Francis Sr. Kinesiology
Hannah Harper Jr. Marketing
Emily Harris Jr. Marketing
Mackenzie HornibrookSr. Supply Chain and Information Systems
Kelly Magri So. Health and Human Development
McKayla Mawn Jr. Biology
Bridget Moody Sr. Advertising/Public Relations
Niki Price Jr. Biology
Katie Saloky Sr. Biobehavioral Health
Katelyn Sowinski Sr. Biobehavioral Health
Aleksandra Tulacz So. Liberal Arts
Megan Wujciak Sr. Biobehavioral Health


Francisco Bisono So. Biobehavioral Health
Brian Brill Sr. Hospitality Management
George Carpenter Jr. Kinesiology
Dominic Giannangeli So. Engineering
Patrick Higgins So. Division of Undergraduate Studies
Caleb Livingston Gr. Finance/MBA
Matt McCutcheon Sr. Kinesiology
Geno Morelli Sr. Business/Finance
Kade Moss Sr. Risk Management
Jason Nolf Jr. Kinesiology
Zain Retherford Sr. Finance
Scott Stossel Jr. Chemical Engineering
Kellan Stout So. Division of Undergraduate Studies
Devon Van Cura Jr. Chemistry
Kenneth Yanovich Jr. Mathematics


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