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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.
Academic All-Big Ten - Winter 2017
|Julian Moore||Sr.||Information Systems and Technology|
|Isaiah Washington||Jr.||Health Policy and Administration|
|Alex Zhao||So.||Business Administration|
|Sarah McMurtry||So.||Division of Undergraduate Studies|
|Kaliyah Mitchell||Sr.||Childhood and Early Adolescent Education|
|Sierra Moore||Sr.||Human Resources and Employment Relations|
|Lindsey Spann||Sr.||Advertising/Public Relations|
|Franz Card||Sr.||Mechanical Engineering|
|Colin Coates||Jr.||Mechanical Engineering|
|Dominic DiFulvio||Sr.||Aerospace Engineering|
|Christian McSwain||Sr.||Biobehavioral Health|
|Noah Roberson||Jr.||Biomedical Engineering|
|Chris Sands||So.||Health and Human Development|
|Wyatt Tyndall||So.||Health and Human Development|
|Mason Hosek||So.||Health and Human Development|
|Jessica Jones||So.||Health and Human Development|
|Chanen Raygoza||Jr.||Communication Arts and Sciences|
|Briannah Tsang||Jr.||Health and Human Development|
|Chase Berger||So.||Business Administration|
|Derian Hamilton||So.||Supply Chain and Information Systems|
|Matt Mendelson||So.||Business Administration|
|Vince Pedrie||So.||Communication Arts and Sciences|
|James Robinson||Jr.||Supply Chain and Information Systems|
|Andrew Sturtz||So.||Recreation, Park and Tourism Management|
Men's Swimming and Diving
|Hector Garcia Boissier||So.||Aerospace Engineering|
|Samuel Petrini||So.||Information Sciences and Technology|
|Connor Scanlon||Jr.||Risk Management|
Women's Swimming and Diving
|Mackenzie Cornell||Sr.||International Politics|
|Tommie Dillione||Sr.||Information Sciences and Technology|
|Mackenzie Hornibrook||Sr.||Supply Chain and Information Systems|
|Kelly Magri||So.||Health and Human Development|
|Bridget Moody||Sr.||Advertising/Public Relations|
|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|
|Patrick Higgins||So.||Division of Undergraduate Studies|
|Kade Moss||Sr.||Risk Management|
|Scott Stossel||Jr.||Chemical Engineering|
|Kellan Stout||So.||Division of Undergraduate Studies|
|Devon Van Cura||Jr.||Chemistry|