Fifty-nine Penn State Student-Athletes Receiving Diplomas This Weekend

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May 5, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; May 5, 2012 - Fifty-nine Penn State student-athletes are scheduled to graduate during Commencement exercises this weekend on the University Park campus.

Student-athletes from 21 of Penn State's 25 varsity sports (men's and women's track and field/cross country are combined) are among the 59 student-athletes that have been approved to graduate. In addition, 10 members of the cheerleading squad and four members of the 2012 National Champion Lionettes dance team are on the approved to graduate list.

Among the spring graduates is Frank Molinaro, the Nittany Lion wrestling team's four-time All-American. Molinaro finished his senior season with a perfect 33-0 record, winning an individual national title while leading Penn State to its second consecutive NCAA Championship.

Also graduating are 11 student-athletes whose teams have captured national championships during their Penn State careers, including Monica Aksamit, Lauren Bauch, Brigid Frey and Janelle Krannich (women's fencing), Michael El-Saleh and Oliver Valdes (men's fencing), Joe Sunder and Edgardo Goas (men's volleyball) and Clay Steadman, Cameron Wade and Molinaro (wrestling).

Miguel Pineda


Among other Penn State student-athletes who are graduating are: Miguel Pineda (men's gymnastics) and Erin Thomas (women's swimming and diving), recipients of the 2012 Ernest B. McCoy Award; Cameron Woodyard (men's basketball); Dana Cahill (women's lacrosse); Jessica Rosenbluth (women's soccer); Justin Lee (men's soccer); Jordan Steranka (baseball); Morgan Long (softball); Matthew Mackrides (men's lacrosse); Giulia Carando (women's golf); Scott Marino (men's swimming and diving); Kyle Dawson and Owen Dawson (men's track and field) and Jason Lee (men's tennis).

Six members of the Nittany Lion football team will be graduating, three of whom will have eligibility for the 2012 season: quarterback Matt McGloin, center Ty Howle and guard John Urschel, who earned perfect 4.00 cumulative grade-point average. Urschel is the student Marshall of the Eberly College of Science commencement ceremony. Also earning their degrees are linebacker Chris Colasanti and guard DeOn'tae Pannell, as well as defensive tackle Scott Paxson, who played at Penn State from 2002-05 and is a member of the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

The football, men's lacrosse, men's gymnastics and men's track and field teams have the most graduates this spring with five. Baseball, women's fencing, women's lacrosse, women's soccer and women's track and field each have four graduates.

Dana Cahill


Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 32 Big Ten Championships during the past seven years and a nation's-best 11 NCAA titles since March 2007, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees. Among some of the recent academic accomplishments are:

- The NCAA's annual study of institutions nationwide in October, 2011 revealed that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 88 percent compared to an 80 percent average for all Division I institutions. The 88 percent figure was third-highest among Big Ten Conference institutions.

- The NCAA four-year federal graduation rate average for University Park student-athletes was 79 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 64 percent, and second to Northwestern (88) among Big Ten institutions.

- A total of 131 Penn State student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the fall and winter sports seasons in 2011-12.

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