July 17, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -
A record total of 68 Penn State student-athletes have been selected for the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award for earning a grade-point average of 3.7 or higher during the 2012-13 academic year.
Penn State's 68 Distinguished Scholars are a significant increase from the 2011-12 total of 51 and were tied with Nebraska for second-highest in the Big Ten. The Nittany Lions' previous high was 62 honorees in 2008-09.
Twenty-six sports were represented among the Nittany Lions' honorees, led by women's cross country/track and field (10), women's swimming and diving (8), field hockey (6), men's golf (5) and women's volleyball (4).
Eight of Penn State's Distinguished Scholar Award recipients earned a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the 2012-13 academic year:
- Megan Boyer, Women's Track & Field, Jr., Human Development & Family Studies, Millersburg, Pa.;
- Rachel Casciano, Women's Cross Country, So., Communications, Wyomissing, Pa.;
- Kalyn Fisher, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field, Jr., Childhood & Early Adolescent Education, Lewisburg, Pa.;
- Margaret Harding, Women's Volleyball, Jr., Food Science, State College, Pa.;
- Kevin Montminy, Men's Basketball, So., Business Administration, Centre Hall, Pa.;
- Kathleen Rodden, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field, So., Health & Human Development, Ardmore, Pa.;
- John Urschel, Football, Sr., Mathematics, Williamsville, N.Y.;
- Gabrielle Shishkoff, Women's Swimming & Diving, Jr., Psychology, Franklin, Mass.
Also among Penn State's Distinguished Scholars were members of Penn State's NCAA and Big Ten Champion wrestling team and conference champion women's basketball, women's outdoor track and field, women's lacrosse, field hockey, men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball teams.
For a complete list of Penn State's 68 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars see below.
The Big Ten announced that 637 student-athletes were selected recipients of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. The list includes student-athletes from every institution and 38 different sports earned a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year. The 2012-13 class of Distinguished Scholar Award recipients includes 101 student-athletes who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term. A complete list of the 2012-13 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award winners is attached.
Penn State student-athletes, who won a school record 11 conference championships in 2012-13, including eight Big Ten titles, 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, 2012 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 78 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 64 percent, and second to Northwestern (88) among Big Ten institutions.
Among the 2005-06 entering freshman class, 80 percent of Penn State student-athletes earned degrees within six years, well above the 65 percent average for all Division I institutions, according to the NCAA.
A total of 109 current and former Penn State student-athletes graduated this past May.
A school record of 296 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2012-13, shattering the previous record of 261.
2012-13 Penn State Big Ten Distinguished Scholars
Kevin Montminy, Men's Basketball
Matthew Fischer, Men's Cross Country/Track & Field
Thomas Luff, Men's Cross Country/Track & Field
Leigha Anderson, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
Rachel Casciano, Women's Cross Country
Kalyn Fisher, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
Emily Giannotti, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
Lindsey Graybill, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
Danielle Kocjancic, Women's Cross Country
Kathleen Rodden, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
Colleen Shannon, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field
David Gomez Tanamachi, Men's Fencing
Alex Schneller, Men's Fencing
Hannah Allison, Field Hockey
Kelsey Amy, Field Hockey
Amanda Dinunzio, Field Hockey
Laura Gebhart, Field Hockey
Ayla Halus, Field Hockey/Women's Lacrosse
Lauren Purvis, Field Hockey/Women's Lacrosse
Benjamin Kline, Football
John Urschel, Football
Anthony Degol, Men's Golf
Alexander McDonald-Smith, Men's Golf
Shane Stewart, Men's Golf
Jens Talbert, Men's Golf
Jay Woodward, Men's Golf
Ellen Ceresko, Women's Golf
Erin Michel, Women's Golf
Felix Aronovich, Men's Gymnastics
Adrian Evans, Men's Gymnastics
Scott Rosenthal, Men's Gymnastics
Lindsay Musgrove, Women's Gymnastics
Sharaya Musser, Women's Gymnastics
Thomas Olczyk, Men's Ice Hockey
Catherine Christoffersen, Women's Ice Hockey
Lindsay Reihl, Women's Ice Hockey
Timothy Golder, Men's Lacrosse
Tatum Coffey, Women's Lacrosse
Molly Fernandez, Women's Lacrosse
Colleen Shea, Women's Lacrosse
Julian Cardona, Men's Soccer
Kyle Macdonald, Men's Soccer
Daniel Sheerin, Men's Soccer
Rachel Myers, Softball
Elizabeth Presto, Softball
Matthew Salig, Men's Swimming & Diving
Meredith Harbison, Women's Swimming & Diving
Merritt Krawczyk, Women's Swimming & Diving
Isabelle Ninesling, Women's Swimming & Diving
Allison Roberts, Women's Swimming & Diving
Gabrielle Shishkoff, Women's Swimming & Diving
Megan Siverling, Women's Swimming & Diving
Sarah Somers, Women's Swimming & Diving
Brynja Winnan, Women's Swimming & Diving
Tomas Hanzlik, Men's Tennis
Bryan Welnetz, Men's Tennis
Marie-Frederique Bedard, Women's Tennis
David Patzer, Men's Track & Field
Megan Boyer, Women's Track & Field
Olivia Mangan, Women's Track & Field
Matthew Kapusta, Men's Volleyball
Margaret Harding, Women's Volleyball
Madison Martin, Women's Volleyball
Ariel Scott, Women's Volleyball
Kathleen Slay, Women's Volleyball
Matthew Brown, Wrestling
Kyle Moran, Wrestling
Bryan Pearsall, Wrestling