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Aug. 13, 2011
Aug. 12, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Sixteen Penn State student-athletes are scheduled to graduate during Commencement exercises this weekend on the University Park campus.
Student-athletes from 11 of Penn State's 25 varsity sports (men's and women's track and field/cross country are combined) are among the student-athletes that have been approved to graduate.
Among the summer graduates are Jeff Brooks, who helped the Nittany Lion Basketball team to the Big Ten Tournament final and an NCAA Tournament berth last season while gaining honorable-mention All-Big Ten honors. The 6-8 forward averaged 13.1 points and a team-high 6.3 rebounds per game in his senior campaign and has signed a contract to play professionally for Aurora Basket Jesi (also known as Fileni BPA Jesi for sponsorship reasons) in the Italian Lega2 this season.
Among other Penn State graduates are: Bani Gbadyu, a member of the Nittany Lion football team and recent rookie free agent signee with the Oakland Raiders; Eddie Bourchier (men's tennis); Bill Davis (men's lacrosse); Megan Duncan, Bianca Fung, Shavon Greaves, Elizabeth Kearins (women's track and field); Ryan Foster and Joe Kovacs (men's track and field), Mario Eramo (baseball); Gia Fanelli (women's golf); Treavor Gelsinger (men's soccer); Mary LeNoir (women's lacrosse); Megan Monroig (women's soccer) and John Zierenberg (men's swimming and diving).
The track and field team has the most graduates this summer with six. Foster was selected a 2011 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American, one of five first-team selections for Penn State in 2010-11. Foster and Greaves competed in the NCAA Track and Field Championships this past year.
Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 27 Big Ten Championships during the past six years and a nation's-best 10 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 revealed in October, 2010 that Penn State student-athletes at the University Park campus earned a record Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent compared to a 79 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2000-01 through 2003-04. The 90 percent figure was second to Northwestern (97) among Big Ten institutions.
- The four-year federal graduation rate average for University Park student-athletes was 80 percent, significantly higher than the national average of 64 percent, and second to Northwestern (88) among Big Ten Conference institutions. - A total of 237 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2010-11, raising Penn State's total to 3,784 honorees in the program's existence, the conference's second-highest total.
- The Penn State football team again led the nation with three first-team Academic All-Americans® in 2010. The Nittany Lions' 15 Academic All-Americans® over the past five years (13 first team selections) leads the nation.
- Penn State's 172 all-time ESPN Academic All-Americans® are the third-highest total among all NCAA institutions. Penn State has had 117 Academic All-Americans® since Tim Curley was named Director of Athletics in December, 1993, a total higher than any Big Ten institution has all-time since the Academic All-America program's inception in 1952.