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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - A trio of seniors have earned accolades from Penn State for their academic, athletic and leadership achievements.
David Goodwin (men's hockey) and Abby Smucker (women's lacrosse) have been selected as the 2016-17 recipients of the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award and Kirsten Gochnauer (field hockey) is among the John W. Oswald Award honorees.
All three were recognized at the Penn State Student Awards ceremony April 2 at Eisenhower Auditorium.
The McCoy Award has been presented annually since 1971 to one senior female and one senior male student-athlete who have combined successful athletic participation with academic excellence. The award is named for Ernie McCoy, the long-time dean of Penn State's College of Physical Education, who also served as the University's athletic director.
The John W. Oswald Award, established in 1983, annually recognizes graduating seniors who have provided outstanding leadership in at least one of several areas of activity at the University. The award consists of a medallion honoring John W. Oswald, president of the University from 1970-83.
Goodwin, the senior captain of the Big Ten Champion men's hockey team and a St. Louis, Missouri, native will earn his degree in May as a double-major in economics and Spanish in the College of the Liberal Arts. Goodwin has excelled on the ice during his four years as a Nittany Lion, and has made a significant impact in the classroom as well as in the community and abroad.
During the 2016-17 season, he became the first Penn State player in program history to record 100 career points. Playing for Coach Guy Gadowsky, Goodwin holds the program record for points (128), assists (84), games played (147) and is second in goals (44). Goodwin, who was instrumental in the Nittany Lions earning their first NCAA Tournament berth, is a three-time All-Big Ten Honorable mention.
With a 3.65 grade-point average, Goodwin is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and helped the men's hockey team to a 3.31 grade-point average during the fall 2016 semester.
Goodwin has also used his Spanish major to give back to others as he has traveled abroad to many Spanish-speaking countries to lend a helping hand. He has gone to El Salvador and Nicaragua to help in local elementary schools as well as volunteer at orphanages and help build retaining walls. Goodwin has also traveled to Mexico and most recently has gone on two trips to Cuba. In the summer of 2016, he taught English to a university class during the day before embarking out of the city to help tutor younger age groups during a seven-week excursion to Cuba. He later returned for a brief time during winter break.
Goodwin is also very active as a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Board (SAAB) and as part of the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON). As a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award, Goodwin recently had a $500 donation presented to THON from the committee in his name. The award is the most prestigious of its kind and is presented annually to hockey's finest citizen: a student-athlete who makes significant contributions not only to his or her team, but also to the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.
Goodwin is also a finalist for the Senior CLASS Award, which is given annually to an NCAA Division I senior, who has notable achievements in the four areas of community, classroom, character and competition. CLASS is an acronym that stands for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School".
Smucker, the two-time co-captain of the women's lacrosse team and a Bel Air, Maryland, native will graduate in May with a degree in biobehavioral health.
Smucker is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. She was a 2015 IWLCA First-Team All-Region member as well as a 2016 IWLCA Second-Team All-Region selection. Playing for Coach Missy Doherty, Smucker also earned Big Ten Tournament MVP honors and is a two-time All-Big Ten selection and two-time Tewaaraton Watch List selection.
Smucker has become one of the best defensive midfielders in the nation over the past three seasons while scoring (59) goals and adding nine assists for (68) points. She has also collected (103) ground balls while causing (71) turnovers during her career.
During her time at Penn State, Smucker has helped the team improve each season, from qualifying for the NCAA Tournament as a freshman to an NCAA national semifinal berth last season.
Smucker is also active in the community as a member of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and Penn State Global Medical Brigades and a THON volunteer. She traveled to Honduras to help medically treat and teach less fortunate communities and has participated in Read Across America, the Fallston Humane Society and Lunch with the Lions. Smucker has also helped special needs children in activities on campus.
A 2016 co-captain and Mount Joy, Pa. native, Gochnauer will graduate in May with a degree in biobehavioral health. She is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
A Schreyer Scholar, Gochnauer is finishing her honors thesis - an ethical analysis of measles vaccination within the U.S., the U.K., and Japan. She has also been working as a certified nursing assistant at Foxdale Village. Upon graduation, Gochnauer will be studying to be a Physician's Assistant at the Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa.
Gochnauer was also recently selected for the Navy Health Services Collegiate Program. After Physician's Assistant school she will have a three-year commitment to the U.S. Naval Academy.
Since 2014, Gochnauer has volunteered with Penn State Medical Brigades, where as a medical coordinator she managed medications and worked with staff to acquire federal approval for medications. In Nicaragua in 2016, she led a team of 30 students to assist residents with medical, dental and public health screenings. She did similar work as a medical volunteer for the organization Hands on Peru.
Gochnauer helped lead Penn State to a 17-3 record last season as the Nittany Lions captured their conference record seventh Big Ten Tournament title defeating the Maryland. Playing for Coach Char Morett-Curtiss, Gochnauer finished the 2016 season with two goals and eight assists while adding one defensive save. She was inducted into Spiritus Leonitus, Penn State's Athletic Honor Society.
Led by Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour, Penn State has one of the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men's, 15 women's). Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 89 percent. The Nittany Lions rank No. 4 among all Division I schools with 195 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time.
The Nittany Lions' 49 NCAA Championships all-time (77 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State's 30 NCAA titles since 1992-93 leads all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 103 Big Ten Championships since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including a conference-leading six thus far in 2016-17.