Beyond The Game Clark University Student-Athletes And Their Academic Excellence

Clark University student-athletes have unwavering commitment to their sports - and as a host of team and individual accolades show, academic excellence. Scroll through and take a look; without a doubt, pretty impressive.

TEAM AWARDS

MEN'S SOCCER

NSCAA Team Academic Award

To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players.

The Cougars finished with a 3.16 combined grade point average.

WOMEN'S SOCCER

NSCAA Team Academic Award

To qualify for the award, the team must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher for the entire academic year. The team GPA is determined by adding every player's GPA, then dividing by the number of players.

Buoyed by their five student-athletes who earned New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Academic All-Conference honors, the Cougars finished with a 3.47 combined grade point average.

VOLLEYBALL

AVCA Team Academic Award

The award, which was initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, and honors collegiate volleyball teams that maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative team grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

"Congratulations to the coaches and institutions that won the 2016 AVCA Team Academic Award," said DeBoer. "It is no accident that a volleyball coaches association recognizes academic excellence as a team, rather than an individual, achievement. Players influence each other, both in execution on the court and discipline in the classroom."

Amazingly, 12 of the 14 student-athletes that comprised the 2015 Clark University volleyball squad posted a Fall semester grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher – included in that were nine who reached the 3.30 or higher threshold and two of those sported 4.0 GPA's or higher.

MEN'S TENNIS

ITA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM AWARD

The award is open to any Intercollegiate Tennis Association program that has a cumulative team grade point average of 3.20 or above (on a 4.00 scale). All letter winners are factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year (including fall 2015 and spring 2016). (Team captain Jimmy Keogh pictured).

SOFTBALL

FIVE NAMED TO NFCA ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM

The honor recognizes the academic prowess of teams and individual student-athletes with a 3.5 grade-point average or higher.

The honored student-athletes include Leah Bodin, a two-time recipient, Taylor Erickson (pictured), Kayleigh McHugh, Kendra Walker and Sami West.

MAJOR INDIVIDUAL ACADEMIC AWARDS

COURTNEY PHARR VOLLEYBALL

Senior

Seattle, Washington

Biology (Pre-Med) Major, Bioinformatics/Public Heath Minor

CoSIDA Academic All-American

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by their Sports Information Director.

After more than 500 volleyball student-athletes were nominated throughout the country, that list was whittled down to 53 members of the academic all-district first-team. Those 53 student-athletes' accolades were then voted on by a panel of select sports information directors from around the country and then 18 were placed on first, second or third teams to make up the 2016 Academic All-America class for Division III.

"This is an incredible honor for Courtney and a credit to her relentless determination to be the best student-athlete she can be," said Clark University volleyball head coach Mickey Cahoon. "Courtney has truly been an ambassador for Clark and our program throughout her four years here and I am proud to have had an opportunity to work alongside her."

She started all 33 matches in 2015 as the Cougars advanced to their second consecutive conference title match and made their first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

A six-time Dean's List First Honors selection, Pharr is a LEEP Scholarship recipient, which is given based on academic merit, service and leadership.

Earlier this year she received two prestigious academic awards. First she was awarded the David Potter Award for Excellence in Biology, which is given to the senior biology student for outstanding academic achievement. She also grabbed the Kenneth A. Senter Endowed Award, given annually to pre-med students on the basis of high academic standing.

Her academic pursuits have led her to meaningful real world experiences. In the summer of 2016, Pharr was at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, completing clinical rotations in several different disciplines, including the Psychiatric Emergency Care, Urgent Care and at the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.

"It is fantastic to have such an academically talented and dedicated student who can also juggle the rigors of starting on an NCAA tournament level team," said Mark Turnbull, Professor of Chemistry at the Carlson School of Chemistry at Clark.

Since the Academic All-America program began back in 1952, Clark has only had three previous student-athletes achieve that status. Women's swimmer Liz Rosen was a second-team selection in 2011, joining men's soccer's Matthew Maranz (1987, third-team) and women's basketball standout Michele Maxwell (1993, second team).

KARA FISCHER WOMEN'S SOCCER

Senior

Belmont, Massachusetts

Physical Anthropology (Self-Designed)

CoSIDA First-Team Academic All-District

To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by their Sports Information Director.

"Kara is one of the most driven student athletes I have ever had the privilege to coach," said Clark University head coach Brie Smith. "She is a true leader by example both on and off the field and no one works harder or is more committed to bringing her best every day."

A self-designed physical anthropology major, Fischer sports a 3.93 grade point average and has been the team's leading scorer in each of the past two seasons.

Fischer has been a huge part of the Cougars' turnaround, going from two wins in 2015 to an 8-9-1 ledger in 2016.

Off the field and outside of the classroom, Fischer is just as impressive. She was part of a group of student-athletes to take part in the Clark Athletics Service-Learning Trip (CAST) to La Represa, Dominican Republic where they built classrooms and computer labs for kids in grades K-8. She has also volunteered at Jeremiah's Inn Food Pantry in Worcester for the past three years.

Earlier this season she helped organize and raise $2,500 at an Alzheimer's Awareness game in honor of her father, Kurt, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2014.

Fischer keeps busy in the summer too. In 2016 she worked with forensic anthropologists to analyze skeletal remains at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

On campus, Fischer serves on the Senior Class Leadership Committee and is the vice president and secretary of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

"This is a well-deserved honor and I am enormously proud of her," said Smith.

NEWMAC ACADEMIC ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS

MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY

BENJAMIN FORMAN

Sophomore

Glenside, Pennsylvania

Undeclared

ISAAC STONE

Sophomore

Natick, Massachusetts

Undeclared

WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY

DIANA ARGILES-CASTILLO

Junior

San Jose, Costa Rica

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

CAMILLE BALES

Sophomore

Portland, Oregon

Undeclared

RACHEL DONNELLY-COKINOS

Junior

Monsey, New York

Chemistry

LIZA FRENCH

Sophomore

Middleborough, Massachusetts

Undeclared

Emily Monahan-Morang

Junior

Freeport, Maine

Psychology

FIELD HOCKEY

OLIVIA COTTON

Senior

Northampton, Massachusetts

Psychology

GABY DEANGELIS

Sophomore

Bayville, New York

Undeclared

HALEY MAHAN

Junior

Bedford, New Hampshire

International Development

ALYSSA WILLIAMS

Senior

New Sharon, Maine

Psychology

MEN'S SOCCER

CONNOR MAGUIRE

Junior

Dunstable, Massachusetts

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

ALISTAIR RICHARDSON

Senior

Tolland, Connecticut

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

MICHAEL SPANOS

Senior

Waterford, Connecticut

Political Science

ETHAN ZIEMBA

Junior

Glen Gardner, New Jersey

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

TJ ZIRKMAN

Senior

Freehold, New Jersey

Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

WOMEN'S SOCCER

KARA FISCHER

Senior

Belmont, Massachusetts

Physical Anthropology

MACY GOLMAN

Sophomore

Dallas, Texas

Undeclared

SIMONE McGUINNESS

Junior

Chevy Chase, Maryland

Psychology

ELIZA MELTZER

Sophomore

Framingham, Massachusetts

Psychology

RYLEE SIMONS

Sophomore

Weston, Florida

Undeclared

KATHERINE SWIERK

Junior

Saugus, Massachusetts

Psychology

WOMEN'S TENNIS

ERICA ISSENBERG

Junior

Shelburne, Vermont

Biology

EMILY SHUMAN

Sophomore

Needham, Massachusetts

Undeclared

MAGGIE TARBOX

Sophomore

Lebanon, Connecticut

Undeclared

VOLLEYBALL

MIA CATTANEO

Senior

Santa Barbara, California

Business Management

MADDY CHUMA

Sophomore

Westborough, Massachusetts

Undeclared

MADI GARRITY

Junior

Duxbury, Massachusetts

Biology

KACEY LEGARE

Sophomore

Chicopee, Massachusetts

Undeclared

COURTNEY PHARR

Senior

Seattle, Washington

Biology (Pre-Med) Major, Bioinformatics/Public Heath Minor

SAVANNAH SANFORD

Senior

San Anselmo, California

Environmental Science

HEATHER TODOROFF

Junior

Louisville, Kentucky

Psychology

TORI WHITNEY

Senior

Sunderland, Massachusetts

Biology

Created By
Kevin Anderson
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