Twenty student athletes from St. Thomas University were recognized as Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association National Scholars for achieving excellence in the classroom and in competition.
The National Scholar award is given to students who maintain a strong grade point average while competing in CCAA—a benchmark achieved by members of the Tommies' men's and women's volleyball, soccer, and basketball teams.
Nicholas Jackson, a third-year setter for the men's volleyball team, said receiving the award validates the sacrifices he makes in prioritizing academics.
"Receiving this award means a great deal to me. It proves I made the right decision when I gave up a night with friends for a night at home prepping for a test or completing an assignment," he said. "This award validates all the hard work I put in during the school year."
Jackson, of North Wiltshire, PEI, is pursuing an honours in Economics and minors in French and Mathematics. On top of his "student first" mentality, time management plays a large role in his ability to balance his athletic and academic commitments.
"You have to be able to prioritize certain things over others," he said. "My top priorities are school work and volleyball—everything else is put on the back burner until I've completed those commitments."
Véronique McGrath, a fourth-year setter for the women's volleyball team, has the same approach when it comes to life as a student athlete.
"I try to get my school work out of the way as soon as possible so I can have a clear head and commit fully to my team afterward," she said.
The Caraquet, NB, resident is studying Anthropology with the hopes of continuing her studies after she earns her Bachelor of Arts. She said earning the National Scholar award serves as recognition of her hard work.
"I'm very proud to receive the CCAA National Scholar award because I've worked hard to keep my grades up and commit myself to volleyball. It feels good to be recognized for that."
With the addition of this year's 20 award recipients, the Tommies have now earned 246 National Scholar awards since 2004-05.
Dylan Gallant, Basketball
Nicolas Levesque, Soccer and Basketball
Quentin Sock, Basketball
Sara Banks, Basketball
Rebecca MacNeil, Basketball
Jayme Hunt, Basketball
Madison Owens, Basketball
Jonah Burridge, Volleyball, Golf
Nicholas Jackson, Volleyball
Jessica Barna, Volleyball
Lauren MacDonald, Volleyball
Veronique McGrath, Volleyball
Ryan Dickson, Volleyball
Moira Kinney, Soccer
Dominique Bourque, Soccer
Mary Cronin, Soccer
Sarah Hickman, Soccer
Katie MacDermaid, Soccer
Vanessa Pettersson, Soccer
Todd Legere, Golf