Thirty-four student athletes at St. Thomas University were honoured with awards recognizing their excellence in athletics and academics.
Fourteen student athletes were named U SPORTS Academic All-Canadians for 2016-2017, while 20 Tommies earned the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association National Scholar award.
The USPORTS recipients come from the Tommies AUS women's hockey, cross country, and track and field teams and the CCAA award winners compete in the ACAA in basketball, volleyball, and soccer.
USPORTS ACADEMIC ALL-CANADIANS
For Taylor Cook, a fourth-year goaltender for the women's hockey team, earning this award is the highlight of her academic career at St. Thomas.
"It means a lot that I'm receiving the U Sports Academic All-Canadian award because that was one of my goals at the beginning of the year," she said. "It's my first time receiving the award, and now that I've earned it I know I can hit the standard in the future."
With a tough athletic schedule, it wasn't easy for Cook to balance her academic responsibilities with her commitment to the women's hockey team.
"I wish I could say that balancing academics and hockey is easy, but it's definitely a difficult task," she said. "With help from the Learning Strategist at STU, I have an easier time scheduling when and how long I should study for each of my classes."
This year, Cook will continue working toward a double major in Environment and Society and Political Science. After earning her Bachelor of Arts, she intends to attend law school with the hopes of practicing environmental law.
With this year's 14 award recipients, the Tommies have earned 326 Academic All-Canadian awards since 2000.
List of 2016-2017 Recipients:
Noelle Gouchie, Nathaniel Legere, Brandon LeBlanc, Stephanie Gates, Anisha Romany, Sarah Hickman,
Olivia Ricketts, Kelly Brennan, Shannon Cornelius, Kelty Apperson, Taylor Cook, Paige Jackson,
Samantha Squires, and Myfanwy Thomson.
CCAA NATIONAL SCHOLARS
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."
With the addition of this year's 20 award recipients, the Tommies have now earned 246 National Scholar awards since 2004-05.
Dylan Gallant, Nicolas Levesque, Quentin Sock, Sara Banks, Rebecca MacNeil, Jayme Hunt,
Madison Owens, Jonah Burridge, Nicholas Jackson, Jessica Barna, Lauren MacDonald, Veronique McGrath, Ryan Dickson, Moira Kinney, Dominique Bourque, Mary Cronin, Sarah Hickman, Katie MacDermaid, Vanessa Pettersson, and Todd Legere.