April 13, 2012
Johnson State College (JSC) celebrated the 132 student-athletes that comprise its 12 varsity teams on National Student-Athlete Day, April 13. The ceremony took place on the front steps of the SHAPE Center at JSC and recognized outstanding academic performance by individuals and teams, community service and mentoring involvement, and demonstration of outstanding character.
Coordinator of Student-Athlete Development Camille Campanile and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Advisor Renee Breault organized the ceremony as part of the inaugural “NCAA Division III Week,” recognizing Division III member schools and their unique philosophy that equally values academics, athletics and student-athletes’ involvement in a full and rich campus life.
“The great thing about athletics in a tight-knit community like Johnson State’s is that all your teammates end up being friends,” said biology senior Ryan Joy of North Montpelier, captain of the men’s soccer and tennis teams at JSC. “It’s reassuring to know that even when you are not on the field, you are supported.”
Joy and six other student-athletes received the “Badger Character Award” for exceptional character, leadership, sportsmanship and perseverance. In addition to Joy, the recipients are: Ally Bataille of Waterbury, Vt. (women’s soccer); Maria Gleason of Enosburg Falls, Vt. (softball); Nik Holm of Amherst, Mass. (lacrosse); Alex Lagase of Milford, Conn. (men’s cross country);Jessica Miranda of East Providence, R.I. (women’s cross country); and Maegan Ploof of St. Albans, Vt. (women’s tennis).
Other recognitions included certificates given to the 51 student-athletes with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher as well for the 28 student-athletes who serve as mentors for area youth through the mentoring program “And How Are the Children?” at JSC. Also recognized were the number of service projects participated in by SAAC as well as the top male and female team GPAs from the fall term, which were women’s cross country and men’s tennis.
The NCAA urged every Division III member institution and conference to schedule at least one activity during NCAA Division III Week celebrating student-athletes for their academic accomplishments, athletics activities (including conducting events such as JSC’s youth sports clinics) and/or campus or community service. JSC’s commemoration touched on all three categories.