The National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II Athletic Directors Association has announced that 15 students from Union have been selected for the academic achievement award.
The first requirement to receive the award requires the school’s athletic director to be a member of the Division II Athletic Directors Association.
Other requirements, which are for student athletes, include that the student athlete must have a 3.5 GPA, must be at least a junior in college and must be an active member of a sports team.
Those who earned the award included:
- Benjie Fesmire and Jeremey Stack from the baseball team;
- Rachel Boswell, Dionna Linn and Megan Roney from the women’s soccer team;
- Katie Beth Fesmire and Brooke Thomas from the softball team;
- Allison Martin, Katie Hayes and Beth Wilson from the women’s cross country team;
- Jami Humphries from the volleyball team;
- Kody Alexander from the men’s golf team;
- Krister Andreassen and Kemal Gogic from the men’s soccer team; and
- Caleb Creel from the men’s cross country team.
“The toughest part about being a student athlete was probably finding time to study while I was away for games because we were constantly doing something,” Fesmire said. “You have to use the time on the bus very wisely in order to keep up your work.”
Fesmire finds the time to do his work, though, because he realizes that getting a degree is what is most important.
“Academics is one thing that I am serious about and focus hard on, so to be recognized for that feels great,” he said.
Dionna Linn, senior athletic training major, is equally as busy as Fesmire was when he played baseball and seems to have perfected her schedule.
“It is essential to prioritize the time you have and dedicate it to certain things,” Linn said. “Sometimes that means cutting down on time with friends or giving up an hour of sleep, but I’ve never felt that I don’t have enough time to succeed in athletics and academics.”
Linn said she is honored to have won the award because athletes are typically known for their acts on the field or court rather than their grades.
“It is a good reminder that hard work in school is very worth it,” Linn said.
Jami Humphries, senior media communications major, is a third athlete who is familiar with having a busy schedule.
Humphries spends much of her time studying and even teaching herself materials she missed in class when traveling for away games.
“Studying on the bus is almost essential in being able to complete my work,” Humphries said.
“Staying ahead has been a key factor in being a student athlete; therefore, I try to complete my work before games, whether it be in my room, on the bus or even at night in the hotel.”
Union is one of seven institutions in the Gulf South Conference whose players earned the award, however, 169 institutions are being recognized nationwide for their student athletes’ achievements.