Women's Athletics announces year-end academic and sports awards at annual dinner
AUSTIN, Texas -- The 33rd annual University of Texas Women's Athletics Annual Awards Banquet took place on Tuesday evening, May 1 at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin. Featuring 14 "Awards of the Highest Honor" and over 90 endowed scholarships which were awarded, the awards banquet also recognized the Most Valuable Players and the Academic MVPs from all Longhorns women's teams.
Additionally, there was a music video highlight tribute to all the 11 sports, a video on the coaches, and a "Senior Salute" video, as well as recognition of this year's Big 12 Conference team championships and UT's NCAA National Championship participants from last June through this April.
In addition, 32 student-athletes were singled out for achieving perfect 4.0 GPAs in the past calendar year (Spring of 2006 and Fall of 2006), and of those 32, six achieved 4.0 GPAs both semesters.
The awards presentation was underwritten by the University Co-op.
Headlining the Women's Athletics award recipients were five seniors who received Texas Athletics' highest departmental honors, led by All-Big 12 tennis standout Petra Dizdar, All-America swimmer Katie Robinson and All-Big 12 soccer star Amy Burlingham.
Dizdar (Split, Croatia/Vladimir Nazor HS) received the Texas Exes Leadership Award as the 2007 female recipient. One of the most prestigious awards given annually at the awards ceremony, The Texas Exes award goes to a male and female student-athlete annually who have displayed outstanding leadership and academic and athletic success, with each recipient gaining lifetime membership into the Texas Exes Association. (Track and field All-American Donovan Kilmartin received the men's award on April 30.)
Dizdar has been a standout performer all four years, and was instrumental in leading UT to its 2005 NCAA Championship second-place finish. The public relations major carries a 3.53 GPA and is an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District and Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree. She has been accepted into UT's prestigious LBJ School of Public Affairs for graduate studies next fall.
The Women's Athletics Department's highest endowed scholarship honor -- the V.F. "Doc" Neuhaus Endowed Presidential Scholarship honor -- went to Robinson (Dillsboro, Ind./South Dearborn HS). Established in 1976 as the first endowed scholarship in women's athletics, the Neuhaus Presidential Scholarship honors both athleticism and academics.
Robinson is a first-team All-America standout in the 200 and 400 medley relays and earned six Big 12 Conference championships in the butterfly and relays events. Robinson carries a 3.85 GPA as a kinesiology major and is an Academic All-Big 12 First Team honoree.
The 2006-07 Big 12 Conference Scholar-Athlete Award, given to the senior who exhibits the greatest combination of performance in athletics, academics and community achievement, went to Burlingham (Costa Mesa, Calif./Newport Harbor HS). Burlingham holds a 3.83 GPA as a psychology/kinesiology and health education major. The All-Big 12 standout, a four-year letterwinner, holds the school record for career matches played (91) and is third in career assists (25). Named to the National Soccer Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete All-South Team, Amy also is an Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection the last three years.
The Lorene Rogers Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to the senior student-athlete with the highest overall grade point average over her four-year UT career, went to co-recipients -- twin sisters and cross country and distance performers Landra and Lige Stewardson (Detroit, Texas/Detroit HS). The twins are both kinesiology majors who remarkably held perfect 4.0 GPAs throughout their collegiate careers. Both were three-year Academic All-Big 12 First Team selections. Lige Stewardson has been accepted to Harvard University for graduate studies this fall.
The Jill Sterkel Leadership Award, given to the student-athlete whose exceptional athletic accomplishments have brought attention to The University, went to junior All-America volleyball setter Michelle Moriarty. Moriarty (Houston, Texas/Stratford HS) led UT to the NCAA regional finals (final eight) this past year as she became the Longhorns' career assists leader with 4,358 assists. Moriarty carries a 3.74 GPA as a kinesiology/sport management major.
Other special department individual awards went to the entire softball team who earned the 2006-07 Big 12 Community Champion award as UT women's athletics top community service volunteers; and eight student-athletes who claimed Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards, which are given to minority student athletes who carry a GPA of 3.2 or higher by Diverse Issues in Higher Education.
The Arthur Ashe Sports Scholars were: senior swimmer Leah Avilla (Livermore, Calif./Livermore HS), an education major, Big 12 selection and Honorable All-America swimmer; sophomore swimmer Hee-Jin Chang (Seoul, Korea/Phillips Academy), a government major, two-time All-American and five-time All-Big 12 selection in the free and relay events; junior Delia Huang (Austin, Texas/Westwood HS), an All-Big 12 freestyle specialist and Academic All-Big 12 business major; and junior Temeka Kincy (Indianapolis, Ind./Lawrence North HS), an All-Big 12 middle distance standout and biology/pre-med major with a 3.68 GPA.
Another special award went to sophomore basketball guard Erika Arriaran (Norco, Calif./Norco HS) who received the Coca-Cola Solid Citizen Award for her standout community service endeavors. The education major volunteers with elementary and middle school students, doing motivational speaking and goal-setting, and volunteers with the Longhorns Kids Club and the Komen Race for the Cure.
Redshirt sophomore basketball forward Earnesia Williams (Sapulpa, Okla./Sapula HS) earned both the basketball Academic MVP and team MVP honors. Williams averaged 10 points per game for the Longhorns this year after overcoming reconstructive ACL knee surgery which sidelined her most of last year. In addition, Williams, an education major who received a State Farm Lone Star Showdown Scholar-Athlete Award this year, also took home the department's UnitedHealthcare/Jamie Carey Comeback Award.
In addition to the Neuhaus Endowed Presidential Scholarship, there are six other endowed scholarships which are considered among the "Awards of Highest Honor." They are as follows, with the 2006-07 recipient listed:
Darrell K Royal Endowed Centennial Presidential Scholarship, awarded to sophomore Destinee Hooker (San Antontio, Texas/Southwest HS, education major) who is an All-American in volleyball and an NCAA champion and All-America high jump standout as well at UT; and the two Darrell K Royal Endowed Presidential Scholarships went to sophomore soccer All-Big 12 and USA National Team member Stephanie Logterman (Austin, Texas/Westwood HS) and to junior diver Jessica Livingston (Houston, Texas), an advertising major who was the Big 12 Diver of the Year en route to winning the 2007 NCAA platform title.
The Barbara Jordan Endowed Scholarship went to sophomore track and field standout Alexandria Anderson (Chicago, Ill./Morgan Park HS), a corporate communications major, NCAA champion in the 4x100 relay, an All-American sprinter and a six-time All-Big 12 sprinter and relay specialist; The Donna Lopiano/Jean Kaspar Endowed Scholarship was given to softball senior catcher Megan Willis (Chandler, Ariz./Corona del Sol HS), an All-American and All-Big 12 standout and corporate communications major; and The Cunningham/Kaspar Endowed Scholarship, awarded to All-America First Team soccer defender and sophomore Kasey Moore (Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley HS), a sport management/kinesiology major.
2006-07 Team MVPs
2006-07 Team Academic MVPs
*Earnesia Williams (basketball), Landra Stewardson (cross country) and Mary Yarrison (diving) earned both team MVP and team academic MVP honors.