U-M Athletic Academic Achievement Awards Honor 674 Student-Athletes

By Sarah VanMetre / U-M

ANN ARBOR — The University of Michigan Athletic Department honored Friday (June 18) varsity student-athletes who have distinguished themselves as leaders both in the classroom and community.

There were 674 student-athletes recognized with U-M Athletic Academic Achievement awards for cumulative grade-point averages and achievements during the 2020 winter, spring and fall semesters. Of those 674 honored, 134 student-athletes earned highest honors for a GPA of 3.75-4.0, with 191 earning high honors for a GPA of 3.5-3.74.

Additional individual awards were bestowed, honoring the achievements of student-athletes in academics, competition, leadership and community service:

Bates/Deskins Award: Awarded annually by the university to a junior student-athlete who excels both academically and athletically. It is named in honor of Percy Bates, U-M professor emeritus of education, and Donald Deskins, U-M professor emeritus of urban geography and sociology. Both showed a strong commitment to the success of our student-athletes both in and out of competition.
» Junior Kevin Buca (men’s soccer)

Sophomore Leader & Best Award: Given to the top sophomore student-athlete who demonstrates Michigan’s Leaders and Best qualities both academically and athletically.
» Sophomore Sierra Brooks (women’s gymnastics)

Rookie of the Year: Awarded to the top freshman student-athletes who has excelled both academically and athletically.
» Freshmen Matty Beniers (ice hockey), Kathryn Ackerman (women’s swimming and diving)

Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients: Awarded to one male and one female student-athlete from each of the Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education in a graduate degree program.
» Graduate students Briana Nelson (women’s track and field) and Justin Murphy (men’s gymnastics)

Let’s Go Do Awards

Let’s Go Do honors individual student-athletes for their varying commitments to community service and engagement in the areas of Education, Health & Wellness, Civic Engagement and the Rachael Townsend Leadership Award.

Education: Built on the vision that education serves as a keystone in improving society and creating better futures for all, this award recognizes a student-athlete who values learning and supporting others in their pursuit of knowledge and works throughout the academic year to drastically impact a school (or education system).
» Senior Jack Becker (ice hockey)

Health & Wellness: Through prevention, promotion, and/or support, this award recognizes the student-athlete that values engaging in a lifelong healthy lifestyle that allows people to reach their fullest potential. This student-athlete works throughout the academic year to advocate for or enhance physical, mental, emotional, and/or nutritional health.
» Senior Ally Eggleton (rowing)

Civic Engagement: For the student-athletes that cares about addressing issues of public concern, valuing the promotion of the quality of life in a community through service and advocacy. This award is presented to a student-athlete that has invested considerable time in the cause of their choice with purpose, accountability and determination.
» Junior Haven Essien (rowing), graduate student Briana Nelson (women’s track and field), graduate student Roland Amarteifio (men’s track and field)

Rachael Townsend Leadership Award: Seeking to honor student-athletes who have made significant contributions to their community, this award is given to inspirational leaders inside and outside of the locker room, encouraging their peers and teammates to serve. These student-athletes have led others through existing initiatives or developed an idea/program through to completion.
» Junior Naz Hillmon (women’s basketball), senior Adam Shibley (football)

MAIN PHOTO: Kevin Buca (Michigan Photography)