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D2 CCA Announces 2015-16 Scholar-Athletes of the Year

Aug. 31, 2016


CLEVELAND — Seniors Emily Oren of Hillsdale College (GLIAC) and Jason Vander Laan of Ferris State University (GLIAC) have been named the Division II Scholar-Athletes of the Year by the Division 2 Conference Commissioners Association (D2 CCA). Oren held a 3.71 GPA as an economics major, while Vander Laan, a repeat winner from 2014-15, carried a 3.77 GPA as an applied math/actuarial science major.

Earlier this month, 16 regional scholar-athlete award winners were selected by the D2 CCA. Oren and Vander Laan were named from a field of eight women’s regional winners and eight men’s regional winners.

"Once again we had an outstanding roster of nominees for the Division II Scholar-Athletes of the Year Award - young men and women who achieved at high levels both in their sports and in the classroom," said D2 CCA President Bob Dranoff, commissioner of the East Coast Conference. "Congratulations to Emily and Jason on receiving this prestigious honor. They are, along with all our nominees, great representatives of NCAA Division II."

photo courtesy of Hillsdale CollegeOren is a nine-time NCAA Division II national champion in indoor and outdoor track & field. She is a three-time USTFCCCA Women’s Track Athlete of the Year honoree, as well as being selected as the GLIAC Women’s Track Athlete of the Year for the last three consecutive years. Led by Oren’s conference and regional individual championships during her senior cross country season, Hillsdale would go on to place third at the NCAA Division II championships, taking the first step on its road to becoming the NCAA Women’s Program of the Year. At the 2016 GLIAC Outdoor Championships, Oren set an all-time Division II record in the steeplechase with a time of 9:50.54, which met this year’s Olympic standard.

Vander Laan led the Ferris State photo courtesy of Ferris State football team to an 11-1 overall record in 2015, while becoming the first quarterback in the history of college football with both 1,000-plus passing and rushing yards for four-straight seasons. Vander Laan ran for the most yards of any QB in the country in college football at any level, and guided the team to the school’s second-straight GLIAC Championship and second consecutive unbeaten regular season and NCAA Playoff appearance. He was the 2014 and 2015 Harlon Hill Trophy Winner as D2 Player of the Year, and chosen as a national finalist for the Campbell Trophy (Academic Heisman).

Joining Oren as the Women's regional winners were:

Sabrina Anderson Jr. Slippery Rock University Track & Field Exercise Science 3.90
Trisana Fairweather So. Claflin University Track & Field Business Administration 4.00
Taylor Groth Sr. Adelphi University Soccer Psychology 3.93
Katie MacLeay Sr. Angelo State University Volleyball Biology 4.00
Shelby Rolling Sr. Columbus State University Soccer Health Science 3.97
Autumn Suydam Sr. East Central University Softball Criminal Justice 4.00
Allie Updike Sr. Azusa Pacific University Track & Field Applied Exercise Science 3.91


Men's regional winners in addition to Vander Laan were:

Peter Alexis Gr. Philadelphia University Basketball Community and 
Trauma Counseling
4.00
Thibaud Berland Sr. Hawai'i Pacific University Tennis Master's in 
Organizational Change
4.00
Conor Branson Gr. University of Charleston Soccer Master's of Business
Administration
3.98
Blake Edwards Sr. Columbus State University Baseball Business Administration 3.88
Richard Garvey Sr. Colorado School of Mines Soccer Electrical Engineering 3.84
Diego Gimenez Jr. Florida Southern College Swimming Computer Science 3.92
Colin Pasque Jr. Southern Nazarene University Track & Field Chemistry/Biology 3.96

About D2 CCA: Initiated in 1992 to promote its member conferences and institutions, D2 CCA has made its mark in providing a united front for NCAA Division II athletics. Created after the break-up of the College Division Commissioners Association, the D2 CCA continues to create lines of communication and opportunities for its member conferences. The D2 CCA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 52nd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.