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DI-AAA ADA Announces 2016 Scholar-Athlete Awards

April 18, 2016

CLEVELAND -- The 20 winners of the 14th Annual Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Scholar-Athlete Awards presented by ARMS Software were announced today by the Association. In addition, the Association also selected both a men's and women's scholar-athlete of the year and two postgraduate scholarship winners. 

"Our Association congratulates this year's scholar-athlete award winners," stated Tim Hall, chair of the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Team Selection Committee and athletics director at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "We pride ourselves in honoring deserving student-athletes who exemplify I-AAA athletics and this year is no different, as we recognize the scholar-athletes of the year and the postgraduate scholarship recipients for their outstanding accomplishments."

Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games listed on the nomination form. To be eligible for nomination to the Scholar-Athlete Team, he/she must have reached JUNIOR academic standing at their institution (ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible). To be eligible for the postgraduate scholarship, he/she must have completed eight semesters or the equivalent number of quarters at their institution. Preference was given to those on track to graduate in spring/summer 2016.

Additionally, from the Scholar-Athlete teams, one male and female student-athlete was selected as the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Receiving the women's honor was Jessica January, a public relations/advertising and communications/media double major with a minor in mathematics from DePaul University, with a 3.95 GPA; while the men's award went to Kyle Wiltjer, a business administration major from Gonzaga University, who holds a 3.76 GPA. 

Stephanie Haas, a criminal justice/psychology major from Florida Gulf Coast University with a 3.94 GPA, and Taylor Leathers, a pre medical/health science major from the University of Missouri Kansas City, with a 3.982 GPA, were selected as the 2016 postgraduate scholarship recipients. Each will receive $5,000 towards postgraduate studies and will be given their awards during the Association's annual membership meeting being held in conjunction with the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Convention, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas, June 13-16. 

A special Review Committee of Division I-AAA athletics directors were responsible for selecting the winners. Completing this task were Committee Chair Tim HallAmanda Braun, Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Don DiJulia, St. Joseph's; Gene Doris, Fairfield; Bill Hogan, Seattle; Bill Husak, Loyola Marymount; Philip Hutcheson, Lipscomb; Scott Lazenby, Texas A&M Corpus Christi; and Jean Lenti Ponsetto, DePaul.

About Division I-AAA ADA: 
Now in its 15th year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (the 99 Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 51st year. For more information on NACDA and the 14 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

Men's Scholar-Athlete Team





Brett Bisping

Siena College



Evan Bradds

Belmont University



Craig Bradshaw

Belmont University


Public Relations

Mike Crawford

Saint Louis University


Business Administration

Caleb Donnelly

Northeastern University


Chemical Engineering

Obi Emegano

Oral Roberts University


Psycology (Bachelors) Christain Counseling (Masters)

Marc-Eddy Norelia

Florida Gulf Coast University



Joe Rahon

Saint Mary's College of California



Jesse Reed

American University



Kyle Wiltjer

Gonzaga University


Business Administration

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Kyle Wiltjer, Gonzaga University

Women's Scholar-Athlete Team





Shelby Cheslek

Gonzaga University


Masters in Business Administration

Lauren Crisler

American University



Stephanie Haas

Florida Gulf Coast University


Criminal Justice/Psychology

Jessica January

DePaul University


Public Relations/Advertising and Communications/Media

Sam Lapszynski

Niagara University


Elementary Education

Taylor Leathers

University of Missouri Kansas City


Health Science/Pre Medical

Bryahna "Lucy" Mason

UNC - Greensboro


Economics/African Studies

Megan Podkowa

DePaul University


Mathematical Sciences

Nicole Rogers



Biology/Pre Medical

Christine Roush

Northern Kentucky University


Biological Science

Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
Jessica January, DePaul University 

Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients: Taylor Leathers, University of Missouri Kansas City and Stephanie Haas, Florida Gulf Coast University