The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) recognized five College of Southern Maryland female athletes for their academic accomplishments during the 2011-12 season.
Amber Conway, of Waldorf, playing defense and Sarah Kemmerer, of Bryans Road, playing forward on the womens soccer team received the NJCAA Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence for earning 4.0 grade point averages (GPA). Kaitlyn Fernald, of Mechanicsville, playing second base on the softball team received the NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Achievement for earning a 3.82 GPA. Erika Specht, of Waldorf, playing midfield on the womens soccer team and April Wolfe, of Lusby, playing middle blocker on the volleyball team received the NJCAA Award for Exemplary Academic Achievement for earning 3.65 GPAs.
These ladies prove that participating in sports at the collegiate level does not have to come at the expense of academic success, said CSM Student Life and Athletics Director Michelle Ruble.
Our student athletes learn life skills such as setting goals in the classroom and on the field or court, time management, how to cooperate with their teammates and how to be good sportsmen when they meet opponents. All these qualities will serve them well as they continue their studies at CSM, pursue a bachelors degree and enter the workforce, said Athletics Assistant Director Sarah Tipsword.
Since 1938, the NJCAA has been the governing body of two-year college athletics, offering athletic and academic opportunities to college students. Now entering its 75th anniversary, the NJCAA is the second largest national intercollegiate athletic organization in the United States with more than 500 member schools in 43 states. Each year more than 60,000 student-athletes compete in one of 28 different sports and the organization sponsors 48 national championship events.
On the 40th anniversary of Title IX, which addressed inequities in higher education and most notably in womens athletics, it is appropriate to mention that these female athletes enjoy opportunities that women of 40 years ago would not have had, Ruble said.
For information on CSM mens and womens soccer, mens and womens basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball and golf teams, visit www.csmd.edu/athletics.