The George Washington University: Athletics News

293 GW Student-Athletes Recognized on Athletics Academic Dean's List

GW lacrosse sophomore Allie Rash presents Professor Michael O'Donnell with his 2013 Professor of the Year plaque.

GW lacrosse sophomore Allie Rash presents Professor Michael O'Donnell with his 2013 Professor of the Year plaque.

Feb. 21, 2013

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WASHINGTON - During halftime of the men's basketball game against Fordham on Wednesday night, GW's Athletics Academic Dean's List members and the student athletes' choice for Professor of the Year were announced.

In order to be recognized on the Dean's List, student-athletes had to achieve a 3.0 grade-point average or higher in either the spring 2012 or fall 2012 semesters. In the spring of 2012, 67 percent of GW student-athletes earned a GPA of 3.0 or higher, while 65 percent of GW student-athletes achieved Athletic Academic Dean's List honors in the fall.

In all 293 student-athletes were honored, including 14 student-athletes who achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA in either semester (Alejandro Almodovar, Men's Soccer; Claire Ashcraft, Women's Rowing; Melanie Keer, Women's Soccer; Ben Kurtis, Men's Cross County; Leonardo Lapentti, Men's Tennis; Kathryn Luker, Women's Cross Country; Thomas Nicholas, Men's Soccer; Jen Nichols, Women's Rowing; Kayley Sullivan, Women's Soccer; Ulrik Thomsen, Men's Tennis; Bianca Valencia, Women's Swimming; Terasa Vassallo, Lacrosse; Emily Wilson, Women's Rowing; Amanda Zakeri, Softball).

"Last semester, the Department of Athletics achieved a collective 3.14 GPA, the highest-ever GPA in a single semester in GW Athletics history," said Director of Athletics and Recreation Patrick Nero. "This achievement comes as a result of the hard work and dedication not only by our student-athletes, but by those that work with our student-athletes every day in the Carbonell Academic Center, creating champions in the classroom as well as in competition."

After the Dean's List recognitions, the student-athletes' choice for the Professor of the Year was announced on Faculty Appreciation Night at the Charles E. Smith Center. Each year, student-athletes are asked to submit nominations for their most valued professor, who makes the greatest contribution to the academic success of GW's student-athletes. Once nominations are submitted, five finalists and the student-athletes' choice for Professor of the Year are then voted upon by GW student-athletes.

Professors Houston Miller (chemistry), Bonnie Morris (women's studies), Michael O'Donnell (speech and hearing), Dennis Schell (psychology) and Judie Vajda (psychology) were this year's finalists, while Professor O'Donnell was selected to receive this years' honor. Lacrosse sophomore Allie Rash and baseball freshman Danny O'Donnell presented Professor O'Donnell with the award.

Professor O'Donnell, a teaching instructor in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, teaches American Sign Language and Perspectives in Deaf Culture.

"In every class I've had with Professor O'Donnell, he's made learning fun," said Rash. "He's always gone out of his way to help every student, and he's truly made sign language memorable and fun for me, and he's part of the reason why I became a speech and hearing major."

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