FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Forty-three Northern Arizona student-athletes will receive their degrees from the university this weekend as part of the Spring 2014 commencement ceremonies. When adding in the 15 student-athletes who participated in the Fall 2013 commencement ceremonies, the NAU Athletics Department produced a total of 58 graduates for the 2013-14 academic year.
The 43 Spring 2014 student-athletes as well as another 22 student-athletes expected to complete their degrees at the conclusion of next semester were honored at the NAU Athletics Graduation Reception Thursday evening where they received their student-athlete graduation stoles.
"I am very proud of the student-athletes who are graduating this weekend," said Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Lisa Campos. "They have excelled athletically and in the classroom and have given to this community through their community service efforts. Over the last four years, these student-athletes have represented this great institution and athletics department with the highest regard. Through their hard work and dedication, they have reached their goal of earning a degree and will be outstanding ambassadors of NAU."
The 2013-14 academic year will go down as one of the most memorable for NAU Athletics with all of the accomplishments both on and off the field. Heading into next week's Big Sky Outdoor Track and Field Championship, the Lumberjacks have captured four conference titles this year with men's cross country, men's and women's indoor track and field as well as swimming & diving earning their first Western Athletic Conference Championship in school history. The men's cross country team won its seventh consecutive Big Sky Championship and finished second in the nation at the NCAA National Championship. The men's track and field team won its fifth indoor championship in six years while the women earned their first since 2009.
But the success in competition was contagious across the board as several other teams made noise in the Big Sky Conference. The football team finished the year ranked 15th in both of the final FCS polls following an 9-3 season and a trip to the Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs for the first time in 10 years. The men's basketball program placed second in the Big Sky, while men's tennis more than doubled their wins from last season to finish third in the regular season rankings. The soccer team placed second in the Big Sky, while women's tennis, volleyball and golf all placed in the upper tier of the standings.
As successful as the Lumberjacks were in competition, they may have shined even brighter in the classroom. In April, a school-best 199 student-athletes were honored at the 36th annual Golden Eagle Scholar-Athlete Awards to recognize their scholastic and athletic accomplishments with Max Jacobsen and Stirling Smith being awarded top academic honors. Six student-athletes – soccer's Elinor Priest, women's tennis' Malia Wahinepio, football's Jim Herrero and a trio of swimmers in Andrea Derflinger, Emma Lowther and Stirling Smith – received the prestigious Gold Axe Award from the university this academic year to honor their outstanding academic performance, leadership and service to the community. Meanwhile, junior linebacker Austin Hasquet became the 10th student-athlete in NAU history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team honors.
During the fall 2013 semester, the Athletics Department recorded a 3.16 cumulative grade point advantage which marked the 18th semester out of the last 19 overall that NAU student-athletes have earned a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher. Ten of the department's 13 intercollegiate teams posted a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher for the semester and 39 student-athletes achieved a perfect 4.00 semester GPA. Football recorded its highest fall term GPA (season of competition) since Fall 1997 and the highest cumulative GPA in recorded history for their program at a 2.9. Women's tennis sparkled with a 3.7 cumulative GPA, the highest cumulative GPA in recorded history. Ninety-nine total student-athletes were named to the Fall 2013 Dean's list, with 98 of them having above a 3.50 cumulative GPA. Nineteen swimmers and divers were named to the WAC All-Academic team, which led all winter WAC sports, while a total of 74 student-athletes have been received Big Sky All-Academic awards to date with spring awards yet to come.
Here are the Spring 2014 NAU Student-Athlete graduates in alphabetical order:
Andy Bachelier – Football – Exercise Science – Rio Rico, Ariz.
Alan Barrios – Men's Tennis – Economics – Cozumel, Mexico
Shayla Batson – Women's Basketball – Marketing – Irvine, Calif.
Zach Bauman – Football – Strategic Communication – Chandler, Ariz.
Jordan Burnes – Swimming & Diving – Criminology & Criminal Justice – Berkeley Vale, Australia
Jessica Bush – Track & Field – Exercise Science – Yakima, Wash.
Victor Carrasco – Football – Exercise Science – Avondale, Ariz.
Nick Cole – Football – Political Science – Concord, Calif.
Alana D'Onofrio – Soccer – Biomedical Science – Pleasanton, Calif.
Andrea Derflinger – Swimming & Diving – Psychology – Anthem, Ariz.
Mike Dosen – Football – Public Relations – Pittsburg, Calif.
Lucky Dozier – Football – Advertising – Sacramento, Calif.
George Dunlap – Football – Criminology & Criminal Justice – Santa Cruz, Calif.
Drew Emanuel – Football – Criminology & Criminal Justice – Mesa, Ariz.
Tim Freriks – Cross Country/Track & Field – Exercise Science – Cottonwood, Ariz.
Amanda Frost – Women's Basketball – Sociology – Riverside, Calif.
Steven Garcia – Football – Sociology – Downey, Calif.
Ashani Gottlieb – Swimming & Diving – Hotel & Restaurant Management – Boulder, Colo.
Carissa Gwerder – Track & Field – Communication Studies – Enumclaw, Wash.
Anthony Harrington – Football – Finance – Surprise, Ariz.
Chris Heine – Men's Basketball – Mechanical Engineering – Phoenix, Ariz.
Jim Herrero – Football – Exercise Science – Kingman, Ariz.
Chima Ike – Football – Political Science – Walnut, Calif.
Max Jacobsen – Men's Basketball – Electrical Engineering – Lake Oswego, Ore.
Jake Johnston – Football – Strategic Communication – Eagle, Idaho
Justin Jungblut – Football – Sociology – Scottsdale, Ariz.
Emma Lowther – Swimming & Diving – Public Health – Cockle Bay, New Zealand
Gus Margiotta – Track & Field – Journalism – Gloucester, Mass.
Rachel Palmer – Swimming & Diving – Public Health – Bucklands Beach, New Zealand
Kaitlen Parsons – Golf – Finance – Greenacres, Wash.
Sarah Raber – Track & Field – Biology – Cottonwood, Ariz.
Ryan Reardon – Football – Communication Studies – Scottsdale, Ariz.
Becky Russell – Swimming & Diving – Exercise Science – Arlington, Texas
Lexi Schroeder – Volleyball – Management – Tempe, Ariz.
Stirling Smith – Swimming & Diving – Biomedical Science – Stoughton, Wis.
Gwen Smithberg – Swimming & Diving – Exercise Science – Seattle, Wash.
Lauren Stuart – Track & Field – Biology – Smithers, Canada
Marc Thompson – Football – Strategic Communication – Stockton, Calif.
Erin Truett – Volleyball – Exercise Science – Goodyear, Ariz.
Jane Wakefield – Swimming & Diving – Public Health – Peoria, Ariz.
Robert Watson – Football – Criminology & Criminal Justice – Long Beach, Calif.
Lauren Weaver – Soccer – Hotel & Restaurant Management – Winnetka, Calif.
Tim Wilkinson – Football – Strategic Communication – Las Vegas, Nev.