CMU Honors Top Academic Athletes at Annual Celebration
Every December, the Carnegie Mellon University Department of Athletics celebrates the top academic athletes at the Student-Athlete Academic Achievement Celebration. This year — the eighth year of the event — 40 Tartans were honored as the celebration returned to an in-person event where students invited influential faculty and staff members to share in their success.
The annual celebration brings together the highest-performing junior and senior student-athletes in each undergraduate college and on each team. This year's honorees carry a cumulative average GPA of 3.88 with 12 holding a perfect 4.0.
Director of Athletics Josh Centor opened the program and noted that student-athletes make the Carnegie Mellon community stronger by their academic performance, athletic commitment and impact on others.
"Everything we do is aimed at ensuring that the opportunities our student-athletes have complement what they learn in our classrooms, in our residential education program and through the other passions they explore on campus," Centor said. "Carnegie Mellon is a stronger community and environment because we have made a commitment to play sport, and play it the way we do."
Provost James H. Garrett Jr. praised the honorees for their ability to balance an athletic schedule with a rigorous education and a commitment to serving their community.
"You're here today because you're academically one of the highest performing athletes on our campus and I appreciate the hard work it takes to be a student-athlete," said Garrett. "I admire your dedication to reaching new levels of achievement, both in your athletic and academic pursuit, each and every day."
Senior men's cross country and track and field athlete Michael OBroin and senior women's golfer Nadia Susanto represented the students.
OBroin shared two main thoughts: the sense of community felt on campus and the habit and tradition of excellence among the student-athlete community.
"For all of us, it's not enough to just do okay at the things we do. We're here because we truly love what we're doing and want to do the best we can, day in and day out," said OBroin. "That kind of habit of working hard and seeing yourself improve is the kind of thing that doesn't just help you athletically but helps you become a more well-rounded person.
"It's not easy doing what we do, but by being here you've shown that you are capable of it and are an example for not just the rest of the student-athletes, but everyone walking around this campus of what work ethic and hard work can do if you're consistent with it."
Susanto took a moment to reminisce about the day she learned of her acceptance to Carnegie Mellon, which was filled with elation but also a little trepidation.
"I didn't know how I was going to fair against all these other amazing students here at Carnegie Mellon," said Susanto. "But because of the faculty and opportunities here, I ended up finding my worth and potential."
Many student-athletes are asked how they balance all their academic and athletic endeavors. Susanto says it boils down to one thing — you have to love what you do.
"I've only taken on opportunities that I've felt passionate about. For all the different things I've experienced at Carnegie Mellon, I didn't need to do any of them, I wanted to do them."
This year's honorees include the following student-athletes:
College of Engineering:
Vivian Beaudoin - Senior - Volleyball
Lindy Cornwall - Senior - Women's Tennis/Women's Track and Field
Summer Faille - Senior - Softball/Women's Basketball
Tyler Harp - Junior - Men's Soccer
Allie Hunter - Junior - Women's Soccer
Matt Karee - Graduate Student - Men's Cross Country/Men's Track and Field
Justin Kiefel - Senior - Men's Track and Field
Maddy Lui - Senior - Women's Soccer
Katelyn Parsons - Senior - Women's Swimming and Diving
Valerie Reiling - Graduate Student - Women's Track and Field
Kristen Seballos - Senior - Women's Cross Country/Women's Track and Field
Matthew Wagner - Junior - Men's Swimming and Diving
College of Fine Arts:
Michelle Cao - Junior - Women's Golf
Nikolas Diamant - Senior - Men's Track and Field
Emily Archer - Senior - Women's Basketball
Justin Britton - Senior - Men's Swimming and Diving
Megan Christy - Graduate Student - Women's Swimming and Diving
Emily Finger - Junior - Softball
Verne Garin - Junior - Men's Track and Field
Matthew Poh - Junior - Men's Tennis
Stella Yan - Junior - Volleyball
Agnes Zhou - Senior - Women's Track and Field
Mellon College of Science:
Ray Boppana - Graduate Student - Men's Tennis
Erik Dehkes - Senior - Football
Stephanie Erickson - Senior - Women's Swimming and Diving
William Knauth - Senior - Men's Golf
Ola Owodunni - Junior - Women's Track and Field
Megan Rice - Graduate Student - Women's Cross Country/Women's Track and Field
Mason Shockley - Junior - Men's Soccer
School of Computer Science:
Justin Hsu - Junior - Men's Cross Country/Men's Track and Field
Michael OBroin - Senior - Men's Cross Country/Men's Track and Field
Catherine Yu - Senior - Women's Golf
Joyce Zhang - Junior - Women's Cross Country/Women's Track and Field
Tepper School of Business:
Olivia Devereux - Junior - Volleyball
Ethan Kalis - Senior - Men's Soccer
Jocelyn Mayer - Senior - Women's Soccer
Kevin Sax - Junior - Men's Basketball
Ryan Shaw - Junior - Football
Carrie Stewart - Senior - Volleyball
Nadia Susanto - Senior - Women's Golf