Fifteen Standouts Tabbed Winter/Spring Scholar-Athletes

Release: 06/30/2009
Courtesy: America East Communications

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Fifteen student-athletes that participated in winter or spring sports during the 2008-09 academic year were named America East Scholar-Athletes on Tuesday afternoon. These Scholar-Athletes, who were members of teams in the 15 championship sports which America East offered in the winter and spring seasons, represent the best of the America East Conference both academically and athletically.

University of Vermont’s Joe Serafin (Tariffville, Conn.) was the winner in baseball, while Boston University’s Matt Wolff (Walpole, Mass.) and Vermont’s May Kotsopoulos (Waterloo, Ontario) were selected in men’s and women’s basketball. University at Albany’s Jessica Signorelli (Fairport, N.Y.) was the Scholar-Athlete for golf, while fellow Great Dane Garrett Pedley (Bow, N.H.) and Vermont’s Kristen Millar (Whitby, Ontario) received the honor in men’s and women’s lacrosse. Albany’s Meagan Butsch (Tomball, Texas) was the honoree for softball and Boston U.’s Andre Watson (Hempstead, N.Y.) and Emily Munday (Butte, Mont.) were named recipients in men’s and women’s swimming & diving. Binghamton University’s Sven Vloedgraven (Lochem, Netherlands) and UMBC’s Cornelia Carapcea (Constanta, Romania) took the men’s and women’s tennis awards. UMBC’s Dominic Devaud (Baltimore, Md.) and Boston U.’s Andrea Walkonen (Jaffrey, N.Y.) were chosen in men’s and women’s indoor track & field and Albany’s Valete Graham (Bronx, N.Y.) and University of Hartford’s Elizabeth Foster (Ellington, Conn.) garnered men’s and women’s outdoor track & field honors to round out the selections.

A committee of athletic administrators and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representatives chose an honoree in each of the six winter and nine spring championship sports. Each America East Scholar-Athlete was a starter or prominent reserve and carries a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.20.

Serafin, a graduate student with a 3.72 GPA in public administration, was a two-time America East All-Academic choice and was named to the league’s Academic Honor Roll three times. The 2008 America East Pitcher of the Year, Serafin concluded his career tied for Vermont’s career wins mark (21) and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the MLB First-Year Player Draft on June 11.

Wolff, a graduate student with a 3.57 GPA in criminal justice administration, earned America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll status this spring and was named to Boston University’s Honor Roll. On the court, Wolff started all 30 games for the Terriers this season and earned America East All-Defensive accolades.

Kotsopoulos, a junior with a 3.72 GPA in business administration, led the Catamounts to their first conference title since 2000 and earned All-Conference, All-Defensive and All-Championship recognition. A repeat Scholar-Athlete, Kotsopoulos garnered America East All-Academic honors and was tabbed an Academic All-District selection by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Signorelli, a junior with a 3.77 GPA in communication and a minor in accounting, earned All-Conference honors at the America East Golf Championship. Her third-place finish helped lead the Great Danes to their second straight league title. A two-time All-Academic selection, Signorelli has also been on the league’s Commissioner’s Honor Roll each of the past two years.

Pedley, who graduated with a 3.21 GPA in business administration and a minor in communication, earned first-team All-Conference recognition as a senior captain after garnering second-team accolades in 2007. He was named to the men’s lacrosse All-Academic squad for the second time in three years and is on both the America East and UAlbany Academic Honor Rolls.

Millar, who graduated with a 3.64 GPA in elementary education, was chosen the America East Woman of the Year for having best distinguished herself throughout her collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership. A two-time All-American, three-time All-America East selection and two-time All-Championship choice, Millar has also been named the America East All-Academic and CoSIDA Academic All-District squads each of the last two years.

Butsch, a senior who graduated with a 3.40 GPA in biology, earned America East Co-Player of the Year honors and was an NFCA All-Region selection at third base. A two-time All-Academic honoree, Butsch also garnered Academic All-District recognition from CoSIDA and is on both the America East and UAlbany Academic Honor Rolls.

Watson, a transfer from Rutgers who graduated with a 3.27 GPA in English, was a two-time America East Honor Roll recipient and was named to Boston U.’s Honor Roll all four semesters there. The Most Outstanding Diver at both the 2008 and 2009 America East Swimming & Diving Championships, Watson competed at the NCAA Championship meet this year.

Munday, a junior with a 3.50 GPA in marine science with a minor in biology and earth science, helped lead Boston U. to the 2009 women’s swimming & diving title by contributing to first-place finishes on the 200- and 400-freestyle relay squads. A member of the America East All-Academic squad, Munday also is on the league’s Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was an All-Academic selection this season.

Vloedgraven, a sophomore with a 3.88 GPA in accounting, earned America East Men’s Player of the Year honors after leading the Bearcats to their second consecutive men’s tennis title. A two-time All-Conference performer, Vloedgraven earned All-Academic recognition and was named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll in 2009.

Carapcea, who graduated from UMBC as co-salutatorian with a 4.00 GPA in financial economics and information systems, was named an Academic All-American by ESPN The Magazine and CoSIDA for the second straight year. A three-time Scholar-Athlete, Carapcea was a second-team All-America East selection in both singles and doubles as a sophomore and junior and was also named to the conference’s All-Academic squad as a senior.

Devaud, a junior with a 3.68 GPA in mechanical engineering, won the heptathalon at the 2009 Indoor Track & Field Championship and posted top-six finishes in the pole vault (fifth) and 55-meter hurdles (sixth). Devaud, an All-Academic honoree, also received Academic All-District recognition from CoSIDA and is on the America East Academic Honor Roll.

Walkonen, a graduate student with a 3.59 GPA in health education, captured the 3,000 and 5,000-meter titles at the 2009 America East Indoor Track & Field Championship and earned Most Outstanding Female Track Performer honors to help Boston U. capture its fourth straight league title. An All-American in the 5,000, Walkonen was a Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll recipient this spring and had been named to the Honor Roll twice previously.

Graham, a junior with a 3.74 GPA in psychology, won the long jump competition for the second straight season at the 2009 America East Outdoor Track & Field Championship. A three-time America East All-Conference and All-Academic honoree, Graham also received academic accolades from the USTFCCCA and CoSIDA.

Foster, a senior who graduated with a 3.79 GPA in health sciences and physical therapy, was named the Most Outstanding Track Performer at the 2009 America East Outdoor Championship. The champion of the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 5,000-meter run, Foster also earned All-Academic honors three times this season and also garnered first-team Academic All-District accolades from CoSIDA.

These 15 winners will be added to the six Scholar-Athletes from the fall to comprise the ballots for the America East Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, which will be announced Wednesday, July 22.

America East is proud to have one of the most comprehensive academic awards programs in the country. In addition to the Scholar-Athlete program, an All-Academic team comprised of student-athletes that excel both academically and athletically is chosen in each of the conference’s 21 sports by a committee consisting of faculty athletic representatives, academic advisors and sports information directors. Additionally, the conference recognizes all student-athletes who achieve at least a 3.0 GPA on its Academic Honor Roll, with those achieving a 3.5 average or better receiving Commissioner’s Honor Roll status. Finally, the Academic Cup is awarded to the school with the highest cumulative GPA among its student-athletes for that academic year.