Athletics Closes Year with Annual Celebratory Banquet

Dr. William Brown Academic Athletic Achievement Award
Dr. William Brown Academic Athletic Achievement Award

The Carnegie Mellon University Athletics Department hosted its annual awards banquet on Wednesday, May 2. More than 350 student-athletes attended the event, which honored athletic and academic achievement during the 2017-18 season.

The program began with Director of Athletics Josh Centor congratulating the student-athletes and teams for their performances throughout the year and the way they represent the university. Eleven teams did or will participate in postseason play with women's cross country reaching the NCAA Championships for the first time in 20 years and the women's swimming and diving team earning its highest NCAA finish in school history with a 15th-place showing at the championship meet. Additionally, the women's golf team earned a trip to the NCAA tournament in just its fourth year of intercollegiate competition.

Nineteen Tartan Awards were presented by the head coaches along with special awards for citizenship and academics.

The Michael C. Murphy Citizenship Award was presented by Michael Murphy, the former Vice President for Campus Affairs. The award is given to a senior student-athlete that has demonstrated character, sportsmanship, service and impact on the university during his or her time at Carnegie Mellon. This year's recipient was Amanda Thiele of women's volleyball.

During her time at Carnegie Mellon, Thiele has volunteered with the Hospital Elder Life Program at UPMC Shadyside, working with patients suffering from delirium. She has been involved with Global Public Health Brigades and traveled to Nicaragua to build latrines and concrete floors for families in Estelí. She also worked on a water brigades project and dug trenches to lay water piping for a rural village. Thiele has also traveled to Ghana to work in Volta Regional Hospital.

On campus, Thiele has served the residential life community as an RA, and was an RA for the pre-college program. She is secretary of the Plaidvocates, and has been instrumental in many initiatives, including the group’s September 11 recognition of university police. Additionally, Thiele has completed the requirements for the Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program.

Carnegie Mellon Faculty Athletics Representative Susan Polansky presented the Dr. William Brown Academic Athletic Achievement Awards to the male and female student-athletes who are four-year participants and earned the highest grade-point average while participating in intercollegiate athletics.

The recognition was named in honor of the Tartans' first-ever NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative, William Brown, following his passing in 2007.

This year's recipients of the ningth annual Dr. William Brown Academic Athletic Achievement Awards were women’s swimmer Kim Hochstedler and football player Bryan Jangro. Kim carries a 4.0 grade point average and will graduate in May with a degree in Statistics and Psychology. She will continue her academic pursuits at the University of Michigan in the Biostatistics PHD program. Bryan also has a 4.0 GPA and will graduate in May with a degree in Business Analytics. Bryan will be working for Lazard in Chicago as an Investment Banking Analyst.

University Athletic Association (UAA) Executive Director Dick Rasmussen was on hand and presented head football coach Rich Lackner and defensive coordinator Terry Bodnar with 30th Anniversary medals. Both Lackner and Bodnar have been coaching since the inception of the UAA in 1987. 

The evening closed with recognition of members of the senior class, who were awarded graduation sashes and honored for their contributions to the athletics program. To cap off the event, athletes, coaches and staff were shown a highlight video chronicling the moments that defined the year in Tartan athletics.

Below is a list of the Tartan Award winners in each sport. Tartan Awards are presented based on program-specific criteria developed by each head coach.

Gabriela Tellez of Volleyball (Robert S. (DC’93) & Ann Feng Simon Award (TPR’93))
Ryan Maha
of Men’s Basketball (Thomas B. Craig Award (E’53))
Adrian Del Bosque of Men’s Golf (Thomas B. Craig Award (E’53))
Summer Kitahara
of Women’s Golf (Thomas B. Craig Award (E’53) and LaVerne Craig Award)
Philip Petrakian
of Men’s Soccer (W. Young Kang Award (E’92))
Morgan Kontor
of Women’s Soccer (Jared L. (H’14) and Maureen  B. Cohon Award)
Drew Fitzmorris
of Football; Defense (Walter H. and Antoinette V. Haupt Award)
Sam Benger
of Football; Offense (Thomas B. Craig Award (E’53))
Jenn Mayberger
of Women’s Basketball (John N. Wiernicki Award)
Aadi Mhatre of Men’s Cross Country
Aparna Alavilli of Women’s Cross Country (Kelly Chin de Csepel Award (TPR’02))
Kiersten Chuc of Women’s Track & Field; Field Events
Sarah Cook of Women’s Track & Field; Running Events (Dario Donatelli Award (TPR’81))
Jacob Schofel of Men’s Track & Field; Field Events
Isaac Mills of Men’s Track & Field; Running Events (Gary L. Meckley Award)
Josh Taekman of Men’s Swimming & Diving (Scott (TPR’88) and Lara Morrison Award)
Emma Shi of Women’s Swimming & Diving (Joseph (E’48) and Myrna Stein Award)
Chaz Downing of Men’s Tennis (Michael H. Ference Award (DC’91, TPR’92))
Katie Lai of Women’s Tennis (Ellie (Wiseman) Ference (E’64) and Thomas P. Ference Award (E’64, TPR’66, ‘67))

Photo Gallery of awards