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SMC athletes recognized for academic success

| Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Six Saint Mary’s varsity teams and 49 individuals were recognized by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) for outstanding academics in the 2014-2015 school year, the College announced in a press release. The release said six of the College’s eight varsity teams were recognized — volleyball, basketball, tennis, soccer, cross country and softball.

Director of Athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek said this is the most teams in one year that she can remember being recognized.

“We often have had three or four teams, but this is something that we are especially proud of,” Schroeder-Biek said.

Schroeder-Biek said a team must have a year-end cumulative grade point average of 3.3 or higher, and an individual must achieve a grade point average of 3.5 or higher to be recognized.

“The reason [these athletes] are here at Saint Mary’s College is to pursue a quality college education, and we cannot lose sight of that,” Schroeder-Biek said. “As NCAA Division III student-athletes, our philosophy supports balance between athletics, academics and full integration into their college experience. Our athletes need to achieve in the classroom in order to have the opportunity to compete in their sport.”

Senior basketball player and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee president Krista Knapke said being involved in athletics has taught her the value of time management.

“Balancing schoolwork and athletics can seem overwhelming at times, but it is very rewarding when you are able to find some level of success in both areas,” Knapke said. “The number of student-athletes at Saint Mary’s who received this recognition shows just how valued academics are within the athletic program.”

Schroeder-Biek said the MIAA recognition supports the mission of the College.

“[Athletes] excel academically while also developing their talent as they prepare to make a difference in the world,” she said.

Knapke said the community in the athletic program helps students excel.

“There are always teammates, coaches, staff and additional resources available to provide academic assistance when needed,” she said.

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