WALTHAM, Mass. — On Wednesday, May 4, the Brandeis University Department of Athletics handed out its annual end-of-season awards. The following student-athletes were all recognized at the department's awards brunch.
Four Athletic Director's Awards were presented to student-athletes who have displayed general excellence in representing Brandeis Athletics. They went to:
Sarita Biswas of Bedford, Mass., of the women's tennis team. A four-year team member and captain as a senior, Sarita is known for her displays of excellent sportsmanship and positive attitude on and off the court. She was extremely active in community service, leading the tennis team's effort with ACEing Autism over the past four years. She also served as a Biology Undergraduate Mentor and worked in Brandeis's Kern Biochemsitry lab. She will receive a B.S. AND M.S. in biology with a 3.9 GPA;
Hannah Marion of Hillsborough, N.C., also of the women's tennis team. Hannah was heavily involved with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving as secretary for the last three years and representing Brandeis at the 2014 UAA SAAC Conference. She was a Study Abroad ambassador who spent part of her junior year in Cuba. Hannah serves as the Hispanic Studies Department Representative. She also earned Phi Beta Kappa honors, with a 3.95 GPA as a Hispanic Studies and Sociology double major with 3 minors: Education studies, Latin American and Latino studies, and social justice & social policy;
Madison Sullivan of Dover, N.H., of the softball team. Sullivan, a team captain this year, was named to the All-UAA Tournament Team and All-UAA First Team as a senior and was an All-New England selection as a junior. She helped the Judges to three-straight ECAC tournaments including the ECAC title in 2015. Sullivan is currently fifth on the school's career home run list and 13th on the career doubles list. Off the field, she was involved with Big Brother, Big Sister, Team IMPACT and serves as a Health Psychology Lab assistant;
And Mathilde Robinson of Miami, Fla., of the women's soccer team. Mathilde was an All-New England selection and an All-UAA First Team selection in each of the past two seasons. She helped the Judges to three NCAA Tournament berths in four years, including the Elite Eight as a freshman and the Sweet 16 as a senior. Mathilde has been on the UAA President's Council Scholar-Athlete Team, which consists of first-team All-UAA selections who must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Robinson has 3.5 GPA as a Business and Psychology major with a minor in Legal Studies.
Robinson was also presented with the James McCully '86 Award, which goes to seniors who best exemplify the character, dedication and good sportsmanship that depicted soccer All-American and inaugural Hall of Famer Jim McCully's career at Brandeis.
The Stephen Gendzier Award, presented to recognize a senior student-athlete who has overcome a hardship with perseverance, was awarded to Maddie Engeler of Huron, Ohio, of the volleyball team. A three-year starter and senior captain, Engeler suffered a torn ACL and a concussion as a freshman to miss her sophomore season after leading the UAA in blocks as a freshman. She suffered a dislocated ankle and collarbone during her junior season and then played out of position as a senior and still led team in hitting percentage. A two-time Academic All-UAA selection, Engeler owns a 3.57 GPA as a Biology and Health: Science, Society and Policy major with a minor in chemistry who has been active in concussion research as an undergraduate, working at her home-town Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute over the summer after her sophomore year.
The Morris Sepinuck Award, presented to the varsity athlete who not only displays outstanding sportsmanship but also makes a significant contribution to the athletic program and to campus life at Brandeis, went to Jordan Buscetto of Old Lyme, Conn., a captain of the softball team. In addition to being one of the top defensive first baseman in program history, Jordan has been a part of numerous on-campus groups and organizations. She served as Brandeis's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee co-president this year, serving as their community service chair as well. On campus, Buscetto works as the student-volunteer coordinator for reunion under the Alumni Relations office. She also been active as an Orientation leader, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Colleges Against Cancer and, on occasion, donned Brandeis's Judge mascot costume. Buscetto is a psychology and sociology major with a minor in legal studies.
The Morry Stein Award of Valor, presented to a student-athlete who has demonstrated courage both on and off the playing fields and/or intervened to better the lives of others, went to Holly Szafran of Homewood, Ala., formerly of Newton, Mass., of the women's soccer team. One of seven women's soccer players in school history with 17 goals and 17 assists for her career, Szafran led the team in scoring this season and was named 2nd team All-UAA and 3rd-team All-New England. She helped the Judges to four post-season berths, including a trip to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament as a freshman and the Sweet 16 this year. A three-time Academic All-UAA selection, Szafran competed for the Judges while battling diabetes, never missing a practice or a game.
The Charlie Napoli '58 Scholar-Athlete Award, presented to an outstanding student athlete who has excelled in the classroom and on the athletic field, went to Jake Picard of Suffield, Conn., of the men's soccer team. Picard is a four-year starter and three-time team MVP for the Judges. He was a two-time All-UAA selection as a central midfielder who scored the game-winning goal in coach Michael Coven's 500th win this season. Picard helped the Judges to 71 wins and four NCAA Tournament berths in his career. He was named to three Academic All-UAA teams, including a spot on the UAA President's Council Scholar-Athlete team, reserved for first-team All-Association members who also carry a GPA higher than 3.5. He was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection this year and will graduate with a 3.73 Grade Point Average in HSSP and Psychology and will pursue his Master's in physical therapy next year at Northeastern.
Picard was also presented with the James McCully '86 Award, which goes to seniors who best exemplify the character, dedication and good sportsmanship that depicted soccer All-American and inaugural Hall of Famer Jim McCully's career at Brandeis.
The Max I. Silber Award, presented to the outstanding female student-athlete, was given to Kelsey Whitaker of Kingston, Mass., of the women's cross country and track and field teams. Whitaker is a five-time NCAA Championship qualifier and a nine-time All-UAA recipient. She won an individual UAA title as a junior in the 1,500-meter run and as part of the winning distance medley relay team as a sophomore. Whitaker twice earned All-New England Status and once All-ECAC. As a sophomore, she helped lead the women's cross country team to the NCAA Championships for the first time in more than a decade. Whitaker also holds one school record, in the 1,000-meter run. She carries a 3.5 GPA as a major in Health: Science, Society and Policy and Biology.
The Harry, Joseph and Ida Stein Award, presented to the outstanding male athlete, was given to Conor Lanahan of Avon, Conn., captain of the men's soccer team. Lanahan was part of two UAA Championship teams, the first two in Brandeis men's soccer history. He helped the men's soccer team to top-10 rankings each season and a 71-14-4 record over four seasons, the most wins by any senior class in the history of Brandeis men's soccer. Lanahan was a three-time All-UAA and two-time All-New England selection. He was named an All-American as a junior and senior by both the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and by D3Soccer.com, earning D3Soccer.com's National Defender of the Year honors a junior, when he helped the Judges reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. Lanahan is a Biochemistry major with a 3.43 GPA who has served as Lab Assistant in the Turrigiano Laboratory
Two senior speeches were delivered by Theresa Gaffney of Braintree, Mass., and the women's swimming and diving team, and Grady Ward of Essex Junction, Vt., of the men's track and cross country teams.
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