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Academic Excellence Celebrated at Annual SASS Gala

April 16, 2008

East Lansing, Mich. - More than 200 student-athletes were honored on Monday evening at the Student-Athlete Support Services' 11th annual Academic Excellence Gala, held at the Kellogg Center on the Michigan State campus. In addition, 23 student-athletes received team honors for sporting the top grade point average on their team, while six were given SASS's top awards for the 2007-08 school year.

USA Today sports columnist, bestselling author, and commentator for ABC News, ESPN, and Fox Sports Radio Christine Brennan delivered the keynote address.

Jesse Miller (Somerville, N.J.) - an offensive tackle on the football team - was the recipient of the Multicultural Award, while junior hockey player Justin Abdelkader (Muskegon, Mich.) was named the winner of the Gwendolyn Norrell Community Service and Leadership Award.

The women's gymnastics and men's tennis teams were honored during the evening, for posting the highest team cumulative grade point average among Michigan State's 25 varsity teams. The gymnastics squad boasts a 3.43, with the tennis team right behind with a 3.20.

The Presidents Award - which is given to the top graduating male and female - was given to women's rower Kate Burdick (Ann Arbor, Mich.), who has posted a 3.995 grade point average as a kinesiology major. The male recipient was football player Cole Malatinsky (Holt, Mich.), who boasted a perfect 4.0 undergraduate grade-point average as a kinesiology major and has begun postgraduate work in Sports Administration at Michigan State. Taja Wilson (women's basketball) and Aaron Bates (football) were given the Office of the Provost Award, presented to the top male and female grade point averages in the freshman class.

Baseball - Nolan Moody
Men's Basketball - Drew Naymick
Women's Basketball - Alisa Wulff
Men's Cross Country - Joshuwa Hofbauer
Women's Cross Country - Jennifer Hamilton
Field Hockey - Geraldine Raynor
Football - Cole Malatinsky
Men's Golf - Grant Tungate
Women's Golf - Jordyn Wells
Women's Gymnastics - Katlyn Roggensack
Hockey - Jeff Dunne
Rowing - Kate Burdick
Men's Soccer - Doug DeMartin
Women's Soccer - Ashley Crandall
Softball - Jessica LeFevre
Men's Swimming & Diving - Mark Rogers
Women's Swimming & Diving - Marlys Fuqua
Men's Tennis - Alex Forger
Women's Tennis - Stephanie Kebler
Men's Track & Field - James Pancoast
Women's Track & Field - Elizabeth Hoefing
Volleyball - Miken Trogdon
Wrestling - Clint Frutiger

Athletic Director's Award (Top Team Cumulative GPA's) - Women's Gymnastics, Men's Tennis
President's Award (Top graduating seniors) - Cole Malatinsky (football) & Kate Burdick (rowing)
Harold & Raynor Shnider Office of the Provost Award (Outstanding Freshmen Student-Athletes) - Taja Wilson (women's basketball), Aaron Bates (football)
Gwendolyn Norrell Community Service and Leadership Award - Justin Abdelkader (hockey)
Multicultural Award - Jesse Miller (football)

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