Ohio State Honors Outstanding Student-Athletes
Andrew Elliott and Bianca Alvarez

May 16, 2012

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Ohio State Department of Athletics held the 45th-annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner Wednesday in the Archie M. Griffin Grand Ballroom at the Ohio Union to honor its student-athletes for their academic and athletic accomplishments. A record 548 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes were recognized at the event and a number of senior awards were given out. 

The winners of the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor were diver Bianca Alvarez and swimmer Andrew Elliott. Each member institution in the conference gives the award annually to the male and female athletes in the graduating class who have attained the greatest proficiency in both academics and athletics. The Big Ten Conference office established the award in 1914 for men and an additional award for the top female was instituted in 1982. This honor includes a $5,000 postgraduate scholarship. 

The finalists for the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor were Alayna Markwordt (lacrosse), Madison McNary (track and field), Danielle Scoliere (soccer), Margarita Tschomakova (fencing) and Colt Sponseller (wrestling).Information on the finalists is online: http://go.osu.edu/btmohfinalists.

As one of the most accomplished divers in recent Ohio State history, Alvarez capped her senior year with two Big Ten titles (1- and 3-meter springboards) as well as a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships (3-meter springboard). The eight-time All-American earned her success after battling back from an injury that sidelined her for the entire 2008-09 season. In March, Alvarez was named Big Ten Diver of the Year - Ohio State's first to receive the honor since Aimee Hogan in 1996. Along with her athletic accomplishments, Alvarez is also a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. A native of Miami, Fla., Alvarez will graduate with degrees in neuroscience and psychology. She plans to attend graduate school for a master's degree in medical science, eventually leading to medical school in the future.

A native of Granger, Ind., Elliott is a three-time Big Ten Champion, winning the 200 backstroke in both 2011 and 2012 and claiming the 100 backstroke title in 2010. A three-time All-Big Ten honoree and the school record holder in the 200 and 100 backstroke, he was a three-time NCAA individual qualifier and earned All-America honors as part of the 400 and 200 medley relay teams in 2011. A standout student as a marketing major who plans to attend graduate school for sport management, he was the recipient of the NCAA's Elite 88 Award in 2010 when he had the highest grade-point average for an athlete competing at the NCAA championships. A four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten choice, as well as a team captain as a senior, he was a member of the 2010 squad that won Ohio State's first Big Ten team title in 54 years.


The Corwin A. Fergus Memorial Award was given to Dan Charen (men's golf), Markwordt, Sarah Mignin (women's volleyball), Sean Moore (diving) and Katie Simonton (Softball). Fergus scholars are male or female student-athletes who have excelled in athletics, achieved academically (3.00 GPA minimum), demonstrated positive qualities of character and citizenship and shown potential for success in a graduate or professional program. Established in 1967, the award is given in memory of Corwin A. Fergus, a member of the Ohio State football team (1912-14), a graduate of the Ohio State School of Law and later a successful businessman. The award reflects his strong commitment to the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence and his positive contributions to society. The $5,000 postgraduate scholarships, which each are renewable for up to three years, can be utilized for graduate study or professional programs at Ohio State. 

In addition to being a Fergus Scholar, Moore was the recipient of the Men's Varsity O Scholarship Award. The Men's Varsity O award provides a male scholar-athlete with a one-time stipend of $4,000 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State. The ideal candidate maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher during undergraduate studies, earned a varsity letter and performed community service.

Jacqueline Dim of the women's track and field team was the recipient of the Pierce Phoenix award, which is given to a student-athlete who has excelled in academics, athletics, and personal growth attained through perseverance and hard work. The award is to be used to attend graduate or professional school at Ohio State, with preference given to someone who intends to enroll in the Fisher College of Business. 

Jewelisa Thompson received the Leann Grimes-Davidge Award which is a tribute to Grimes-Davidge's contributions to athletics at Ohio State. The honor is given annually to a female athlete who reflects Grimes-Davidge's outstanding qualities of athletic performance, scholarship, character, campus or community involvement and leadership. A member of the Ohio State women's tennis team, Grimes-Davidge won four state and Big Ten titles. She graduated from Ohio State summa cum laude and received her master's degree from Miami University where she served as the head women's tennis coach. 

Rower Jill Mohr received the M/I Homes Foundation Award, which has been awarded annually since 1976. The award was one of the first designed specifically to recognize and promote women's achievements in intercollegiate athletics at Ohio State. It provides an outstanding female scholar-athlete $5,000 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State. The award is based on demonstrated athletic and academic success as well as community contributions through involvement in civic or university organizations. 

The men's swimming team was honored by Men's Varsity O for having the most improved team grade-point average and the top team GPA among the men's programs. On the women's side, diving earned the most improved team GPA award, with the gymnastics program lauded for having the top team GPA among all women's teams.

A complete list of the 2012 Ohio State Scholar-Athletes is available at the following link: http://go.osu.edu/1112OSUScholar-Athletes