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Tuesday February 5, 2013Ian Silberman Named a Recipient of Academic Momentum Award

Gainesville, Fla.

University of Florida offensive lineman Ian Silberman was named one of 28 first team recipients of the Academic Momentum Award, announced last week by the Scholar Baller program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS). Florida softball player Ensley Gammel was also a third team recipient of the award.


Eighty-nine nominations were received from 30 different colleges and universities across the country. The nominations were divided into three teams based on the level of academic improvement and the impact of that academic momentum on each nominee and his or her peers. A total of 28 male and female award recipients from the NCAS schools were chosen for team one, 17 recipients were chosen for team two and 19 recipients for the third team.  


The names, schools, majors, and sports of the FIRST TEAM Academic Momentum Award recipients are:

James Putney, New England College, Lacrosse, Business Administration

Tanner Collins, UC San Diego, Cross Country, Biochemistry

Cassie Rochel, University of Wisconsin, Basketball, Gender and Women’s Studies

Lindsey Lamar, University of South Florida, Football, Communication

Cody Compton, University of Nebraska-­Lincoln, Wrestling, Sociology

Molly Thomas, University of Nebraska-­Lincoln, Soccer, Child Youth and Family Studies 

Sarie Morrison, Louisiana State University, Gymnastics, Sport Administration 

Adrian Bushell, University of Louisville, Football, Administration of Justice 

David Najem, Columbia University, Soccer, Political Science 

Jeremy Smith, Oklahoma State University, Football, Education

Greg Nwoko, University of Arizona, Football, Science, Technology, Health and Society 

Randell Johnson, Florida Atlantic University, Football, Interdisciplinary Studies: Arts and Humanities

Christopher Colvin, Arizona State University, Basketball, Sociology

Carlton Falconer, Florida Atlantic University, Football, Criminal Justice

Emily Gniatczyk, University of Illinois at Chicago, Swimming, Psychology

Victor Oladipo, Indiana University, Basketball, Sport Communication/Broadcasting

Alex Zurn, Gettysburg College, Basketball, Sociology

Tobais Palmer, North Carolina State University, Football, Sport Management

Brandon Jones, Rutgers University, Football, Labor & Employment Relations

Vanessa Petrini, Rutgers University, Tennis, Communications

Shanay Portis, University of Cincinnati, Track and Field, Criminal Justice

Megan Klement, St. John’s University, Soccer, School Psychology

Ray Turner, Texas A&M University, Basketball, Agricultural Leadership and Development

Jeff Baca, UCLA, Football, Political Science

TyMeer Brown, University of Connecticut, Football, Sociology

Ian Silberman, University of Florida, Football, Family Youth & Community Sciences

Michael Murphy, Monmouth University, Football, Health Studies


SECOND TEAM Academic Momentum Award recipients are:

Lola Arslanbekova, University of Louisville, Volleyball, Communication

Natalie Nimmo, University of Ole Miss, Softball, Journalism

Josh Greene, CSU Northridge, Basketball, Recreation &Tourism Management

Caroline Kuczynski, Arizona State University, Swimming, Interdisciplinary Studies

Danny Pulliam, Northern Illinois University, Basketball, Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences

David Hinds, Florida Atlantic University, Football, Criminal Justice

Shakeia Pinnick, Arizona State University, Track and Field, Family and Human Development

Matthew Hurst, St. John’s University, Lacrosse, Advertising Communications

Daniel Shirey, Villanova University, Football, Communications

Alexandra Lowe, Villanova University, Softball, Communications

Alisha Filmore, Southern Methodist University, Basketball, Psychology

Joshua Jenkins, West Virginia University, Football, Multidisciplinary Studies

Stormy Nesbit, West Virginia University, Track, Art and Graphic Design

Jonathan Mathis, Texas A&M University, Football, Agricultural Leadership and Development

Kaitlyn Aldrich, University of Connecticut, Lacrosse, Psychology

Kelly Newcomb, University of South Carolina, Track and Field/Cross Country, Public Relations

Branden Todd, Florida International University, Track and Field, Business Administration


THIRD TEAM Academic Momentum Award recipients are:

John Dickson, Virginia Tech, Wrestling, Business Information Technology

Russ Smith, University of Louisville, Basketball, Communication

Jessica Gehrke, Florida International University, Track and Field, Sand Volleyball, Sports and Fitness

Josh Reese, University of Central Florida, Football, Sport and Exercise Science

Harry Adams, Auburn University, Track, Sociology

Andrew Incho, Canisius College, Soccer, Communications

Erica Winston, University of Central Florida, Track and Field, Interpersonal Organizational Communication

Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Texas A&M University, Tennis, International Studies

Sandra Jean-Roman, Monmouth University, Track and Field, Anthropology

Sam Kernan-Schloss, Brown University, Soccer, Community Health & Economics

Stephanie Thompson, Brown University, Softball, Neuroscience

Ensley Ann Gammel, University of Florida, Softball, Family, Youth, & Community Services

Camille Everett, University of Central Florida, Varsity Rowing, Interdisciplinary Studies

Michael Wilder, UC Irvine, Men’s Varsity Basketball, Psychology and Social Behavior

Mar Rodriguez, UC Irvine, Varsity Women’s Soccer, Sociology

Kelly Meggs, UC Irvine, Varsity Women’s Basketball, Psychology

Hannah Croghan, UC Irvine, Women’s Water Polo, Public Health Policy

Ashley Rivera, Texas A&M Kingsville, Golf, Environmental Engineer

Jake Rouser, Idaho State University, Football, Business Management


This year’s nominations included stories of overcoming past academic failures; transferring schools in the middle of a season; leaving his or her hometown and still exemplifying leadership while inspiring peers and teammates to do the same; overcoming the adversity of being injured and channeling their energy into academics; being an international student who had to persevere through hardships both academically and culturally; and participating in local community service initiatives.


The NCAS is an ever-­growing organization of colleges and universities that provides opportunities for current and former student-­athletes to continue their pursuit of higher education, while working in the community with children to address social issues. Established in 1985, the overall mission of the NCAS is “to create a better society by focusing on educational attainment and using the power appeal of sport to positively affect social change.”


Established in 1995, the Scholar Baller movement evolved in response to concerns that the student-athlete’s athletics role increasingly superseded the student role. In order to address this issue, the founding members of Scholar Baller developed a groundbreaking program to bridge the gap between education and sport utilizing student-athletes’ passion for entertainment and athletics. As a result, the Scholar Baller program has produced unprecedented outcomes in student retention and academic achievement. Each award recipient will receive a recognition certificate; the second and first team will also receive an authentic Scholar Baller medal. All nominees who made the first team will also receive a ThinkMan/ThinkWoman trophy. All nominees are individually and collectively a testament to the “student” in “student-­‐athlete.”  Their commitment to academics and athletics is truly an inspiration.


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