May 7, 2013
BERKELEY - Cal Athletics recognized the best and brightest of its more than 800 student-athlete Tuesday with a host of awards and postgraduate scholarships at the annual Academic Honors Luncheon at Haas Pavilion.
The Tom Hanson Conference Medal, presented to the top male and female senior student-athletes at each Pac-12 school, went to swimming's Tom Shields and Layshia Clarendon of women's basketball. Shields was a multi-time NCAA champion during his career, including victories in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly this year, while Clarendon led the Golden Bears to the Final Four for the first time in school history and earned the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award for women's basketball this past season.
Lindsey Ziegenhirt, a senior softball player, provided the student-athlete address to the crowd and spoke about the unique experiences she has had at Cal over the past four years.
"Berkeley has given me the opportunity to explore my passions, find new interests and expand my knowledge in all subjects through the amazing electives and core classes offered," Ziegenhirt said. "At what other university does your physics professor miss a lecture because he was advising President Obama on matters of national security and defense?
"From the rigorous academic workload to the intense competition of the Pac-12 Conference, Berkeley student-athletes are continuously challenged," she added. "But challenges define us, and overcoming them gives us the courage to take on more. It's this courage that separates Cal athletes from all the others."
Those in attendance at the luncheon included student-athletes who have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, or have earned conference, regional or national academic honors, or have served the community as leaders or mentors. The event was co-sponsored by the Big C Society and the Athletic Study Center and featured comments from Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour and Big C Society president Karl Uebel.
The following is the list of award winners:
Golden Bear Team Award
The Golden Bear Team Award is given to the varsity team with the highest cumulative grade-point average. This year's award goes to the women's golf team with a team GPA of 3.46, which is the highest average since the Athletic Study Center began compiling such statistics and tops the previous record of 3.40 set by volleyball last year.
Big C Most Improved Team Award
This award goes to the team that has made the greatest improvement in the last year relative to its historical grade-point average. The 2012-13 recipient is softball.
Tom Hansen Conference Medal
The Tom Hansen Pac-12 Conference Medal is awarded annually at each member institution to that university's outstanding senior male and female student-athletes. The determination is based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.
Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Awards
The Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Awards are given to the graduating male and female student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point averages. The award was established by Cal Hall of Famer William Neufeld Sr. in honor and memory of his son, William Jr., who ran track at Cal before his untimely death in a boating accident.
Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships
Created to honor outstanding scholar-athletes intending to pursue graduate studies and awarded by each Pac-12 institution, they include a $3,000 stipend for graduate work.
Oscar Geballe Postgraduate Scholarships
This award was created through the generosity of Dr. Theodore Geballe to honor his father, Oscar Geballe. It recognizes Oscar Geballe's devotion to Cal and his strong belief in the value of combining scholarship and intercollegiate athletic competition. Since 1981, the Geballe award has helped more than 75 Golden Bears continue their education at the postgraduate level with a $5,000 stipend going to each winner.
Jake Gimbel Prize and Anna Espenschade Award
The Jake Gimbel Prize and Anna Espenschade Award were established in the 1930s and 1987, respectively, to recognize a graduating male and female student-athlete for successful integration of academic and athletic pursuits. The winners of these awards exemplify the true "Golden Bear" spirit.
Joseph McDonnell Kavanagh Award
This award, in its sixth year, recognizes the student-athlete who has made exceptional improvement in his or her academic and intellectual pursuits at Cal. The University's motto - Fiat Lux, "Let there be light" - is appropriate for this most academically inspirational athlete award.
Tierra Rogers - women's basketball
Walter A. Haas Jr. Community Service Award
The Walter A. Haas Jr. Community Service Award was created to honor Walter A. Haas Jr. for his commitment and service to the University and larger community. This award is given annually to a student-athlete for his or her outstanding contribution to community service.
Leilani Alferos - women's gymnastics
Golden Bear Achievement Awards
The Golden Bear Achievement Awards are presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on his or her respective team.
Sport Name Major Baseball Chris Muse-Fisher Psychology M Basketball David Kravish Integrative Biology W Basketball Layshia Clarendon American Studies: Gender & Media M Crew Jack Kornfeld Molecular & Cell Biology W Crew Camilla Gardiner Environmental Sciences M Cross Country Matt Petersen Cell & Developmental Biology W Cross Country Deborah Maier Political Science Field Hockey Jordan O'Reilly Business Administration Football Mitchel Bartolo Environmental Engineering M Golf Brandon Hagy Business Administration W Golf Morgan Thompson American Studies M Gymnastics Donothan Bailey Integrative Biology W Gymnastics Alicia Asturias Psychology Lacrosse Amelia Burke Interdisciplinary Studies and Media Studies Rugby Spencer Morris Business Administration M Soccer Omid Jalali Business Administration W Soccer Lauren Hein Cell & Developmental Biology Softball Lindsey Ziegenhirt Psychology M Swimming & Diving Scott Farley Geography W Swimming & Diving Casey Mims Psychology M Tennis Jack Sanford Business Administration W Tennis Annie Goransson Society & Environment M Track & Field Jonathan Berry-Smith Legal Studies W Track & Field Nicole Larson Economics Volleyball Robin Rostratter Spanish and Media Studies M Water Polo Graham Nesbit Business Administration W Water Polo Briana Lippert Integrative Biology