Scholar Athlete Award Recipients
Cameron Overstreet, from Mechanicsville, Virginia, was a four-year member of the University of North Carolina’s Women’s Outdoor Track Team. During her college career, Cameron was ALL-American, an NCAA Championship Qualifier, a 2-time NCAA First Round Qualifer, and a 2-time All-ACC Honoree. She was also a member of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCA) All-Academic Team. It should come as no surprise that Cameron was also named to the UNC’s Dean’s List. Cameron’s “Personal Best” records include both the Indoor Pole Vault (4.17 meters) and Outdoor Pole Vault (4.18 meters). She is considered one of the top two outdoor pole vaulters in the history of UNC.
Cameron was a winner both on and off the track. Her “team attitude” contributed to her being a highly regarded student and peer in the Exercise and Sport Science Department. Cameron was also involved in community service projects through Carolina Outreach and Carolina Dreams. In Cameron’s own words: “I will remember the sound of the Bell Tower ringing in every hour and the beautiful walk through campus. I will remember my teachers’ compassion and desire to help me outside of the classroom. As an athlete, I will remember preseason workouts, bonding with my teammates, and the pay off when I got to put on my jersey with the interlocking NC logo on the front. There is no better feeling than competing for your school. UNC’s legacy of great athletics and academics has made my experience that much more meaningful because I know I have written my part into Carolina’s history.”
Upon graduation, Cameron will continue to be involved with Carolina Athletics. She will be working with Tar Heel Hospitality in the Rams Club on football, basketball and baseball game days. Cameron also aspires to pursue a career in physical therapy.
Kacie Albert, from Oxford, N.C., a four-year starter of the University of North Carolina’s Fencing Team, was elected Captain of the Epee Squad for two of those seasons. She qualified for NCAA Fencing Regionals several times and was selected to participate twice in Veteran Leaders, the highest level of training in the Baddour Carolina Leadership Academy.
In addition to being a standout collegiate fencer and team leader, Albert was a CREED Mentor, counseling and guiding first-year athletes. As one of the 2014 Athletic Director’s Scholar Athlete Award recipients, Kacie was also recognized as one of the top five Graduating Female Athletes in the 2014 UNC Athletics Program.
Kacie graduated with a double major. Her first major was within the Sports Administration Track in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science and her second major was in Journalism and Mass Communication, Public Relations. Kacie also found the time to complete an Honors Thesis, enabling her to graduate with highest honors. Her thesis was entitled, “A Content Analysis of Gender Bias in Collegiate Fencing Coverage, 2011-2013.” Kacie made the Dean’s list seven times, was on the ACC Academic Honor Role 3 times, and was a member of Kappa Tau Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa.
Kacie plans to work for a few years in the sport communication field and then return to school to obtain a Master Degree in the Law-Sport Administration Dual Program, [hopefully] at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Kacie said it is difficult to pick “just one” memorable moment, as all four years at Carolina were “truly magical”. But one stand-out moment occurred when sitting in the players’ tunnel at the Duke game that had been rescheduled due to snow. Yes, it does occasionally snow in the southern part of heaven, but then again, that was up in Duke territory! Kacie will treasure forever the lifelong friends she made while here at Carolina.
Zoe De Bruycker
Zoe De Bruycker, from Saratoga, California (but born in Raleigh, NC) is a four-year member of the University of North Carolina’s Women’s Tennis Team, and was instrumental in the team achieving its first No. 1 ranking status within the NCAA Division 1. Zoe has received numerous ACC, ITA and NCAA honors in both singles and doubles.
Zoe graduated with a double major. Her first major was within the Sports Administration Track in the Department of Exercise and Sports Science and her second major was in Business. She has earned numerous ACC All-Academic Team honors. Zoe plans to work at Live Oak Bank in Wilmington, NC after graduation.
Zoe reports that her most memorable UNC college experience was when her team won the national indoor tennis championships for the first time in UNC Women’s Tennis history.
Elizabeth Lindley, from Burlington, NC, was a member of the University of North Carolina’s Gymnastics Team, majored in exercise and sport science (general track) and minored in coaching education.
Elizabeth’s gymnastic achievements include being named the Level 9 all-around and floor exercise state champion and National qualifier in 2005 and the uneven bars champion and fifth in the all-around in 2006. She concluded that year seventh on the bars at Nationals. Sidelined in 2007-2009 due to knee injuries, Elizabeth returned to competition in 2009 and was named 2009 NACGC Academic All-America. She has also received multiple East Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) all-Academic Team honors throughout her gymnastics career at UNC.
During her final season (2011-12), Elizabeth collected a host of accolades. She was inducted into UNC’s Phi Beta Kappa honorary society and was named the UNC Athletic Director’s Scholar-Athlete Award Winner for Gymnastics. She topped that off with being named Team MVP at the 2012 EAGL Championship Banquet held at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.
With so many memorable moments from UNC, Elizabeth was hard-pressed to stress “just one” moment, but she summarized it nicely: “The everyday occurrences are what I will remember most about UNC, such as spending time with my teammates and friends, walking across campus under a perfect Carolina blue sky, and just enjoying the unique atmosphere that makes Chapel Hill so wonderful.”
What’s down the road for Elizabeth? She wants to work in the medical field, most likely as a doctor or physician’s assistant. Elizabeth hopes to spend a year working as an EMT to gain experience, then travel abroad on medical missions. Her inspiration? Besides family, friends, coaches, and teachers, she quoted this biblical verse: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.” Colossians 3:23.
Kristina “Tina” Jacobs, from Raleigh, NC, a four-year member of the University of North Carolina’s Gymnastics Team, has received numerous National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches (NACGC) Academic All-American honors.
Tina was named to the East Atlantic Gymnastics League All-Academic team all four seasons of competition. She was also named to the EAGL first-team for balance beam in 2009 and second-team in 2008. Tina achieved her “personal best” balance beam competition her final season against NC State where she attained a score of 9.875.
Her coach and EXSS faculty agree, Tina possesses an incredible work ethic with dedication to her sport, academics, and teammates. In fact, Tina stated in a recent Tarheel Blue interview that traveling with the team was among her favorite memories. In her own words: “I love it when we are all having fun together.”
Tina is interested in teaching elementary school and hopes to become a teacher in the Teach for America Program. Her second aspiration is to perhaps pursue a nursing degree.
Lauren Prussing, From Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Lauren was a four-year member of the University of North Carolina’s Women’s Volleyball Team and led the team with number of kill shots. As a freshman, she shared Rookie of the Year honors.
Graduating from Highland Ranch High School, Lauren was named Captain, MVP of her team as a senior, and named “Best of the Best-Outside Hitters” by the Rocky Mountain News. Being an all-around athlete, she also participated in track and basketball. Lauren excelled academically in high school and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Honor Roll. She followed this path of excellence during her Carolina years, achieving a 4.0 GPA.
Lauren specialized in sports administration in EXSS and stated retired pro basketball player/UNC-alum Michael Jordan and pro volleyball/US Olympian Kerri Walsh as the athletes she most admires. Topromote sports world-wide and help children, Lauren plans to live in Africa the year following graduation.
Heather Kendall, From Chapel Hill, NC a four and half year member of the University of North Carolina’s field hockey team, played a key role in the Tar Heels’ undefeated 2007 National Championship season and on two ACC Championship teams.
During her collegiate career Kendell was selected as academic team captain as well as the team’s Student Athlete Advisory Council representative. A member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and two-time recipient of the Athletic Directors Scholar-Athlete Award, she has been named to the All-ACC Academic Team, the All-ACC honor roll as well as Division I Field Hockey National Academic Squad. To cap off a successful career, the day after the NCAA title game, she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa national honorary society. She graduated in December 2007 with distinction with a major in Exercise and Sports Science and a minor in chemistry.
Heather will be moving to Ohio this summer in hopes of getting her second bachelor’s degree in nursing and eventually her masters in advanced practice nursing. She considers it an amazing honor to have been given the opportunity to be a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Anna Evans, from Pinehurst, N.C., was a four-year member of the University of North Carolina’s Women’s Softball Team and was a team leader in number of stolen bases. Anna was named three times to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Team.
Graduating from Lumberton (N.C.) High School as her class’s valedictorian, it should come as no surprise that Anna won a Morehead Scholarship to attend UNC. She continued to garner academic honors throughout her college career, including being named an NFCA Scholar Athlete in 2004, making the Dean’s List in 2004 and 2006 and being named a UNC Softball Scholar Athlete in 2007.
In 2005, Evans was awarded the Tom and Linda Hazen Most Valuable Player award as well as the Frances Brinkley Most Outstanding Offense Award.
Anna was a socially-conscientious student as evidenced by her involvement in the Carolina Outreach Program, being a Carolina CREED Mentor, and a Veteran Leader in the Carolina Leadership Academy. With chemistry as her minor, Anna aspires going on to Dental School.
Gia Santoro, from Stratford, C.T., a four-year member of the University of North Carolina’s Swimming and Diving Team, team captain during her senior year, named to the 2005 All-Atlantic Coast Conference team, and received the David F. McInnis Award in 2005 for being the team’s outstanding female diver. During her college career Santoro qualified and competed in three NCAA Zone Qualifying Championships, was selected as an academic team captain for the swimming and diving team, earned Dean’s List and ACC Honor Roll, and was inducted to the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Her diving and academic accomplishments place Gia as one of the best and brightest student athletes that have ever attended UNC at Chapel Hill. It was a pleasure and an honor to have Gia as one of our EXSS majors. Gia will be moving to Boston this summer to coach age group divers at Harvard and Boston Universities. Gia also plans to apply to graduate school in either Physical Therapy or Psychology. She stated that her greatest athletic moment happened in the 2006 ACC Championships. Gia was one of eight divers to advance to the 1 meter springboard finals along with three other UNC divers. Being a part of such a strong Tar Heel contingency to compete in the finals made this a truly special year.
Mark Curry, from Brockport, NY, was the 2002-2003 recipient for the EXSS Scholar Athlete of Distinction. Besides being an outstanding EXSS student, Mark was pre-med and team captain for Indoor Track and Field for 2 years. Mark was also awarded the Mid-American Conference Commissioner’s award for academic excellence. He plans on pursuing a graduate degree in the exercise sciences.
Sarah Young, from Annandale, VA, settled into second base her senior year for the UNC Women’s Softball Team. Playing well over 75 games during her four years here, Sarah began her softball career at UNC as a pinch hitter and pitching two shut-out wins against UNC Wimlington and Campbell. Young personifies the academic athlete, having been named to the Dean’s List and the ACC honor roll two years in a row plus being named an NFCA Academic All-America Scholar Athlete. She was also honored as a Wachovia Woman of the Week, an award that recognizes outstanding female student athletes at UNC. Sarah was actively involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action and plans to pursue the ministry with Athletes in Action following graduation. She reports that her ‘greatest athletic achievement’ was winning the intramural innertube water polo championship!
Erin Neppel, from Huntington, N.Y., a four-year member of the University of North Carolina’s Rowing Team, was a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and named All-Central Region in 2000. That year Erin was also named as the team’s “Most Valuable Player”. Neppel attended the 1998 U.S. National Team Freshman Camp. In 1999-2000, Erin was named to the Collegiate Rowing Coaches’ Association National Scholar Athlete team. She was the recipient of a Watson Scholarship and earned spots on the Dean’s List and ACC Honor Roll. Neppel was also honored as a Wachovia Woman of the Week which recognizes outstanding female student-athletes at UNC.
Erin will be attending the University of Pittsburgh in the Fall of 2001 to pursue a doctoral degree in physical therapy. She stated her greatest athletic moment was beating Duke at the ACC Championships – spoken like a true-blue Carolinian!
Deanne Davis, from Burlington, N.C., was one of the most versatile and valuable members on Carolina’s Track and Field Team. An Atlantic Coast Conference champion in the triple jump, in her senior year Davis won with a jump of 43 feet, 1 and ¾ inches at the ACC meet hosted by Duke at Wallace Wade Stadium. She earned All-America honors in the indoor triple jump in 1999 and 1997, finishing sixth at the NCAA 1999 Championships in Indianapolis with a jump mark of 43-3, the second best in UNC history. She also finished 11th in the long jump in the NCAAs with a mark of 41-6. In Davis’ senior year, she was named the 2000 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Southeast Region Women’s Athlete of the Year by the United States Track Coaches Association, the 2000 ACC Women’s Indoor Track and Field MVP, as well as the ACC’s Indoor Track and Field Performer of the Week for the week of January 27th. She had an outstanding senior season, especially in the triple jump where she posted two NCAA automatic qualifying jumps during the season, first at the Pepsi Invitational where she jumped 43-9¼ and second at the ACC Championships in February where she won the ACC title and set her personal best with a jump of 44-6. Deanne rounded out her incredible performance by winning the 60m hurdles title in a time of 8.37, an NCAA provisional qualifying mark. Earlier in the season she had posted a recorded time of 8.34 at the Pepsi Invitational. In addition to earning a spot to compete in the 2000 Olympic Track and Field Qualifying Trials in California, Deanne, a recipient of the UNC’s athletic director’s scholar-athlete award, received a full academic graduate school scholarship from the NCAA to further her education at the University of Georgia in Exercise and Sport Science.
Max Harris, from Worthington, England and one of the top collegiate golfers, was a four-year starter for the Tar Heels. He was selected second-team All-America in 1998 and 2000 and was named to the third team in 1999. He was a three-time All-ACC performer, named to the squad in 1998, 1999, and 2000. Harris was ranked 10th in both the 2000 final Golfweek/Sagarin Individual Rankings and the final Mastercard Collegiate individual Rankings. He captured two individual championships during his collegiate career, the Black & Decker Duke Golf Classic in the fall of 1997 and the Ridges Intercollegiate in the fall of 1999. In Harris’ senior campaign in 1999-2000, he finished third at the NCAA East Regional after firing a three-under-par 68 on the final day and carding a pair of 73s in the first two rounds for a 214 total. He followed that with a tie for 20th place at the NCAA Championships. Max posted seven top 10 and nine top 20 finishes in his last season. In addition to his win at the Ridges Intercollegiate, his third-place finish at the East Regional and tie for 20th at the NCAAs, he was the runner-up at the Spring 1999 Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational, tied for seventh place at the Las Vegas Intercollegiate, tied for eight place at the ACC Championships and the Carpet Capital Classic and tied for ninth place at The Intercollegiate at MacGregor Downs. Harris also tied for 11th place at the Golf World/Palmetto Dunes Collegiate. Harris posted 19 top 10 finishes and 32 top 20 finishes. His highest finish at the NCAA Championships came in 1999 when he tied for sixth place. To cap his illustrious career as a Tar Heel, Max was a recipient of the UNC’s athletic director’s scholar-athlete award.
Tripp Phillips, from Charlotte, N.C., a four-time letterman and four-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection, returned to action as a senior in 2000 for the Tar Heels after taking a medical redshirt to recover from a shoulder injury. He played #1 singles and #1 doubles for Carolina. Phillips worked his way up from an ITA ranking of #80 during preseason singles to a final ITA ranking of 12th in the nation. Voted to be a team co-captain by his teammates, Phillips led his Tar Heel Team from No. 68 in the nation in the preseason to a final ranking of No. 21. After placing runner-up at No. 1 singles during the ACC 2000 Tournament, Tripp went to the NCAA Division I Championship quarterfinals, upsetting No. 6 seed Geoff Abrams of Stanford, earning him First Team All-America status. He was the first Tar Heel tennis player to be named to the All-America Team since 1996. Phillips posted a 26-5 record in singles his senior year and was undefeated in outdoor dual matches during his career at the UNC’s Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center. He also earned singles invitations to NCAA Championships in 1997 & 1998, competed in the quarterfinals of the Rolex Regionals in 1996 & 1998, and advanced to the finals in 1997. 1997 also saw Phillips win the Carolina Classic. As a junior tennis player, Phillips was ranked as high as 7th in the nation. At the conclusion of his senior year, Phillips was awarded The Patterson Medal, the highest honor that can be given to a UNC athlete which is based not only on athletic accomplishment, but also on sportsmanship, leadership, and general conduct. Tripp is only the second UNC tennis player to be awarded the Patterson Medal since 1949. He also won the ITA’s John Van Nostrand Award for the South Atlantic Region for character, academics, and discipline and was a recipient of the UNC’s athletic director’s scholar-athlete award. Tripp is currently competing on the men’s USTA/ATP professional tennis circuits in the United States and abroad.