Cleveland, Ohio - The Mid-American Conference (MAC) announced today the presentation of the Cartwright Award to Kent State University for its program excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship during the 2009-10 school year. The Cartwright Award will be presented to Kent State this Saturday, Oct. 9 during their home football contest against Akron at Dix Stadium.
"Everyone associated with the MAC is proud of the many student-athletes that compete in all of our universities and each of our 23 championship sports," said Dr. Jon Steinbrecher, commissioner of the MAC. "MAC member institutions value excellence in the classroom, on the field of competition and in society. I commend Kent State University for their recognition by its peers. This is indeed a high honor."
The Cartwright Award is an institutional award presented annually to one university in the MAC. A committee with representation from all 12 institutions selected the Cartwright Award winner from nominations submitted based upon the criteria of excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship.
"This award is about excellence in academics, athletics and citizenship, and I'm so proud of our student-athletes who demonstrate Kent State's excellence in action in the classroom, in sport and in our community," said Kent State President Lester A. Lefton. "I commend our student-athletes and Kent State's Athletics Department for a remarkable year as we celebrate our centennial, earning both the Reese and Jacoby Trophies, and now adding the Cartwright Award to our impressive list of achievements."
The Cartwright Award is named in honor of Dr. Carol A. Cartwright, one of the most highly respected voices in higher education. Dr. Cartwright served as the President of Kent State University from 1991-2006. Following her retirement, Dr. Cartwright served as President of Bowling Green State University on an interim basis beginning in July of 2008, before being named President in 2009. Dr. Cartwright previously was the vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of California at Davis and dean for undergraduate programs and vice provost at The Pennsylvania State University. She has served on the NCAA Board of Directors and is a member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
"An honor such as the Cartwright Award further illustrates that our coaches, student-athletes and staff members continue to live up to our championship-caliber expectations on the field, in the classroom and in the community," said Kent State Director of Athletics, Joel Nielsen. "Our entire university community can take pride in this award because without the strong support from President Lefton, the rest of our administration and our outstanding faculty and staff, none of this would be possible."
Below is a brief summary of the accomplishments by Kent State University in each of the three areas of academic, athletic and citizenship excellence:
Kent State Academic Summary (2009-10):
-Kent State achieved a department GPA of 3.0 for the first time ever and over 50% of the student-athletes maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above.
-Kent State produced a pair of Academic All-Americans in Martina Gavier (third team, women's golf) and Jacquise Terry (second team, football).
-Kent State also had six CoSIDA Academic All-District honorees, 33 All-MAC Academic selections, six Honorable Mention All-MAC Academic selections and Kent State student-athletes were recognized 16 times as MAC Scholar-Athletes of the Week.
-Two athletic teams, women's soccer and softball, received national recognition for their team GPAs, as the softball team's GPA of 3.43 ranked seventh in the nation, and the women's soccer team's GPA of 3.52 ranked eighth in the nation.
-Kent State student-athletes outperform the general student body by 14% in the four-class graduation rate, and the exhausted eligibility graduation rate continues to be 94%.
-Kent State women's basketball team leads the MAC earning a 100% GSR for the last four years.
-Every Kent State athletic team has an APR (Academic Progress Rate) score above 925, with six teams ranked in the top 30 percent nationally when compared to all other sports, and the baseball and women's cross country teams were publicly recognized in the NCAA Top 10% of their sports.
-Nine teams improved their APR score from the previous year and five teams earned a perfect 1,000 score last year.
-Kent State led the conference in APR scores with 12 of the 18 teams ranking in the top five in the conference.
Kent State Athletic Summary (2009-10):
-Kent State won both the Reese (top men's athletic program) and Jacoby (top women's athletic program) Trophies for the first time in the history of the program.
-Kent State had 10 different programs combine to win 11 MAC championships.
-Men's cross country claimed its first-ever title, women's track swept the indoor and outdoor competitions, women's golf earned its 12th consecutive title, the men's golf team claimed their 18th championship and baseball rounded out the haul with an amazing run through the postseason bracket that included five victories in three days.
-During the regular season, men's basketball, field hockey and gymnastics claimed overall titles, while baseball and softball finished as the top teams in the East Division.
-Kent State was the top MAC school in the Directors' Cup (an indicator of success at the NCAA level) for the 10th time in the last 11 seasons and for the 13th time in the 17 years since the award's inception.
-Diana Dumitrescu (women's indoor & outdoor track & field), Dustin Kilgore (wrestling), Danny Mitcheff (wrestling), Anthony Gallas (baseball), John Hahn (men's golf) and Rachel Miller (field hockey) earned All-America accolades.
-Kent State finished first in the nation in the Excellence in Management Cup, conducted by the Laboratory for the Study of Intercollegiate Athletics at Texas A&M University, the Cup ranks athletic departments in accordance to financial expenditures, rewarding departments that win the most conference and national championships, while at the same time keeping expenditures low.
Kent State Citizenship Summary (2009-10):
-In 2009-10, Kent State student-athletes raised over $30,000 to benefit Akron Children's Hospital, the American Cancer Society and the United Way.
-Each individual team sponsored its own community service project and spent hundreds of volunteer hours in the Kent community. Service projects ranged from the gymnastics 'Flip for the Cure' to baseball's Diamond Classic for Kids to football's trips to the Family Child Learning Center.
-The eighth annual JOCK JAMS competition was once again a success, as all athletic teams performed on stage to a sold-out crowd and raised $3,700 for cancer research.
-Thirty-two student-athletes were accepted into the Leadership Academy, a program to train student-athletes on communication techniques, conflict management, media training and valuable information on being a leader on their teams and in life.
-The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) experienced a surge in participation from all athletic teams last year, as meetings topped 40 student-athletes in attendance. Football's Leneric Muldrow led the committee as president as football student-athletes created a student organization, Uplifting Athletes, and are developing a Lift for Life fundraiser for Spring 2011.
-Career Night for junior and senior student-athletes were reorganized and created a career guide and resume-reviewing process.
-Winning Combination courses were also remodeled, as a one-credit introductory course covering issues relevant to student-athletes, such as money management, nutrition and academics.
-The Greeks vs. Jocks competition was created in an effort to spark a healthy community service competition between Greek Life and Athletics. The first event, 'Who Can Collect the Most Socks, Greeks or Jocks' was very successful as over 3,000 pairs of socks were collected for relief efforts in Haiti.
Other MAC Nominees:
University of Akron
Ball State University
Bowling Green State University
Central Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University
University of Toledo
Western Michigan University