LOGAN, Utah – Utah State’s athletics department recognized 202 student-athletes for achieving a 3.2 grade point average at the 23rd annual Joe E. and Elma Whitesides Scholar-Athlete Luncheon Tuesday. To be eligible for the honor, student-athletes must have a cumulative 3.2 grade point average or have posted a 3.2 GPA during the last two semesters.
In all, approximately 54 percent of USU’s student-athletes earned a 3.2 GPA to qualify for the awards.
The top honoree during the luncheon was senior track & field athlete Jodi Williams, continuing a streak of six straight and nine of the last 10 honorees from the track & field program.
Williams (Enterprise, Utah/Enterprise HS) will graduate from Utah State this spring with a master’s degree in fitness promotion, having already earned an undergraduate degree in exercise science in her first three years. Williams already has a position with Age Promotion Performance upon graduation, having interned with the company last summer. Overall, Williams is a multiple Whitesides Scholar Athlete recipient and earned academic all-conference accolades three times, in addition to being named a member of the 2015 USTFCCCA all-academic team.
As a student-athlete, Williams is a member of the Aggies’ indoor and outdoor track & field teams, winning a high jump title as a freshman and earning a pair of all-conference citations during her career at Utah State. Williams’ personal-best marks of 1.75m (5-8.75) and 1.76m (5-9.25) in the high jump during the indoor and outdoor seasons are still among the top in school history, ranking No. 5 and No. 6, respectively.
“My athletics and academics definitely go together,” she said. “I don’t think I would have made it through the academics without the athletics. It kept me here and involved and gave me the motivation to achieve success in the classroom.
Utah State also handed out team honors and women’s tennis was named the top academic team with less than 20 members. Women’s cross country was the top academic team with more than 20 members and the women’s basketball, volleyball and softball teams were the most improved academic teams.
Travis Seefeldt, who is a member of the football team, received the Aggie Achievement Award for overcoming life challenges and personal adversity to ultimately excel as a student-athlete and obtain a high level of academic achievement at Utah State University.
Dr. Rich Gordin was presented the Meet The Challenge Award, while McKayla Sharp and Abigail Bentley were both given the Outstanding Tutor Award, and Analise Barker was given the Outstanding Mentor Award for their work with USU’s student-athletes.
The Whitesides honors started in 1953 by former USU athlete, coach and athletics director Joe E. Whitesides.