Diverse | Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars 2015
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by Cassandra West

After a basketball game or hard practice, don’t expect to find Sai Tummala taking a break or chilling out. Expect to find the lights on and his head buried in an organic chemistry. A junior at Arizona State University (ASU) with another year of athletic eligibility, Tummala learned recently that he scored in the 80th percentile on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). He flew to Dallas for less than 24 hours in January to take the test.

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- Krystal Rivers
by Cassandra West

Krystal Rivers always rises to meet a challenge, whether it’s on the volleyball court, in the classroom or in her personal life. In the last year, Rivers has maintained a 3.8 grade point average and made history by becoming the first University of Alabama women’s volleyball player to be named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association Third Team All-America list.

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  • Paul Stewart

    Paul (Andrew) Stewart is a University of Louisville senior majoring in political science. He runs indoor and outdoor track and cross country, and his personal best for the indoor mile event is 4:10.39. Off the field, he made the Dean’s List every year from 2011 to 2014. Additionally, he is fully committed to an extensive array of volunteer opportunities, including working with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) to rebuild homes devastated by tornadoes. Stewart traveled to the town of Mango Creek in Belize on a mission trip in the summer of 2014.

  • Igor Braga

    As a freshman, Igor Braga was named MEAC Rookie of the Year, the first Norfolk State University student to be accorded that honor since 2006. Braga has not slowed down since. As a junior, Braga was named the NSU Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Brasilia, Brazil, native plays tennis for the Spartans, and is a member of the NSU Honors College. He is majoring in computer science.

  • Luis Ochoa Ramirez

    Luis (Jerry) Ochoa Ramirez, a junior majoring in finance at the University of Louisville, has maintained a 4.0 GPA every semester. He plays soccer for the Cardinals and has made the Athletic Director’s and Dean’s Lists since 2012. He is involved with the FCA and on the executive board of the Student- Athlete Advisory Committee. Ramirez is a native of Chihuahua, Mexico.

  • Isaiah Johnson

    Isaiah Johnson was the Georgia Institute of Technology’s top NFL Drafteligible prospect in 2014. An injury sidelined the safety in 2013, his junior year, but prior to that he led the team in tackles. Johnson graduated in December 2013 with a bachelor’s in management and a master’s in building construction and facility management this past December. He made the dean’s list for four semesters, and was a three-time ACC Academic Honor Roll recipient. Johnson’s community service is extensive: he has helped raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network, participated in a children’s mentoring program and helped beautify the Tech campus.

  • Dorian Hairston

    University of Kentucky (UK) junior Dorian Hairston distinguished himself on the baseball team for holding the highest GPA on the team in the fall of 2013. The English major also made the SEC First Year Honor Roll in 2013. He was an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar finalist last year as well. Hairston is active in the community, volunteering for UK Athletics’ Back Pack Program, Team IMPACT and the Miracle League.

  • Lance Gray

    Lance Gray came to Oklahoma State University by way of Cowley County Community College. The OSU senior and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society member is finishing up a degree in mechanical engineering. He made the President’s Honor Roll six times and the Dean’s Honor Roll twice. Gray has also been recognized on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll and with the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award in 2014. He is a member of the track and field team at OSU, with his personal best in the 400-meter event at 50.2 seconds. Gray is active in the community, including the Student- Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

  • Caylin Moore

    Marist College backup
    quarterback Caylin Moore
    excels on the field and off.
    An economics major and
    psychology minor, he has
    made the dean’s list each
    of his semesters at Marist
    College and is the first Red
    Fox to receive the US-UK
    Fulbright Summer Institutes
    scholarship. Moore is
    involved in numerous
    community service efforts
    including the Special
    Olympics, the White Ribbon Campaign, Take Back the Night, and
    the Dutchess ARC, which serves members of Dutchess County
    with developmental disabilities.

  • Brian Barney

    University of Cincinnati (UC) senior track and field middledistance runner Brian Barney was named the American Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2014-15. At the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships this year, Barney led the men’s distance medley relay. He and his teammates finished with a time of 10:09.54, the sixth fastest in the university’s history. Barney was president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., president of the ADVANCE diversity program and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

  • Felipe Da Silva

    Felipe da Silva, whose
    hometown is Rio de Janeiro,
    Brazil, has been making
    the most of his time at the
    University of Nebraska
    Omaha. A senior business
    finance and investment
    major, da Silva is also a threeyear
    letter winner for the
    Mavericks, and has been
    named twice to the Summit
    League Academic All-League
    team. He has made both the
    Dean’s and the Chancellor’s
    Lists, and consistently volunteers for youth soccer clinics and
    elementary school mentoring programs.

  • Suleiman Thomas

    Suleiman Thomas is a soccer forward at Valparaiso University. He appeared in one match in his freshman season with the Crusaders. A sophomore, Thomas is majoring in business management and digital media. He is heavily involved in community service, such as tutoring with preschool, elementary and middle school students; collecting food for and serving at the Café Manna; and assisting with MLK Day diversity events, among other activities.

  • Katelyn Trevino

    University of Missouri senior gymnast Katelyn Trevino is making a comeback after suffering a season-ending injury as a junior. Despite her injury, she was named co-captain of the team for the 2014 season. As a sophomore, she took home the Big 12 Championship floor title, where she earned a score of 9.900 for the event. Some of her career highlights include earning 9.875 twice on the vault in 2012 and a 9.800 on the bars against Illinois in 2011. She is working toward a master’s in positive coaching. Trevino has volunteered for a variety of causes, including Starlight Reading, Habitat for Humanity and a Read-a-Thon at Field Elementary School.

  • Nicole Bardaji

    Baylor University senior Nicole Bardaji is majoring in health science studies and pre-physical therapy. She plays volleyball for the Bears and had a breakout season in 2013, when she tied for second on the team in blocks and was third on the team in kills. She made the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll six times and the Baylor Dean’s List six times as well. She was also recognized with the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award. Bardaji earned Academic All- District this year. In her junior year, Bardaji traveled to Zambia with the Baylor Sports Ministry.

  • Jessica Glennie

    Jessica Glennie may have been an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar finalist last year, but she surpassed her many prior accomplishments by winning a Rhodes Scholarship from her home nation of New Zealand in 2014. She is just starting the spring racing season as a redshirt graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture. Prior to missing her senior year of rowing, she represented UT-Austin racing on the second varsity 8, placing third at the Big 12 Championship in 2013.

  • Bethany Andrews

    Bethany Andrews is a member of the Oklahoma State University pom team. The OSU Distinguished Scholar is majoring in biochemistry with a minor in microbiology. Her goal is to attend medical school and serve as a medical missionary abroad. She won the Academic Excellence Award for Student- Athletes in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Andrews volunteers at the Wish Week Philanthropy Program, the Humane Society, the McAlester Mercy Medical Clinic and the Into the Streets Clean-Up Program.

  • Kiera Bulluck

    Arizona State University (ASU) junior Kiera Bulluck is pursuing a double major in biological sciences and psychology. As a member of the varsity track and field team, she ran her personal best in the 400-meter dash in 57.50 seconds at the Don Kirby Elite Invite this year. In 2014, Bulluck competed at the Pac-12 Championships. Kiera has been a scholar-athlete every semester since joining ASU (fall 2012, spring 2013, fall 2013, spring 2014 and fall 2014).

  • Kristin Aloi

    A gymnast at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), Kristin Aloi showed great promise as an athlete in her freshman and sophomore years. An injury sidelined her from the end of her sophomore year to the rest of her junior year. Undaunted, as a junior she completed prepharmacy and psychology bachelor’s degrees and was admitted to UNC-Chapel Hill’s pharmacy school and inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She also traveled to rural Vietnam for three summers through the Coach for College program. Aloi has consistently been selected to the EAGL all-academic team during her time at UNC-Chapel Hill.

  • Alexis Cooper

    Arizona State University junior Alexis Cooper is a pitcher for the Sun Devils softball team. She finished her sophomore season with a 3.65 earned run average in 15.1 innings pitched. As a nursing major, she was named a Sun Devil Scholar-Athlete five times and to the Dean’s List for five semesters. Cooper volunteers at youth softball clinics. She volunteered at the Methodist Hospital in Sacramento, California, during the summer of 2014.

  • Lina Padegimaite

    A native of Kaunas, Lithuania, Lina Padegimaite is a senior tennis player at The University of Texas at Austin, where she majors in exercise science. She was named Big 12 Conference Freshman of the Year in 2012. Padegimaite has continued to stack awards as Team Academic MVP in 2013-14, and was named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar in 2014. She is also a three-time Provost Award winner.

  • Averee Fields

    West Virginia University
    (WVU) senior varsity
    basketball player Averee
    Fields majors in social work
    with a minor in psychology.
    Her academic work is
    impressive — in addition to
    being named to the Big 12 All-
    Academic First Team for the
    past three years, she recently
    earned Academic All-America Second Team honors. As a senior, Fields was named All-Big
    12 Honorable Mention. She has dedicated hundreds of hours
    of service work to the Morgantown community, via Stepping
    Stones, an organization that helps individuals with special needs,
    and volunteered at local hospitals and the WVU Child Learning

  • Brittney Reid

    Brittney Reid is a track and field standout at Oklahoma State University (OSU), where she majors in sports management. Her best time in the 60-meter dash is 7.91 seconds, 11.86 seconds in the 100-meter dash and 24.79 seconds in the 200-meter event. Reid has already made her mark academically, making the President’s, Dean’s and Commissioner’s Honor Rolls many times over. The senior is a Big 12 Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award winner and volunteers for a multitude of organizations, including local food drives, the children’s hospital, homeless shelters, parks and the TRIO Program.

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