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Castro, Hull, Ecker Receive Total Person Awards

April 23, 2007

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ATLANTA–All-America golfer Roberto Castro and softball standout Kristina Hull received the Georgia Tech Athletic Association’s highest honor, the Total Person Award, at the annual Yellow Jacket Celebration, held Monday evening.

The Total Person Awards are presented annually to the male and female senior student-athletes who best exemplify excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and service.

Former Tech football all-America Dr. Allen Ecker, now Executive Vice President of Scientific Atlanta, was honored with the Total Person Alumnus Award.

Ashlee Kidd, a senior from St. Petersburg, Fla., and a six-time all-America in track and field, received the Robert Cup as Tech’s top senior student athlete.

Men’s basketball standout Mario West received the Delta Air Lines Partners in Leadership Award.

Ulrike Stegemann, an all-ACC volleyball player, and football standout Kevin Tuminello were awarded the Bobby Dodd Scholarships for 2006-07, recognizing Tech’s top returning scholar-athletes.

Women’s basketball player Kentrina Wilson, an important contributor to the most successful season in school history, received the Perseverance Award after overcoming two major knee injuries.

All-ACC tennis player Alison Silverio and swimming standout Ofer Finkler were honored with the Atlantic Coast Conference Scholar-Athlete Awards. Silverio also received the Captain’s Captain Award from the Georgia Tech Letterwinners’ Club.

The Georgia Tech All-Academic Team recognizes the top scholar on each team:

Kristi Miller (women's tennis)Jared Hyatt (baseball)Roberto Castro (golf)Nisha Kurian (women's track & field)Alison Lynn (women's swimming)David Herren (men's cross country)Ofer Finkler (men's swimming)Sarah Wood (softball)Abby Showers (volleyball)Taylor Narewski (men's track & field)Kentrina Wilson (women's basketball)Eric Molnar (men's tennis)Kevin Tuminello (football)Elena Linn (women's cross country)Mario West (men's basketball)Cody Freeman (cheerleading)

Also recognized were the All-ACC Top Six for Service:

Kristina Hull (softball)Michael Fisher (baseball)Brandon Duckett (men's track & field)Allie Niekamp (volleyball)Alana Clooten (women's track & field)Taylor Narewski (men's track & field).

Sue Ann Allen, Executive Assistant to the President of the Georgia Institute of Technology, received the Faculty/Staff Recognition Award, and Bobby Robinson, who is retiring as Senior Associate Director of Athletics, received a Special Recognition Award.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF AWARD WINNERS

Roberto Castro, GOLF

Total Person Award

One of the nation’s top amateur golfers as well an outstanding student and leader . . . Will be a four-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference selection and likely a four-time all-America while helping Tech to Top 10 national rankings each year and ACC titles the last two years . . . Has also captained the United States Palmer Cup team . . . Will go down as one of the most successful golfers in school history, a strong statement given Tech’s tremendous golf tradition . . . An outstanding student majoring in Industrial Engineering, he is a two-time Academic All-America, an All-America Scholar, and an Academic All-ACC selection . . . Member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board who is active in the community.

DR. ALLEN ECKER

Total Person Alumnus Award

Played football at Georgia Tech in the 1950s under legendary head coach Bobby Dodd, helping the Yellow Jackets to victories in the Cotton, Sugar and Gator Bowls. As a senior, he was an all-conference selection, a second-team all-American and an academic all-American . . . After receiving his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech, he earned a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University . . . Executive Vice President of Scientific Atlanta, a leader in the telecommunications field for whom he has worked for 30 years, playing a key leadership role in the strategy and technology that took the company from $40 million in sales in 1976 to current annual sales approaching $3 billion . . . Winner of two Emmys, he is the 1999 inductee into the Technology Hall of Fame of Georgia, and in 2005, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for Innovation by the Atlanta Telecom Professionals . . . A member of the Georgia Tech Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni, he has supported his alma mater, the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia in many ways and served on numerous committees and boards.

Ofer Finkler, MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING

ACC Scholar-Athlete Award

An outstanding swimmer and a remarkable student . . . Member of several school-record relay teams and holds top five times in school history in the 50 and 100 freestyle events . . . In addition to a 3.95 grade point average in electrical engineering, he works as a teaching assistant and research assistant . . . An Academic All-ACC honoree and an honorable mention Academic All-America, he was awarded an Atlantic Coast Conference Postgraduate Scholarship and he plans to pursue a master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering.

Kristina Hull, SOFTBALL

Total Person Award

A leader on and off the field as a member of the Georgia Tech softball program, which she has helped to three straight NCAA berths and a Top 25 national ranking this year. A three-time recipient of the team’s Hardest Worker Award, she has shown steady improvement at the plate each year and as a senior is enjoying her best season with a .281 batting average, nine home runs and 25 runs batted in. She is a key reason why the Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in virtually every offensive category and rank among the national leaders in home runs. Off the field, she is a Dean’s List student majoring in Science, Technology and Culture and an Academic All-ACC honoree. She also serves as President of our Student-Athlete Advisory Board, and her community service activities are too numerous to mention. The winner of an ACC Postgraduate Scholarship, she plans to attend LSU and serve as a graduate assistant for the strength and conditioning program.

Ashlee Kidd, WOMEN’S TRACK & FIELD

Robert Cup

The Robert Cup is presented annually to Georgia Tech’s top senior student-athlete in honor of Lawrence Wood “Chip” Robert, one of Tech’s earliest athletic stars, earning 15 varsity letters and serving as captain of the football, baseball and cross country teams. He graduated from the Institute in 1908 with a degree in Civil Engineering and went on to head one of the nation’s largest engineering firms. He also served as Undersecretary of the Treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

This year’s winner is one of the nation’s top sprinters and a key member of the Georgia Tech women’s track and field program. She is a six-time all-America and an 11-time ACC Champion, and she has been named the ACC’s Most Valuable Performer on two occasions. At last weekend’s ACC Championships, she personally accounted for 33 of Tech’s 82 points, highlighted by ACC titles in the 400 meters and 4×100 relay. She is also a Dean’s List student in Management.

Alison Silverio, WOMEN’S TENNIS

ACC Scholar-Athlete Award, Captain’s Captain

A two-time all-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree and Most Valuable Performer of the 2005 ACC Tournament . . . One of the winningest tennis players in Georgia Tech history, she has led the Yellow Jacket program to unprecedented success, including a No. 1 national ranking earlier this season and three straight ACC titles . . . Also an Academic All-ACC selection and the recipient of an ACC Postgraduate Scholarship . . . Serves on the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board and has volunteered for numerous community service projects . . . The Louisville, Ohio, native graduates this semester in Management.

Ulrike Stegemann, VOLLEYBALL

Bobby Dodd Scholarship

One of the top volleyball players in the Atlantic Coast Conference . . . A two-time all-ACC selection, this season she added all-region and honorable mention all-America accolades . . . Also a two-time Academic All-ACC honoree, and Academic All-District selection and a member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll . . . Majoring in Management.

Kevin Tuminello, FOOTBALL

Bobby Dodd Scholarship

Two-year starter at center who anchors a Georgia Tech offensive line that has helped the Yellow Jackets be one of the top rushing teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference . . . A two-time Academic All-ACC selection and a three-year member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll . . . Majoring in Building Construction.

Kentrina Wilson, WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Perseverance Award

The Perseverance Award recognizes student-athletes who have overcome adversity to excel in their sports and in the classroom . . . Overcame two major knee injuries to become a key contributor for the women’s basketball program . . . Her courage and determination helped the Yellow Jackets enjoy the most successful season in school history with 21 victories, an NCAA Tournament berth and a thrilling first-round victory over DePaul . . . Played several different positions during her career, always putting team success ahead of individual goals . . . She was such an inspiration that the women’s basketball program has created a new award in her honor, the Kentrina Wilson Perseverance and Courage Award.

Mario West

Delta Air Lines Partners in Leadership Award

The Delta Air Lines Partners in Leadership Award recognizes a student-athlete who demonstrates leadership qualities on the playing field, in the classroom and in the community. One of the most popular players to wear a Georgia Tech uniform, this young man is exemplifies the spirit of college athletics. After coming to Tech as a walk-on, he not only earned a scholarship but became an important contributor and leader for three NCAA Tournament teams. His hustle and determination helped him make the most of every opportunity he was given. He was equally diligent in the classroom as a Dean’s List student who earned his degree in four years.

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