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Sims, Choice Receive Total Person Awards

April 21, 2008


All-Atlantic Coast Conference football player Tashard Choice and women’s track & field standout Jenny Sims 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 women’s track & field member Lara O’Connor Hodgson, currently an adjunct professor in the Georgia Tech MBA program, was honored with the Total Person Alumnus Award.


Kristi Miller, a five-time All-American in women’s tennis and the 2008 ACC Player of the Year, received the Robert Cup as Tech’s top women’s senior athlete. David Herren, a senior track & field athlete from Rome, Ga., was the men’s recipient of the Robert Cup.


Miller along with football kicker Travis Bell were honored with the ACC Scholar-Athlete Awards. Miller, Herren and men’s track & field member Taylor Narewski were also selected for ACC Post-Graduate Awards.


Football standout Darryl Richard, the 2007-08 president of the Georgia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Board, received the Georgia Tech Leadership Award.


Jason Haniger of the Tech baseball team and women’s track & field athlete Alana Clooten were awarded the Bobby Dodd Scholarships for 2007-08, recognizing Tech’s top returning scholar-athletes.


The Georgia Tech Spotlight Award recognizes an athlete from each team that has made a significant impact on their team but has not always made news headlines.  The following student-athletes are this year’s recipients:

Amelia Beach                        Softball

Charlie Blackmon                 Baseball

Gary Cage                              Men’s Basketball

David Dragoo                       Golf

Dalton Hedberg                    Women’s Swimming & Diving

Michael Johnson                 Football

Michelle Kandell                  Volleyball

Doug Kenny                         Men’s Tennis

Nisha Kurian                         Women’s Cross-Country

Billy Mateker                        Men’s Cross-Country

Kayla McKeirnan                 Women’s Track & Field

Andy Miller                          Men’s Swimming & Diving

Alex Montgomery                Women’s Basketball

Omar Morrison                     Men’s Track & Field

Oliver Mullin                         Cheerleading

Christy Striplin                     Women’s Tennis



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

Alana Clooten                      Women’s Track & Field

Raenard Dillard                     Women’s Track & Field

Jason Haniger                       Baseball

Kristi Miller                           Women’s Tennis

Luke Murton                         Baseball

Allie Niekamp                       Volleyball


Tech also recognized members of the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society, a National College Athlete Honor Society:

Charlie Blackman                  Baseball

Jake Blackwood                    Football

Alana Clooten                      Women’s Track & Field

Adam Cohan                         Golf

Matt DiDia                             Men’s Track & Field

David Dragoo                       Golf

Stephanie England               Women’s Swimming & Diving

Greg Johnson                       Men’s Track & Field

Whitney Haller                     Softball

Jason Haniger                       Baseball

Ashley Keck                         Women’s Cross-Country/Track & Field

Nisha Kurian                         Women’s Cross-Country/Track & Field

Jacob Kwasnik                     Men’s Swimming & Diving

Elena Linn                             Women’s Cross-Country/Track & Field

Andrew Miller                      Men’s Swimming & Diving

Kristi Miller                           Women’s Tennis

Taylor Narewski                   Men’s Track & Field

Stephanie Robbins              Volleyball

Blair Shimandle                     Softball

Jenny Sims                            Women’s Cross-Country/Track & Field

Elizabeth Stowe                    Women’s Swimming & Diving

Kevin Skenes                        Men’s Swimming & Diving

Ulrike Stegemann                 Volleyball

Kevin Tuminello                   Football

Greg Tunning                       Men’s Swimming & Diving




Jenny Sims, Women’s Track & Field /Cross Country

Total Person Award

The 2007-08 Vice-President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board … An integral part in the new ideas and initiatives this group formulated over the 2007-2008 school year …  Among the first inductees into the Chi Alpha Sigma National student-athlete honor society … Named to the ACC Honor Roll … Earned five top-10 ACC finishes, as well as individually qualifying for the NCAA Regional Track Meet in 2007 … A management major from Woodstock, Ga.


Tashard Choice, Football

Total Person Award

One of the top running backs in Georgia Tech history … First-team All-ACC and honorable mention all-America in 2007 … Holds the No. 1 spot in the history books in career 100-yard rushing games, consecutive 100-yard rushing games, 100-yard rushing games in a single season, and season rushing attempts … High School jersey was retired in November of 2007 … A December, 2007 graduate of Tech … Named to the ACC All-Academic Team during his tenure at Tech … A History, Technology, and Society graduate from Riverdale, Ga.


Kristi Miller, Women’s Tennis

Robert Cup Award

The most decorated women’s tennis player in Georgia Tech history … As a freshman became first women’s tennis player in Tech history to earn All-America honors … Is a five-time All-American … She is a four-time All-ACC honoree … 2005 ACC Rookie of the Year … 2008 ACC Player of the Year … Following her freshman season, she competed in the 2005 US Open … Holds the Georgia Tech career record for singles and doubles wins …  She has been ranked as high as No. 1 in the nation in singles and was the MVP of the 2006 ACC Championships …  An ITA Scholar Athlete, a member of the ACC Honor Roll, a member of the All-ACC Academic Team, as well as a CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American … She was recently awarded the prestigious Peach of an Athlete Award, presented by the Atlanta Area Boy Scouts of America … The 2006 recipient of the Honda Award for tennis … She has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during her time at Tech … A History, Technology, and Science major from Marysville, Mich. 


David Herren, Men’s Track & Field /Cross Country

Robert Cup

A 2008 recipient of an ACC Postgraduate Scholarship … Graduate in May of 2007 with a degree in Biology … Has spent his fifth year on the men’s cross-country and track teams, working toward a masters’ degree, with plans to attend medical school upon graduation … Named to the All-ACC Academic team four times … Has represented Georgia Tech at the ACC level at conference meetings … Earned All-Regional honors and individually qualifying for the NCAA Cross-Country Championships in 2007.


Alana Clooten, Women’s Track & Field

Bobby Dodd Scholar

An active member of Georgia Tech’s student-athlete advisory board, she has led the way in community outreach as well as in rallying support for all student-athletes through the Code Gold initiative …  As a freshman, she immediately made an impact on the Track & Field team by breaking the school record in the hammer throw, which at the time was the third farthest hammer throw nationally among USA junior women …  The same year, she went on to place 4th at the USATF Junior National Championships …  She has had five top-eight finishes at ACC Championship events between the weight throw and hammer throw … Placed fourth in the hammer throw at the 2008 ACC Outdoor Track & Field Championships … Among the first Georgia Tech student-athletes to be inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma national honor society … A biomedical engineering major from Fairbanks, Alaska.


Jason Haniger, Baseball

Bobby Dodd Scholar

An active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board … Has successfully led his entire team to numerous community outreach projects, including Team Buzz, Habitat for Humanity, and the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies …  Has qualified for both the Dean’s List and the ACC Honor Roll each year he’s been at Tech …  Inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma student-athlete honor society … A management major from Santa Clara, Calif.


Darryl Richard, Football

Georgia Tech Leadership Award

President of the 2007-2008 Student-Athlete Advisory Board … 2007 Peach of an Athlete honoree … Finalist for the 2008 Wuerffel Trophy, which is presented by the All Sports Association to the football player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement …  A current student in the Georgia Tech MBA program from Destrehan, La. … Named to the 2006 ACC All-Academic Football Team … Named to the ACC Academic Honor Roll for 2004-05 and 2005-06 … Sports Illustrated All-Bowl team … Georgia Tech All-Academic Team.


Lara O’Connor Hodgson

Total Person Former Student-Athlete Award

A scholarship member of the Georgia Tech women’s track & field team earned her BS in Aerospace Engineering … Earned an MBA from Harvard Business School … Featured in USA Today as one of the top 20 students in the US and was the ODK National Leader of the Year in 1993 …Co-founded Insomnia, LLC, an Atlanta-based firm specializing in investment, development and management of complex and innovative “world-changing” projects … Prior to founding Insomnia, she spent 5 years at Dewberry Capital Corporation, an Atlanta-based commercial real estate development and investment firm, where she served as the company’s Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer … She is also currently an adjunct professor in the Georgia Tech MBA program, teaching “Financial Aspects of Real Estate”. 


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