Student-athletes honored at annual awards banquet

The FIU Athletic Department held its annual Athletic Academic Awards Banquet April 9 at U.S. Century Bank Arena. Each Panther team was honored for its accomplishments on and off the field throughout the 2011-12 academic year.

The swimming and diving team took home three awards. Photo courtesy Alex J. Hernandez.

Coaches, student-athletes and FIU staff were welcomed by Master of Ceremonies Bill Beesting, associate dean of Undergraduate Education. Senior Associate Athletic Director/SWA Julie Berg provided the opening remarks. Sophomore Rachel Slowik, a member of the FIU softball team, gave the invocation. Following a dinner buffet, each coach spoke of his or her team’s character and accomplishments and presented team-specific awards. Various athletic department awards were also presented.

A full listing of 2011-12 award recipients can be found below.

: MVP – Jovana Bjelica; 
VIP (Very Important Player) – Andrea Lakovic;
 Hustle Award – Silvia Carli

Women’s Golf:
 MVP – Shelby Coyle; 
MVP – Katie Mundy
; Most Improved – Yolecci Jimenez

Golden Dazzlers: 
Leadership Award – Cristina Bosmenier;
 VIP (Very Important Player) – Chelsey Alvarez; 
Hustle Award – Victoria Camus

 MVP – Kevin Cruz; 
Leadership Award – Sean Michael Suarez;
 VIP (Very Important Player) – Emonni Wood

 MVP – T.Y. Hilton; 
Offensive MVP – Kedrick Rhodes;
 VIP (Very Important Player) – Jose Cheeseborough

Women’s Basketball
: MVP – Jerica Coley; 
Most Improved – Fanni Hutlassa;
 Leadership Award – Finda Mansare

Women’s Tennis:
 MVP – Rita Maisak;
 Most Improved – Karyn Guttormsen;
 Leadership Award – Lisa Johnson

Men’s Soccer:
 Offensive MVP – Quentin Albrecht; 
Defensive MVP – Anthony Hobbs; 
Leadership Award – Joseph Dawkins

Women’s Soccer: 
Hustle Award – Sara Stewart;
 Hustle Award – Kim Lopez;
 MVP – Kaitlyn Savage

Swimming & Diving:
 Swimmer of the Year – Johanna Gustafsdottir
; Diver of the Year – Sabrina Beaupre;
 Freshman of the Year – Johanna Gustafsdottir

Men’s Basketball
: MVP – DeJuan Wright;
 MVP – Jeremy Allen;
 Most Improved – Manuel Nunez

: Most Improved – Michael Ellis;
 Hustle Award – Nathan Burns;
 Leadership Award – Pablo Bermudez

Men’s Track & Field
: Leadership Award – Sebastian Castillo;
 Most Improved – Khristian Campbell;
 MVP – Tyson Kemp

Men’s Cross Country: 
MVP – Sebastian Castillo;
 Hustle Award – Josh Estrada;
 VIP (Very Important Player) – Julius Michael

Women’s Track & Field: 
MVP – Marissa McElveen;
 MVP – Benia Gregoire
; Leadership Award – La’Shae White

Women’s Cross Country: 
MVP – Daniela Espino
; Hustle Award – Catherine Ventura;
 Leadership Award – Samia Adan

: MVP – Ashley McClain;
 Leadership Award – Brie Rojas
; VIP (Very Important Player) – Mariah Dawson

Athletic Department Awards
: Academic Excellence Award – Victoria Miliucci (Women’s Soccer)
; adidas Athletic Director’s Award – Swimming & Diving Team
; Student-Athlete of the Year – Jerica Coley (Women’s Basketball); 
Michael Felsberg Spirit Award – Swimming & Diving Team ; Dr. Paul D. Gallagher Community Service Team Award – Baseball
; CHAMPS/Life Skills Challenge Cup Award – Swimming & Diving Team

Sporting Behavior Award Team Nominees: Mike Martinez – Baseball;
 Carmen Miloglav – Women’s Basketball;
 Tai Canady – Women’s Cross Country;
 Sebastian Castillo – Men’s Cross Country;
 Rupert Bryan Jr. – Football;
 Tania Tare – Golf;
 Luke Bray – Men’s Soccer;
 Victoria Miliucci – Women’s Soccer;
 Ashley McClain – Softball;
 Johanna Gustafsdottir – Swimming & Diving; 
Tyson Kemp – Men’s Track & Field;
 La’Shae White – Women’s Track & Field;
 Jessica Egan – Volleyball

Overall Female Sporting Behavior Award Winner:  La’Shae White (Women’s Track & Field)

Overall Male Sporting Behavior Award Winner: Mike Martinez (Baseball)

About FIU Athletics: FIU Athletics is home to more than 400 student-athletes in 18 different sports, and is a proud member of the Sun Belt Conference and an affiliate member of Conference USA (men’s soccer). Athletic events are played in seven different venues on FIU’s campuses (Modesto A. Maidique and Biscayne Bay), including U.S. Century Bank Arena and Alfonso Field at FIU Stadium.