College's Student Athletes Honored for Academic Prowess

by Rashad Mulla

College's Student Athletes Honored for Academic Prowess

At a Feb. 24 ceremony, five talented student-athletes from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences were among 12 recognized for their outstanding academic achievements.

George Mason University’s Office of the Provost organized the third annual student-athlete-scholar reception in order to recognize student-athletes who achieve grade point averages of 3.75 or higher after taking at least 39 credits.  The honorees achieved this mark despite fitting consistent, rigorous training and competition into their course-filled schedules.

“I set up the award, with the welcome help of the athletics folk, to recognize the exceptional talents some of our students bring in combining academic excellence with the demands of intercollegiate sports,” said Mason Provost Peter Stearns. “This also shows more generally the positive relationship between these two aspects of the student-athlete experience at Mason.”

The five winners from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences are:

  • Josh Apple, communication (men’s golf | Bio)
  • Nadia Skolnitsky, history (women’s rowing | Bio)
  • Rochelle Sceats, psychology (women’s cross country and track & field | Bio 1 & 2)
  • Giorgia Picci, psychology (women’s rowing | Bio)
  • Joy Oberlin, integrative studies (women's lacrosse | Bio)

The students' department chairs recognized these achievements.

“Taking a full slate of courses and getting a near-4.0 GPA is an impressive accomplishment in its own right,” said Brian Platt, chair of the Department of History and Art History. “But to do so while also competing in a varsity sport requires and extraordinary amount of dedication and discipline.”

Deborah Boehm-Davis, chair of the Department of Psychology, said she was pleased that two such students were in her program. 

“Student athletes spend a great deal of time developing expertise in their sport. This award recognizes that these student athletes have also spend a great deal of time developing expertise in their major,” Boehm-Davis said. “It is not easy to achieve the level of performance that these students have achieved, and they have done this in both physical and intellectual arenas.”

Gary Kreps, chair of the Communication Department, echoed these sentiments while touting Apple’s academic and professional skills.

“Josh spends long hours honing his athletic skills as a championship-caliber golfer, but also works hard as a journalist, covering Mason sporting events,” Kreps said. “I am told by his professors that he is an excellent writer and editor who has a promising future in journalism.”

Finally, Nance Lucas, associate dean of New Century College, noted Oberlin's accomplishments.

"I'm proud to claim Joy Oberlin as an integrative studies student in New Century College," Lucas said. "Joy defines a student athlete. She excels inside the classroom and on the field."