Tulsa's Top Student-Athletes Recognized at Golden `Cane Awards Dinner
April 27, 2010
Tulsa, Oklahoma -
The University of Tulsa recognized its athletic teams and student-athletes on Tuesday night at the school's 15th Annual Golden `Cane Awards Dinner at the Donald W. Reynolds Center. The top awards were given to TU's "Ultimate Team" members, while the "Ultimate Service" Award, Outstanding Team Community Service Award, Faculty Member of the Year Award, Dr. Barry A. Kinsey Faculty Athletics Representative Award, Dan Bitson Courage Award and Warren Garrison Academic Excellence Awards were also announced.
The "Ultimate Team" honors those athletes who, during the current academic year, have exemplified those qualities and characteristics that are consistent with the missions and values of The University of Tulsa. The qualities and characteristics considered include academic success, campus involvement, community outreach, athletic participation and other areas of student involvement.
The "Ultimate Team" members for the 2009-10 academic year are MacKenzie Ayer (Women's Soccer/Lake Quivira, Kan.), Caitlin Clancy (Women's Track and Field/Tucson, Ariz.), Jennifer Eichler (Volleyball/Rapid City, S.D.), Rob Laird (Men's Golf/Tulsa, Okla.), Jackie Lawrence (Softball/Indianapolis, Ind.), Jacqueline Malleo (Rowing/Manasquan, N.J.), Rebecca Row (Women's Tennis/Lubbock, Texas), Kenny D. Sims (Football/St. Louis, Mo.), and Susan Stangl (Rowing/Webster Groves, Mo.).
The "Ultimate Service" award was established in order to recognize the efforts of student support staff for service to the teams and student-athletes. The selection of this individual is based on academic success, campus involvement, community outreach, service-oriented participation in athletics or other areas of student involvement. This year women's basketball equipment manager Brittany Annan was honored.
Annan has served as an equipment manager for the women's basketball team for the past three years. She is expected to graduate in May 2012 with a speech pathology degree.
The Dan Bitson Courage Award winner is freshman rower Megan Melott. The award was established in 1992 in the name of former TU football standout Dan Bitson (1986-91) who fought back from severe injuries suffered in an automobile accident to play football again. The award is presented annually to the TU student-athlete who exemplifies courage, perseverance and tenacity for overcoming adversity.
Melott was diagnosed with bone cancer in her lower right leg when she was six years old. She had nearly a year of chemotherapy treatments, had 2/3rds of her bone tissue removed and an expandable titanium rod implanted into her leg. Since 1997, Melott has under-gone 12 surgeries, but is cancer free. Today she is a coxswain on the TU rowing team.
The Tulsa student-athletes, through the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, select a Faculty Member of the Year. This year's award goes to Professor of Mathematical Science, Tom Cairns.
The Warren Garrison Academic Excellence Award was given to three student-athletes this year all boasting 4.0 GPAs, Caitlin Clancy (Women's Track and Field/Mathematics), Rebecca Row (Women's Tennis/History) and Susan Stangl (Women's Rowing/Speech Pathology). The award is named in honor of Tulsa's first athletic academic coordinator and longtime Golden Hurricane Club member Warren Garrison.
The Dr. Barry A. Kinsey Faculty Athletics Representative Award recognizes academic achievement and athletic success, and is named after former Faculty Athletics Representative Dr. Barry Kinsey, who served from 1986-2000. The award is presented to the TU team that excelled not only in the classroom as the Conference USA team with the highest GPA, but on the playing field as Conference USA Champions. Head Coach Tom McIntosh and the Men's Soccer team were honored this year.
The eighth annual Outstanding Team Community Service Award is given to the team most involved in community service activities throughout the year, and is selected by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. This year's winner was the Women's Rowing team. The women's rowing team turned in 865 volunteer hours this past year, and volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Bit-by-Bit to name a few.