Science athletes recognized for outstanding scholarship

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

2015 President’s Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award winners with President Feridun Hamdullahpur.

Five student-athletes, including two from the Faculty of Science, were recognized last week as the top academic achievers in the classroom. President Feridun Hamdullahpur honoured Waterloo’s highest achieving athletes with the announcement of the 2015 President’s Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Awards.

Within a department and campus culture that stresses the importance of academic excellence, it is great to see the academic success of our student-athletes being celebrated," said director of athletics and recreation, Roly Webster. "It is amazing to see our student-athletes model the importance of wellness that contributes to the vibrant student experience inside and outside of the classroom that we want all of our students to experience."

Second-year Physics and Astronomy undergraduate Reid Hayes achieved an incredible average of 97.8 per cent while competing on the university’s cross country and track teams.

Jennifer Mead, a master’s student in Earth and Environmental Sciences, earned the honour for top female graduate student with an average of 93 per cent while playing for the Waterloo Warrior field hockey team. She tied with Hella-Franziska Hoffman (squash), a PhD candidate in Computer Science.

Mead credits her academic success in part to her participation in sports.

Any physical activity is a great outlet,” says Mead. “But field hockey has really given me the structure I needed to stay on track. My coach, Maria Leahy, and my teammates have been amazing.”

Jennifer Mead (left) playing field hockey for the Waterloo Warriors against Dalhousie University.Jennifer Mead (left) playing field hockey for the Waterloo Warriors against Dalhousie University. Photo credit: Kaylee Lock-O'Connor.

When Mead’s not training or on the road with the team, she’s conducting field and laboratory research with Professor Sherry Schiff, head of the Watershed Biogeochemistry Lab. Her research into how dissolved organic carbon degrades in lakes aims to explain an important gap in our understanding of the carbon cycling in lakes.

Additional winners included Alexandra McGowan, the top female undergraduate student (Chemical Engineering, cross country/track) and Anthony Spanopulos, the top male graduate student (MSc candidate in Math, soccer).