NESCAC Announces NCAA Woman of the Year Nominees

NESCAC Announces NCAA Woman of the Year Nominees

A total of 11 women, representing 10 institutions, have been nominated to represent the NESCAC as its NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. A committee of conference administrators will select the NESCAC’s representative for the award.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. The award has been given annually since 1991. The 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on October 28 in Indianapolis, Indiana. More information on the award and a list of previous winners can be found here.

Eudice Chong, Wesleyan

Eudice Chong made history during her career as a women’s tennis player at Wesleyan, becoming the first men’s or women’s player in any division to win four NCAA Singles Championships. The Hong Kong native graduated from Wesleyan with a degree in psychology and a minor in East Asian studies. She was selected as a Wesleyan Scholar-Athlete in 2017-18 for distinguishing herself through her work in the classroom and in athletic competition.

Chong, who also won an NCAA Doubles title in 2017, was a four-time All-American in both singles and doubles competition, as well as a three-time NESCAC Player of the Year and the 2015 NESCAC Rookie of the Year. Chong garnered the Honda Division III Athlete of the Year honor in tennis all four years while at Wesleyan. She led Wesleyan to the NESCAC Semifinals in 2016 and 2018 and the program’s best finish in the NCAA Championships this past year when the Cardinals reached the NCAA Quarterfinals.

Off the court, Chong was heavily involved in Mabuhay, an annual Pan-Asian Culture Show showcasing various Asian cultures through music, dance, art and more. Additionally, Chong volunteered at a local assisted living facility where she developed relationships with residents.

Chong, a co-captain of the women’s tennis team, was a founding member of Wesleyan Athletics’ Student-Athlete of Color Council that began in 2017 and served on the board. The organization worked to connect student-athletes of color across all 29 varsity sports, as well as alumni. Through the council, Chong was a panelist for a mentorship program with local high school student-athletes of color. Chong was also Co-President of the Hong Kong Student’s Association at Wesleyan. The group provides an environment and community for Hong Kong natives to feel more comfortable at Wesleyan. In 2018, Chong organized a team fundraiser to help provide sports equipment to girls in disadvantaged communities around the world through Goals for Girls.

Eudice Chong - Wesleyan
Kelcie Finn, Trinity

Kelcie Finn earned a degree in classical studies with a Latin concentration and history minor and was a two-sport athlete at Trinity. She was a member of the Eta Sigma Phi Classics Honor Society, recognized with Trinity College Faculty Honors in the spring of 2016, and was the recipient of Trinity’s 2016 James A. Notopoulos Latin Prize. Finn was also named to the Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III National Academic Squad in 2017. On campus, Finn was a Latin and history teaching assistant for three years and also worked in the Sports Information Office.

Finn was the NFHCA Division III and NESCAC Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017, as well as the NFHCA Rookie of the Year in 2014. She earned All-NESCAC and All-Region honors all four years. Finn graduated as the career and single-season record holder in every offensive category for the field hockey program. Trinity appeared in the NESCAC Tournament all four years, earning runner-up honors in 2017. The Bantams made two NCAA Tournament appearances and advanced to the Elite Eight in her senior season. Finn, a native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, also played ice hockey for the Bantams, leading the team in scoring her final two seasons. She was the team MVP and was named to the NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team as a senior. The ice hockey team won the NESCAC title her rookie season and advanced to the NCAA Quarterfinals.

In 2016, Finn assisted organizing the women’s ice hockey’s charity game that raised over $11,000 for multiple sclerosis research. She was also a three-year participant in Trinity College’s Do-It Day, volunteering in the greater Hartford Community in efforts to clean-up the city. In 2017, Finn was a teaching intern at St. Paul’s School’s Advanced Studies Program where she planned and instructed lessons, advised students and was a dorm supervisor. She also participated in the NESCAC Women’s Coaching Symposium.

Kelcie Finn - Trinity
Helene Hall, Williams

Helene Hall, a member of the indoor and outdoor track & field teams, earned a dual degree in mathematics and economics from Williams.  Hall’s Economics Senior Thesis earned Highest Honor designation. A seven-time Dean’s List student, Hall was awarded the Carl Van Duyne Prize in Economics in 2017 was a Class of 1960 Scholar in Economics three times. She was a CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection last spring and is a six-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree. She also received USTFCCCA All-Academic recognition three times.

The Irvington, New York native, was a three-year economics teaching assistant and served as a peer tutor in mathematics and economics. She also volunteered with the My First Track Meet program for three years, encouraging children to learn about track & field. Hall served as an Orientation Leader in 2015 and participated in the Emerging Leaders Program in 2016. She has also worked as a volunteer assistant for the Irvington High School Track & Field program and participated in several clothing, book, and food drives while at Williams.

Hall, a team captain, was the three-time NESCAC Champion in the high jump at the NESCAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship and a two-time New England Champion in the event during the indoor season. Hall earned an invitation to the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships four times in the high jump, earning All-America honors each time. Her best finish came at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships where she was a runner-up. Hall helped Williams win four straight NESCAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The Ephs turned in third and sixth-place team finishes at the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, respectively, and placed fourth in 2017 and were the runner-up in 2018 at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships.

Helene Hall - Williams
Evie Keating, Middlebury

In September, Evie Keating will begin working as a Health Extension Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Benin in West Africa. She graduated from Middlebury with a degree as a conservation biology major while minoring in gender, sexuality and feminist studies, and helped the Panthers win an NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship.

During her academic career, Keating was selected as the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Elite 90 Award winner, a CoSIDA Academic All-American, and was named to the IWLCA Zag Sports Division III Academic Honor Roll. Keating was a three-time NESCAC All-Academic Team selection, while also earning Middlebury’s Hazeltine-Klevenow Memorial Trophy in 2018, which is awarded to a student-athlete for combining ability in athletics and excellence in scholarship.

On the field, Keating earned All-America Third Team honors at defense in 2016 and First Team honors in 2018. She is a two-time winner of the Ami DiAdamo Foster ’97 Award, given annually to the Middlebury women’s lacrosse player to plays with grace, grit, resilience and a sense of fun and her indomitable spirit leaves its mark on her teammates. Keating was a three-time All-NESCAC and IWLCA All-Region honoree. She helped Middlebury win two titles NESCAC titles in four NESCAC Tournament appearances. The Panthers also made four NCAA appearances, advancing to the championship game twice and winning the title in 2016.

Keating participated in a variety of activities away from lacrosse. She was a member of the all-female a cappella group, the Mischords. She was elected by her peers to serve in the Sherwood Society and was a co-leader in 2018. The group organizes an annual fundraiser to support local charities in the Middlebury area. Keating was the women’s lacrosse representative on the Green Panther Team, promoting recycling and sustainability at athletic events. She also led a group of Middlebury men’s and women’s lacrosse players who raised $16,000 for the non-profit group, Lacrosse the Nations. Her efforts included leading a week-long trip to Nicaragua to teach life skills and lacrosse skills to children. Keating also participated in Student Government, working on the Environmental Affairs Subcommittee, was a mentor to third-graders at Beeman Elementary School, and volunteered as a tutor at Hanover High School in her hometown of Hanover, New Hampshire.

Evie Keating - Middlebury
Caitlin Lawlor, Colby

Earning a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry at Colby, Caitlin Lawlor recorded the fifth-best cumulative grade-point average among senior student-athletes. Lawlor earned the Thomas W. Easton Prize in Biology as a senior for her academic achievement and passion for the subject.

She was a three-season student-athlete at Colby, running for the cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field teams. A two-time NCAA Cross Country Championship participant, she earned All-NESCAC and All-New England Cross Country honors twice and finished third at the NESCAC Championship in 2018. She also earned All-NESCAC honors in 2017 in outdoor track & field. Lawlor qualified for the 2017 and 2018 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships in the 3,000 meters and the mile run, respectively. The school record holder in the 3,000 meters and the distance medley relay in indoor track & field, she helped Colby finish fourth in the team standings at the 2018 NESCAC Outdoor Track & Field Championship. Lawlor was honored with the Patty Valavanis Award from Colby for academics, athletics, and sportsmanship.

In addition to her academic and athletic pursuits, she coordinated a team of volunteers for the Colby Admissions Office and served as an EMT for ambulance services in Boston.

Caitlin Lawlor - Colby
Juli Raventos, Williams

Juli Raventos earned a degree from Williams as a double major in economics and geosciences with a minor in German, and helped the Ephs win three consecutive NCAA titles in women’s tennis. She was chosen as one of 12 student scholars for the Class of 1960 Scholar in Environmental Studies where she participated in group discussions with policy experts and academic professionals on climate change. She was also an ITA All-Academic selection all four years.

Raventos, a four-time All-American in both singles and doubles, was honored with the Thomas Shulman Award as the top singles player on the team all four years. She led the Ephs to four straight NESCAC Women’s Tennis titles and three straight NCAA Championships, while also winning the NCAA Doubles title in 2015, 2016 and 2018. The NESCAC Player of the Year in 2016, she was a four-time All-NESCAC honoree in singles and earned All-NESCAC honors in doubles three times. Raventos also represented her country in Federations Cup competitions and the Central American Olympic Games.

Raventos participated in an annual charity event that benefited the Bennington Tennis Center and founded a tennis camp for underprivileged children in her community in San Jose, Costa Rica. She earned the 2017 Bourne Chaffee Award, which is an annual Williams honor presented to a member of the women’s tennis team who best demonstrates the qualities of leadership, skill, spirit and sportsmanship in the tradition of the program.

Juli Raventos - Williams
Nicole Roberts, Amherst

A NESCAC Cross Country Champion, Nicole Roberts graduated magna cum laude as a biology and environmental studies major from Amherst. A USTFCCCA Academic All-American all four years in cross country and track & field, she will be studying at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada via a research Fulbright Fellowship in the fall.

Roberts, a native of North Reading, Massachusetts, was the recipient of an environmental studies research grant with the University of New Hampshire to undertake a special project during 2018 and assist in a pilot system with members of the biology department and extending her senior honors thesis work. While at Amherst she received the Jan E. Dizard Environmental Studies Award for achieving the utmost academic excellence as an environmental studies major. She was nominated to become a peer tutor fellow at Amherst by the Department of Biology and earned the Gregory S. Call Research Grant to help with the costs associated with her environmental studies thesis. As a sophomore, she was recognized with the Amherst College Biology Prize and was a nominee of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

After battling injuries during her first two years, Roberts won the 2017 NESCAC Women’s Cross Country Championship race and earned All-NESCAC First Team honors. She went on to finish second in the NCAA Regional race and qualified for the NCAA Championship where she placed fifth to earn All-America honors. She was a three-time MVP of the cross country team and Rookie of the Year in both cross country and track & field in 2014.

Besides her academic pursuits, Roberts also volunteered at the Northeast Animal Shelter and was a supervisor of the Young Naturalist program at the Massachusetts Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center where she ran an interactive ecology program that introduced participants to ecological topics and local species of animals that live in coastal Massachusetts. Roberts was also the secretary of Interact Club, an organization that helps local middle school kids get involved in the community and coordinated fundraising efforts to assist families affected by natural disasters. Roberts volunteered at the Book and Plow Farm and was a member of the inaugural Food Justice Alliance, a group of Amherst College students working to solve issues of food access, environmental health and sustainability throughout the Pioneer Valley. Roberts was also involved in the Amherst LEADS program that helps student-athletes develop leadership skills.

Nicole Roberts - Amherst
Mary Travers, Tufts

Mary Travers will pursue a master’s degree in arts and religion at Yale University starting in the fall after graduating from Tufts with a bachelor’s degree in art history and French Literature. In 2018, Travers was a Tisch Library Undergraduate Research Award honoree, earned the Art and Art History Prize for academic achievement and research, the Adrian M. Misic Prize Fund Award for academic, athletic and community achievement, and was an Honor Civicus Society honoree for civic engagement and leadership.

Travers, a four-time Dean’s List student, was a speaker at the TEDx Tufts Conference and studied abroad at La Sorbonne in Paris, France in the spring of 2017. Her Senior Honors Thesis: “Catalogue and Interdisciplinary Study of Tufts University Ms. 2 Hours of the Virgin”, is an examination of a late medieval book of hours and is the first published study and codification of this manuscript. A NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad selection all four years, she was also honored with the Tisch Fund for Civic Engagement in 2017 and the Meghan A. Carleton Grant.

Travers was a two-time NFHCA All-American and two-time All-NESCAC First Team honoree. She helped the Jumbos make four NESCAC Tournament appearances, winning the title in 2016 and advancing to the NCAA Championship game that same season.

The Princeton, New Jersey native was president of the Protestant Students Association in 2017 and the organization’s publicity director in 2015-16. She was a member of the Interfaith Student Council, the social media consultant for the Tufts Art Gallery, and a tour guide for Tufts Admissions. She also worked as an intern at the Museum of Fine Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Tufts University Art Gallery.

Mary Travers - Tufts
Tess Trinka, Bowdoin

One of the finest tennis players in Bowdoin’s history, Tess Trinka graduated with a degree in biology and a minor in music. A Sarah & James Bowdoin Scholar, she was a three-time NESCAC and ITA All-Academic honoree.

Trinka was a two-time All-American in singles, an All-American in doubles, and four-time All-NESCAC performer. A two-time captain of the women’s tennis team, she was the ITA Northeast Region Most Improved Senior in 2018.

Trinka was a Head Proctor for Residential Life and a member of the a cappella group Ursus Verses. She was honored with the ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award, which is given annually to collegiate students who have shown great achievements on and off the court through sportsmanship, leadership, and character giving back to the community.

Trinka, a native of Oak Park, Illinois, has participated in numerous volunteer activities, including organizing a tennis tournament in Chicago (Mary Diaz and William Copeland, Jr. Memorial Tournament), which has raised over $600,000 for the Mary Diaz Pancreatic Cancer Fund. In the spring, Trinka was honored with Bowdoin’s Michael Francis Micchiche III Award, given annually to the individual who embodies the entire Bowdoin experience; who engages the college community, achieves academic excellence, and earns the respect of his or her peers and professors. She was also the recipient of the Athletic Department’s Anne L.E. Dane Award for Outstanding Leadership.

Tess Trinka - Bowdoin
Samantha Walther, Hamilton

A published author and an All-American ice hockey goalie, Samantha Walther graduated from Hamilton as a government major. Walther was a five-time Dean’s List student and a NESCAC All-Academic honoree.

In 2017, she was the recipient of the Raphael Lemkin Essay Prize on the practice of genocide. She wrote for Change Magazine, where she published an article about Hamilton faculty members’ experiences teaching in prison classrooms. She was selected by Hamilton professors and the Utica Mental Health Court Judge to complete a semester field study on the Swedish criminal justice system, where she traveled to the country to conduct her research, and authored a policy proposal directed at criminal justice reform in the United States. She also authored a report, which will be published this summer/fall, on the current state of jails and incarceration units in Oneida County and proposed policy changes. Walther participated in the American Prison Writing Archive, transcribing and editing handwritten letters from American prisoners to an online digital archive that were used in the latest edition of the book Fourth City: Essays from the Prison in America.

The 2018 NESCAC Player of the Year, Walther was a three-time All-NESCAC selection and two-time All-American. A finalist for the Laura Hurd NCAA Division III Player of the Year honor, she led Hamilton to four NESCAC Tournament appearances. Walther was awarded the Jack B. Riffle Award as Hamilton’s Female Athlete of the Year and was honored with the Utica Kiwanis Club Award for academic, athletic and character achievements. She owns the Hamilton single-season and career records for save percentage, shutouts, and goals against average. She finished her career ranked among the top five all-time among NCAA leaders in save percentage and shutouts.

Walther, a native of Gambrills, Maryland, also spent her time at Hamilton volunteering for Special Olympics and the Strong Girl program, which encourages girls about positive self and body image. Walther, who is conversational in Arabic and American Sign Language, was also a pen pal with students at the New York State School for the Deaf. Besides sharing letters, she visited with them, shared meals, and attended sporting events. Walther was also a volunteer coach for the Central New York Bobcats Youth Hockey Organization.

Samantha Walther - Hamilton
Amelia Wilhelm, Bates

Amelia Wilhelm helped Bates win two straight NCAA Rowing Championships and graduated cum laude with a degree from Bates in chemistry. A four-year Dean’s List Student, she was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Sigma Xi Research Honor Society, while also earning the College Key Award and the Mary Brushwein Award from the Bates Chemistry Department. A Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete Award winner, she was named to the NESCAC All-Academic Team three times.

Wilhelm, a native of Charlotte, North Carolina, helped the Bobcats win their second straight NCAA National Championship and contributed to the Bates Second Varsity Eight boat victories at the NESCAC, NIRC, and the New England Championships.

Wilhelm developed a passion for helping and teaching others during her time at Bates. She served as a student manager for the Academic Resource Commons at Bates, overseeing the peer tutors and developing workshops for supplemental learning for students. She also assisted the Bates Residential Life Staff, working as a Junior Advisor and Residence Coordinator and was a Career Development Fellow for the Bates Career Development Center. Wilhelm contributed as a teaching and research assistant in the Bates Chemistry Department and guided campus tours for the Bates Admissions Office. Off campus, she volunteered as a teaching assistant in a science classroom in the Lewiston Public School System and volunteered at St. Mary’s Hospital.

Amelia Wilhem - Bates