Illinois athletes honored as Big Ten Distinguished Scholars


July 11, 2012

Park Ridge, Ill. - The Big Ten Conference announced on Wednesday 30 student-athletes from Illinois were among those who have been selected recipients of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. The list includes student-athletes from every institution and 36 different sports who have earned a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year.

In February of 2008, Big Ten Faculty Representatives established a conference academic recognition to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Similar to the Academic All-Big Ten honor, Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution. However, the Distinguished Scholar Award encompasses only student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student-athlete's academic career.

The 2011-12 class of Distinguished Scholar Award recipients includes 85 student-athletes who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term.

 Big Ten Distinguished Scholars from Illinois
  Kevin Johnson Baseball Junior Health Planning and Administration Midlothian, Ill.
  Katelin Dilger Women's Golf Senior Marketing and Entrepreneurship Palmdale, Calif.
  Alex Varga Men's Gymnastics Sophomore Business Glen Ellyn, Ill.
  Jenna Carosio Women's Soccer Senior Civil Engineering Novi, Mich.
  Nicole Denenberg Women's Soccer Junior Advertising Chicago, Ill.
  Vanessa DiBernardo Women's Soccer Sophomore Sport Management Naperville, Ill.
  Julie Ewing Women's Soccer Senior Communication Batavia, Ill.
  Christina Farrell Women's Soccer Junior News-Editorial Journalism Tucson, Ariz.
  Shayla Mutz Women's Soccer Junior Health Behavior Change Homer Glen, Ill.
  Keri Eberhardt Women's Swimming Junior Biology Tinley Park, Ill.
  Rachel Japp-Joyce Women's Swimming Senior Kinesiology Mokena, Ill.
  Erin Lamb Women's Swimming Junior Kinesiology Naperville, Ill.
  Torrey Loper Women's Swimming Senior Marketing Scottsdale, Ariz.
  Erica Lynn Women's Swimming Sophomore English Swansea, Ill.
  Kristen Manias Women's Swimming Senior Advertising Lakeville, Minn.
  Brittany McGowan Women's Swimming Senior Kinesiology Beverly Hills, Mich.
  April McKee Women's Swimming Senior Elementary Education/Math Buffalo Grove, Ill.
  Marin Thompson Women's Swimming Sophomore Economics Jackson, Wis.
  Alyssa Toland Women's Swimming Sophomore I-Health Mokena, Ill.
  Emily Wilkinson Women's Swimming Sophomore Elementary Education Westmont, Ill.
  Bruno Abdelnour Men's Tennis Senior Mechanical Engineering Aleppo, Syria
  Chris DeSilva Men's Track & Field Junior Civil Engineering St. Charles, Ill.
  Graham Farnsworth Men's Track & Field Senior English Wheaton, Ill.
  Graham Farnsworth Men's Track & Field Senior English Wheaton, Ill.
  Joshua Hodur Men's Track and Field Junior Accountancy Burbank, Ill.
  Phil Pompei Men's Track & Field Junior Broadcast Journalism Los Altos, Calif.
  Zebo Zebe Men's Track & Field Sophomore Kinesiology Tolono, Ill.
  Amanda Duvendack Women's Track & Field Sophomore Kinesiology Metamora, Ill.
  Courtney Yaeger Women's Track & Field Junior Individual Plan of Study Wheeling, W.V.
  Anna Dorn Women's Volleyball Sophomore Kinesiology Munster, Ind.