OTTAWA (CIS) – The Canadian Interuniversity Sport student-athletes announced last month (Oct. 21) as Top Eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2012-2013 season were honoured in Ottawa, on Tuesday morning.
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presented the first Governor General's Academic All-Canadian Commendation to the eight recipients, during a ceremony at Rideau Hall.
Every year, a growing number of CIS student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians, having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one - or more - of their university's varsity teams.
In 2012-2013, a record 2,695 students achieved the prestigious status, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,617 set a year ago.
Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four CIS regional associations are selected annually to make up the Top Eight.
The '12-13 recipients from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) are UNB swimmer Monica MacDonald and Acadia hockey player Travis Gibbons, both kinesiology students.
Representing the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) are a pair of medical students, Montreal soccer player Émilie Chamard and McGill football player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
The winners from Ontario University Athletics (OUA) are Toronto track & field star Alicia Brown, who specializes in visual culture and communications, as well as Steven Takahashi, a wrestler and kinesiology major at Western.
Last but not least, the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) recipients are kinesiology students Jaki Ellis, a volleyball player from Alberta, and Paul Clerc, a soccer player from UBC.
"Our student-athletes continue to amaze us with their ability to achieve excellence on and off the playing field," said CIS chief executive officer, Pierre Lafontaine. "The record number of Academic All-Canadians once again this year speaks volume about the quality of our students, but also our coaches, support staff and our universities. To be selected among 11,000 of their peers is an accomplishment members of the Top Eight should be extremely proud of."
Following is a profile of each member of the 2012-2013 Top Eight, as well as a list of all-time winners.
ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (AUS)
Name: Monica MacDonald
Hometown: Fredericton, N.B.
School: University of New Brunswick
Program: Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (Honours)
Eligibility in 2012-13: 4th year
Monica MacDonald, who was born in Saint John, N.B., but moved to Fredericton at the age of two, had a successful four-year swimming career at UNB. In four appearances at the AUS conference championships, the Varsity Reds captain qualified for the final in 14 of the 15 events she competed in.
On the academic front, MacDonald graduated last May with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Honours after maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 4.2, including a perfect 4.3 in her final year. A four-time CIS Academic All-Canadian and member of the Dean's List, she received the Garnet Copeland Award in 2012-13 as UNB's top overall student-athlete, recognizing athletics, academics and community service.
During her time at UNB, she volunteered with the Varsity Reds Athletes Council, the Kinesiology Society, the Dr. Everett Chalmer's Regional Hospital, the Habitat for Humanity Global Village Program and the Special Olympics.
"Monica was the consummate student-athlete here at UNB for the past four years. She has an exceptional work ethic both in the classroom and in the pool," says UNB swim coach Robin Ferdinand. "I have no reservations in recommending her for this award as she truly is a prime example of what values a total student-athlete encompasses."