ST. PAUL, Minn.--- Each spring, the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) recognizes outstanding senior student-athletes who demonstrate a healthy balance by achieving excellence in academics, leadership, and service while participating in intercollegiate athletics, through the UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award.
The UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award is presented to student-athletes who embody what it means to be an NCAA Division III student-athlete. Through this award, the UMAC recognizes the role athletics plays in developing leaders by rewarding athletes' excellence in the classroom as well as service to the community.
North Central's nominees for the 2017-18 academic year are seniors Daniel Morgenstern (Apple Valley, Minn./School of Environmental Studies) and Danelle Pageler (Warren, Minn./Warren-Alvarado-Oslo). Morgenstern is a four year athlete and three year captain on the men's cross country team. Pageler is a four-year player on the softball team.
Morgenstern is a member of the US Army National Guard while majoring in English. "Daniel is the epitome of what it means to be a successful Division III student-athlete. With his military service, academic all-conference awards and leading our team to the best regional finish in school history, he is a wonderful example of the opportunity found in Division III." Head cross country coach Trey Meadows explains.
Pageler is set to graduate with a degree in social work and is very active in working with the refugee and immigrant populations in the Twin Cities. "It is great to see North Central students who embody the DIII philosophy be recognized for their leadership and academic excellence. Danelle's work with refugee populations and her academic excellence is a great example of the beautiful balance of what the DIII student athlete experience is meant to be." Said head softball coach Allison Meadows.
North Central student athletes have earned the UMAC Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award the last three years, the longest such streak in the history of the award. Sutton Rehwaldt a cross country and tennis student athlete was the male receipient in 2015. Annalise Schroeder, a four year cross country athlete was recognized in 2016. Last year NCU volleyball standout Elissa Pheneger was the women's award winner.
Finalists are nominated by each institution and the winners are selected by the UMAC Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives. Winners of the Scholar-Athlete Leadership Award – which will be given to one male and one female – will be announced Wednesday, April 11. The two award winners will be honored on their individual campuses and presented with a personalized plaque.