April 12, 2022

Buckeyes Receive Scholar-Athlete Awards



COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State Department of Athletics recognized outstanding scholar-athletes and teams with postgraduate scholarships and awards Monday evening at 2022 Scholar-Athlete Awards.

The winners of the prestigious Big Ten Medal of Honor were Izzy Rodriguez of the women’s soccer program and Tyler Johnson of the track and field program.

The award, given to the most outstanding male and female senior student-athlete on each Big Ten campus each year, is awarded to the respective male and female student-athlete who has “attained the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work.” Finalists – Ohio State had 10 this year – are selected based on their outstanding accomplishments in the classroom, on the field, and as a leader and role model within their program.

The men’s finalists were Matthew Comes (fencing), Samuel Gens (pistol), Johnson, Robby Oswald (track and Griffan Smith (baseball) while the women’s finalists were Aziza Ayoub (track and field), Hannah Gruensfelder (volleyball), Laila Huric (synchronized swimming), Emily Nothnagle (pistol) and Rodriguez.

Gabby Rosenthal of the women’s hockey team was the recipient of the Leann Grimes-Davidge Award. The Leann Grimes-Davidge Award, which is a tribute to Grimes-Davidge’s contributions to athletics at Ohio State, is given annually to a female athlete who reflects Grimes-Davidge’s outstanding qualities of athletic performance, scholarship, character, campus or community involvement and leadership. A member of the Ohio State women’s tennis team, Grimes-Davidge won four state and Big Ten titles. She graduated from Ohio State summa cum laude and received her master’s degree from Miami University where she served as the head women’s tennis coach.

Women’s hockey player Paetyn Levis received The John Dana Cole Award. The award, established in 1966 by a gift through the Development Fund from John D. Cole, provides a one-time stipend for post-graduate studies at Ohio State. The recipient of the scholarship is a student-athlete who shows the promise of success in his/her chosen field and has demonstrated academic achievement (3.00 GPA minimum).

Huric was the recipient of the Pierce Phoenix Award, which is given to a student-athlete who has excelled in academics, athletics and personal growth attained through perseverance and hard work. The award is to be used to attend graduate or professional school at Ohio State, with preference given to someone who intends to enroll in the Fisher College of Business.

Nothnagle and Amanda Palutsis of swimming and diving were the recipient of the M/I Homes Foundation Award, which has been presented annually since 1976. The award was one of the first designed specifically to recognize and promote women’s achievements in intercollegiate athletics at Ohio State. It provides an outstanding female scholar-athlete $5,000 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State. The award is based on demonstrated athletic and academic success as well as community contributions through involvement in civic or university organizations.

Duncan MacKenzie of cheer and Nothnagle were honored as the Varsity O Scholarship Award winners. The Varsity O award provides each scholar-athlete selected (one male/one female) with a one-time stipend of $4,000 for postgraduate studies at Ohio State. The ideal candidate maintained a 3.0 GPA or higher during undergraduate studies, earned a varsity letter and performed community service.

The Corwin A. Fergus Memorial Award was given to men’s gymnast Andrew Brower, Clair DeGeorge of the women’s hockey team, Huric and MacKenzie. Fergus scholars are male or female student-athletes who have excelled in athletics, achieved academically (3.00 GPA minimum), demonstrated positive qualities of character and citizenship and shown potential for success in a graduate or professional program. Established in 1967, the award is given in memory of Corwin A. Fergus, a member of the Ohio State football team (1912-14), a graduate of the Ohio State School of Law and later a successful businessman. The award reflects his strong commitment to the pursuit of academic and athletic excellence and his positive contributions to society. The $5,000 postgraduate scholarships, which each are renewable for up to three years, can be utilized for graduate study or professional programs at Ohio State.

Five Buckeyes were selected for the Woody and Anne Hayes Award – men’s fencer Shanvanth Arnipalli, Brower, Becca Mauer and Gruensfelder of the women’s volleyball team and Rosenthal. The award, established in 1979, provides one or more varsity athletes with financial assistance for postgraduate studies. The recipients of this scholarship are student-athletes who have demonstrated academic achievement (3.00 GPA minimum) and leadership qualities.

Brower and Palutsis received Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarships. Each Big Ten institution developed its own on-campus selection process when awarding the scholarships. Students must have maintained at least a 3.2 grade-point-average, demonstrated leadership qualities, served as an excellent role model and intended to continue their academic work beyond their baccalaureate degree at a graduate degree program. The scholarship will be used to pay expenses of the student’s postgraduate education to include such related activities as research and teaching, as well as other expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, required course-related supplies and books. In order to retain the scholarship, the recipient must be accepted into a full-time graduate degree program within three years from the fall semester after selection.

Varsity O recognized teams for their academic performance. Women’s fencing won the most improved large team grade-point average, while pistol had the most improved grade-point average among the teams with smaller rosters. The women’s hockey team (large) and women’s gymnastics (small) were honored for posting the top team grade-point averages.

A total of 788 student-athletes were named Ohio State Scholar-Athletes this year. Of the standouts, 52 were highlighted for carrying perfect 4.0 grade point averages. The complete list of Ohio State Scholar-Athletes can be found HERE.