Eight NEWMAC Institutional Nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year Announced

Eight NEWMAC Institutional Nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year Announced

NCAA Institutional Nominees Release

WESTWOOD, Mass – A total of eight women have been nominated by their institutions to represent the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) as its NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. The conference Athletic Directors select the NEWMAC representatives which will be announced in late July. The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors student-athletes based on academics, athletics, service and leadership.

Vanessa "Jade" Assad – Wheaton College

Jade Assad is a 2019 graduate of Wheaton College where she earned a degree in Business and Management. Assad is a two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree while earning Dean's List in every semester of her time in Norton. The softball student-athlete was recognized with the Senior Scholar-Athlete award at Wheaton while also being honored as holding the highest GPA among the female senior student-athletes.

As a softball student-athlete Assad competed as a pitcher and first base during her time with the Lyons. Assad garnered NEWMAC First Team All-Conference accolades in 2018 while competing in the postseason with Wheaton in 2017.

Off the field, Assad was involved in many community service and leadership programs, including the International Missions Foundation where taught adults and high school students in the Western Region of Ghana to develop innovative solutions that address needs and challenges in their communities. The student-athlete was also an Ambassador in the Wheaton College Office of Admissions, a Teaching Assistant/Research Assistant, was a resource for new students on campus while also working with the colleges Annual Fund Office.

 

 

Abby Bertics – MIT

Abby Bertics is a 2019 graduate of MIT where she earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with a minor in Linguistics with a concentration in Russian. Bertics holds many academic awards which is highlighted by being a two-time Academic All-America honoree, while being named the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year in 2017. Bertics received a Fullbright Grant to do research in Russia at the intersection of linguistics and computer science. 

As a volleyball student-athlete Bertics is a two-time NEWMAC Athlete of the Year, four-time All-Region honoree, being named Regional Player of the Year twice while garnering All-America honors all four years with the Engineers. The outside hitter helped lead MIT to the postseason four times, claiming the NEWMAC title twice while advancing to the NCAA Tournament three times with two Sweet 16 appearances.

Off the court the student-athlete completed two internships at Google, while also conducting internships at Molecular Stethoscope and Capgemini in Paris. She has participated in many research opportunities during her time in Cambridge while also being involved in community service projects, such as Walk for Alzheimers, park clean ups and tutoring while being a member of the MIT Society of Engineers.

 

 

 

Lauren Bondi – Smith College

Lauren Bondi is a 2019 graduate of Smith College where she earned a degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Exercise and Sport Studies. Bondi has received multiple academic accolades which is highlighted by claiming Academic All-America honors in 2019, was named a Jostens Trophy Finalist this year, is a three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree while also earning  the Smith College A.E.M.E.S. McKinley Honors Undergraduate Research Fellowship where she was awarded with the highest honors in Neuroscience for her Honors Thesis project.

As a basketball student-athlete, Bondi is a two-time NEWMAC First Team All-Conference selection while being named Athlete of the Year in 2019. The point guard was also named an All-America Honorable Mention this past season while being a two-time All-Region Selection. Bondi helped lead the Pioneers to two postseasons claiming the NEWMAC Regular Season title in 2018 while Smith went out to the NCAA Tournament in 2019.

Off the court Bondi is an Associate Member of the Sigma Xi Research Society while completing volunteer opportunities with Project Coach Community Engagement Program, Smith College S.T.E.M. Peer Mentor program and Project Coach Academic Tutor. The student-athlete was a member of the Smith College Student Ambassador as an Executive Board member while also being a representative on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

 

 

 

Ogechi Ezemma – Clark University

Ogechi Ezemma is a 2019 graduate of Clark University where she earned a degree in Biology with a concentration in Public Health. Upon graduation Ezemma will attend Brown University Medical School to continue her education. The student-athlete garners many academic achievements which is highlighted being a three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree, Dean's List recipient, member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, Fiat Lux Honor Society. Ezemma is a two time recipient of the Alice Higgins Award and is also a recipient of the Trachtenberg Award as well as a Traina Academic Scholar.

As a basketball student-athlete Ezemma is a three-time NEWMAC All-Conference honoree while being a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District award winner and earning NEWMAC Athlete of the Week honors four times. The forward helped lead the Cougars to two postseasons during her career, highlighted by a semifinal appearance in 2017. 

Off the court Ezemma is the President of the Pre-Health Society. The student-athlete participated in many volunteering opportunities which include: UMass Medical Center Department, Microbiology Lab, Westerly Warm Shelter Soup Kitchen and Summer Lunch Program, and the Academic Clark Excellence Summer Education Program. Ezemma was also a Big Brothers Big Sister Mentor, Pre-Health Society Mentor, and an Assumption Mentoring Program Mentor.

 

 

 

Justine Huang – Wellesley College

Justine Huang is a 2019 graduate of Wellesley College where she earned a degree in Economics. The student-athlete has garnered many academic accolades which include being named a three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree, 2019 Seven Sisters Senior Scholar Athlete and a 2018 ITA Scholar Athlete. Huang is also a member of the Wellesley College Chemistry Society as the Co-President. 

As a tennis student-athlete Huang is a three-time NEWMAC All-Conference award winner, helped lead the Blue to a 2019 Seven Sisters Team Championship, ranked as high at No. 8 in the region in doubles during the 2018 season. Huang helped lead the Blue to four NEWMAC postseasons highlighted with three semifinal appearances and Runner-Up honors in 2017.

Off the court Huang volunteered her time with the Wellesley College Chemistry Department conducting research and experiments while also volunteering with the College Spanish Department. The student-athlete participated in a weekly advanced performance seminar on the piano while volunteering as Copy and New in Brief Editor of The Wellesley News as well as being a member of the Wellesley Environment and Energy Defense group where she held the position of Secretary.

 

 

 

Mirjam Keochakian – Mount Holyoke

Mirjam Keochakian is a 2019 graduate of Mount Holyoke College where she earned a degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry graduating Magna Cum Laude. The student-athlete has earned numerous academic accolades, being named the Laurie Priest Alumnae Association Scholar Athlete, Mount Holyoke Senior Scholar Athlete, three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree as well as a four-time NFHCA National Academic Squad selection. 

As a field hockey student-athlete Keochakian is a two-time NEWMAC All-Conference award winner while also being named a two-time second-team All-Region recipient. The midfielder helped lead the Lyons to four NEWMAC postseasons, highlighted by team champions in 2015 where they advanced to the NCAA Tournament. 

Off the field Keochakian has conducted many volunteering opportunities which include: Leithauser Pediatrics Germany, Kisseman Foundation for Children in Ghana organizing after school activities and was a Campus Volunteer for Special Events. The student-athlete then went on to complete an internship in Pediatrics at Leithauser Germany while also being a Research Assistant at the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia. Keochakian was a Biology Peer Tutor, Biology Lab Teaching Assistant, Biology Sciences Research Assistant and a Gender Studies Research Assistant while also being awarded the Mount Holyoke Leadership Award.

 

 

 

Cathryn MacGregor – Wheaton College

Cathryn MacGregor is a 2019 graduate of Wheaton College where she earned a degree in Neuroscience with a minor in Chemistry and French. MacGregor has earned numerous academic accolades. As a three-sport athlete, MacGregor is a three-time Wheaton Scholar Athlete, seven-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree, two-time USTFCCCA All-Academic honoree and a MayFellow Scholar. 

MacGregor is a volleyball and track and field student-athlete for the Lyons where she is a two-time NEWMAC All-Conference honoree, claiming the Javelin title in 2016 while also claiming the regional title in 2018. The thrower claimed All-American honors at the NCAA Championship in 2018 while taking home All-Region honors in 2019. As a volleyball student-athlete MacGregor helped lead the Lyons to two NEWMAC postseasons while attending three NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

Off the playing surface MacGregor is a member of the Phi Delta Phi National French Honors Society, Psi Chi National Psychological Honors Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta National Health Preprofessional Honors Society and the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honors Society. The student-athlete was a Co-Presidents of the Wheaton Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAAC) while being a recipient of the Dean Sue Alexander Senior Student-Athlete Award and Lyons' Pride Award. MacGregor was also a finalist for the Caroline Cutler Metcaff Leadership Award.

 

 

 

Ashley Tango – Babson College

Ashley Tango is a 2019 graduate of Babson College where she earned a degree in Business Management. Tango has earned many academic achievements as a dual sport student-athlete, being named a four-time NFHCA National Academic Team Recipient, five-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree, Dean's List in every semester in Babson Park. Tango also earned the Shelby Cullom Davis Entrepreneurship Award as well as the Michael J. Conlon Writing Award. 

On the field Tango is four-time field hockey All-Conference honoree and a two-time softball All-Conference recipient with All-Region honors in 2018. The field hockey midfielder is a two-time NEWMAC Player of the Year, four-time All-Region honoree and a three-time All-American. In the fall the field hockey student-athlete helped the Beavers claimed four Regular Season Titles, earning the conference crown in 2016 with two NCAA Tournament appearances, highlighted by a Final Four appearance in 2016. In the spring the softball student-athlete helped the Beavers advance to four NEWMAC postseasons, claiming the conference title in 2017 while advancing to the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals.

Off the field Tango volunteered with Milton Youth Field Hockey, Girl Power Running Club, Cunningham Elementary School, Team IMPACT, Special Olympics, Play 4 the Cure along with field hockey and softball youth clinics. Tango was named the Babson College Female Athlete of the Class for 2019.