April 15, 2003
Notre Dame senior soccer all-star Vanessa Pruzinsky earned top honors in early April at the 11th annual Academic Excellence Awards Dinner organized by the University of Notre Dame’s Office of Academic Services for Student-Athletes and sponsored by the Athletic Department.
The dinner, held in the concourse of the Joyce Center, honored 290 student-athletes who possess a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average or higher. Also honored were the student-athletes on each varsity team with the highest cumulative GPA (trainers, managers and cheerleaders included), plus the teams with the highest combined GPAs in each semester.
Former Notre Dame swimmer Haley Scott-DeMaria served as guest speaker.
Pruzinsky (Trumbull, Conn.), a chemical engineering major, was honored with the Top Gun Award as the graduating senior with the highest cumulative GPA (4.0). She has achieved a perfect 4.0 average in each of her seven semesters to date.
Fourteen athletes were cited for earning perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during the 2002 spring semester – Anna Carnick (fencing, American studies, Mishawaka, Ind.), Rachel Endress (cross country, film, television and theater, Wheaton, Ill.), Jason Ertel (cheerleading, Greek/economics, Alden, N.Y.), Elizabeth Franzoza (rowing, Arts and Letters, Loveland, Ohio), Natalie Hallett (track, marketing, Huntington Beach, Calif.), Jennifer Kleine (cheerleading, accounting, Barrington, Ill.), John Mulflur (lacrosse, economics/history, Easton, Md.), Katie Neff (volleyball, American studies, St. Louis, Mo.), Brendan Prendergast (fencing, pre-professional, St. Petersburg, Fla.), Pruzinsky, Steve Ratay (golf, computer science, Arlington Heights, Ill.), Catherine Shiel (cheerleading, English/anthropology, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), Michelle Sutton (fencing, psychology/Spanish, Orlando, Fla.) and Luke Watson (track and field, accounting, Stillwater, Minn.).
Reaching the 4.0 mark in the 2002 fall semester were Kelli Barton (swimming, political science, Scottsdale, Ariz.), Jennifer Fibuch (cross country, psychology, Leawood, Kan.), Kim Fletcher (volleyball, anthropology/computer science, St. Louis, Mo.), Jason Halvorson (football, science pre-professional, Burnsville, Minn.), Charles Hedman (football, government/computer applications, South Bend, Ind.), John Keane (cross country, engineering, Winona, Minn.), Matthew Kerls (managers, accounting/economics, Des Peres, Mo.), Kristen Kinder (volleyball, Arts and Letters pre-professional, Fresno, Calif.), Pruzinsky, Alison Ruddy (rowing, business, Aurora, Ill.), Megan Sanders (rowing, mathematics, Aurora, Ill.), Melissa Schmidt (cross country, architecture, Miles City, Mont.) and Kevin Wiseman (golf, science pre-professional, South Bend, Ind.).
The second annual Chuck Linster Award was presented to recognize the senior cheerleader, trainer or manager with the highest GPA, in honor of the late, longtime former videographer for Irish sports teams. That honor went to trainer Ann Kellogg (3.875 GPA, with a degree in science).
The teams with the highest combined GPAs were men’s golf in the spring 2002 semester at 3.479 and women’s tennis in the fall 2002 semester at 3.453.
Click the link below for a list of the individuals with the top cumulative GPAs by sport (must have achieved upper-class status), following the 2002 fall semester: