PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Brown University athletics held its Seventh Annual Senior Celebration and Awards Luncheon at the Providence Biltmore on Monday, May 18, 2015. Over 275 student-athletes, coaches, staff and distinguished guests attended the event to celebrate another year of success in competition, in the classroom and in the community. President Christina Paxson and Director of Athletics Jack Hayes each took the opportunity to address the room and acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of the class of 2015.
The Marjorie Brown Smith Award is presented to the outstanding female varsity athlete of the year. It is named in honor of the former Director of Athletics at the Women's College of Brown University, Marjorie Brown Smith, in recognition of her generous support of athletics. The recipient of this year’s award is Coco Schoeller (West Palm Beach, Fla.).
Schoeller, a senior on the women’s crew team, helped Brown win the 2015 Ivy Championship and earn third place as a team at the 2014 NCAA Championship. A captain for the Bears, Schoeller aided the first varsity eight to a 12-2 overall record and a 4-0 mark in Ivy competition during the regular season. This past fall, the English concentrator aided the varsity eight in placing sixth at the Head of the Charles – the highest finish in program history – and first at the Princeton Chase, Brown’s first victory at the event. On the international level, she won a gold medal with the US U23 varsity eight at the 2013 U23 World Championships.
The Fritz Pollard Trophy is presented to the outstanding male varsity athlete of the year. The trophy is named in honor of Frederick “Fritz” Pollard, Brown Class of 1919, one of our nation's true African-American pioneers, one of the greatest football players in Brown history, and a member of the NFL Hall of Fame. Pollard is recognized as the first African-American to play in the Rose Bowl, to earn All-American honors, to play quarterback at the professional level, and become a head coach in the NFL. The recipient of this year’s award is Dylan Molloy (Setauket, N.Y.).
Molloy, a sophomore attackman on the men’s lacrosse team, assembled one of the finest seasons in Brown history, helping lead the Bears to the 2015 Ivy League title, the top seed in the league tournament and a berth in the NCAA Championship. The Ivy League and New England Player of the Year, Molloy broke the Brown single-season record with 62 goals, and also handed out a team-high 30 assists. Molloy ended the season ranked first in the nation with 3.65 goals per game and ranked third nationally in points with 5.51 points per game. He was one of 25 players nationally to be named a Tewaarton Award nominee, given to the nation's top player.
The Kate Silver ’86 Award is presented in memory of Kate Silver to the most outstanding first-year female athlete. Kate Silver came to Brown in 1982 as the second-ranked 18 and under women’s squash player in the US. Silver played number one singles for just a few months on College Hill before being diagnosed with leukemia. She died in 1984, and the Kate Silver ’86 Award was established in her honor by her coach and teammates. The recipient of this year’s award is Josie Natrasevschi (Fort Collins, Colo.).
Natrasevschi, a freshman thrower on the women’s track & field team, is in the midst of an unprecedented season for a Brown freshman thrower and has already developed into the best discus thrower in Ivy League history. She has broken the previous all-time Ivy League record four times. She set the school and league discus record in her first collegiate event and bested that mark as she topped the Women's Discus Throw Championship at the Penn Relays with a winning toss of 183-8. Natrasevschi is currently ranked 12th in the NCAA for the discus, the top true freshman in the nation, and is the first Brown athlete to capture a title at the prestigious Penn Relays.
Brown's award for the most outstanding First-Year Male Varsity Athlete of the Year was presented to Zachery Emrich (North Kingstown, R.I.). Emrich, a freshman runner on the track & field team, has already become a top middle distance runner in the Ivy League and one of the best in Brown history. Emrich earned Second Team All-Ivy in the 500 meters and First Team All-Ivy in the 440 yard relay at the Ivy League Indoor Heptagonal Championship, helping the Bears to a third-place team finish, the program’s highest since 2001. In the outdoor season, he ran a leg on the 4x400 meter relay that won the Heptagonal Championship section at the prestigious Penn Relays. He helped the 4x400 meter relay team take second at the Ivy Outdoor Championship, earning Second Team All-Ivy.
The Arlene Gorton Cup is presented to the female varsity athlete who most consistently displays the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play. It is named in honor of Arlene Gorton ’52, former Brown Associate Director of Athletics, in recognition of her role in developing women’s intercollegiate athletics at Brown. The recipient of this year’s award is Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ontario).
Leung, a junior infielder on the softball team, has started all 110 games for the Bears over the past three years. A captain for Brown this past spring, she led the team in several categories, including batting average (.396), ranking third in the Ivy League. She also paced the team in on-base percentage (.451), ranking fourth in the league, hits (44), slugging percentage (.523), and doubles (11). The Business, Entrepreneurship and Organizations (BEO) concentrator has garnered Second Team All-Ivy honors in each of the last two years and Honorable Mention laurels as a freshman.
The Dave Zucconi Award is presented to the male varsity athlete who most consistently displays the ideals of sportsmanship and fair play. The award is named in honor of Dave Zucconi ’55, the former Executive Director of the Brown Sports Foundation, who was often called “Mr. Brown.” The recipient of this year’s award is Daniel Giovacchini (Acton, Mass.).
Giovacchini, a senior linebacker on the football team, played in 39 out of 40 games over the course of his four-year standout career, starting the last three years and led the team in tackles as a junior. He ranked third on the Brown team with 46 total tackles this past season and earned All-Ivy honors for the second time in as many years. A 2014 captain, Giovacchini earned National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete award nominee status and Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District honors as a senior. Hearing impaired since the age of 18 months-old, Giovacchini relies on his superb athleticism, sense of anticipation, and visual communication skills to excel on the field and in life.
The Bessie H. Rudd Award is presented to the female varsity athlete who displays enthusiasm, spirit and leadership and is devoted to the quality of life at Brown and the surrounding community throughout the year. The award is named in honor of Bessie H. Rudd, the former Director of Physical Education at Pembroke College from 1930 to 1961, in honor of her leadership in the development of quality athletic programs for all women. The recipient of this year’s award is Maggie Jordan (Niskayuna, N.Y.).
Jordan, a junior on the women’s swimming and diving team, helped champion a culture that the new coaching staff was looking to instill at the dawn of a new era in the program. Her spirit and commitment was not always out in the open, but it never went unnoticed. Out of the pool, Jordan helped organize a SAPE (Sexual Assault Peer Educator) workshop that helped empower 20+ women on campus to recognize and diffuse potentially dangerous situations. A Health and Human Biology concentrator, she also plays key roles as an undergraduate member of the Mental Health Community Council and the Health Education Hiring Committee.
The Cliff Stevenson Award is named in honor of former Brown men’s soccer and lacrosse coach, Cliff Stevenson, who retired in 1990 after directing the men's soccer program for 31 years. It is presented to the male varsity athlete who best exemplifies Cliff's boundless enthusiasm, indomitable spirit and devotion to the quality of life at Brown and the community. The recipient of this year’s award is Billy Watterson (Pound Ridge, N.Y.).
Watterson, a senior on the wrestling team, took a year off from his studies in 2013-14 to found the non-profit Beat the Streets Providence, an organization which brings wrestling programs to urban youth. A History concentrator, Watterson began his initiative at Nathan Bishop Middle School in the fall of 2013 and expanded it to five schools in 2014-15. Watterson qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2012-13 and placed three times at the EIWA Championships. Returning to the mat in 2014-15, Watterson earned First Team All-Ivy honors at 125 lbs. and also gained Winter Academic All-Ivy accolades. He led the Bears in dual wins (12), dual EIWA wins (eight) and dual points (48).
The Director’s Award is presented to one male and one female senior varsity athlete who have best represented Brown over his or her career by embodying excellence in scholarship, athletic performance, integrity, leadership and community outreach. This year’s award recipients are Shannon McSweeney (Boxborough, Mass.) and Rafael Maia (Sao Paulo, Brazil).
McSweeney, a senior goalkeeper on the field hockey team, started 68 games in her career in goal. She ranks first all-time at Brown with 628 career saves and third all-time with 25 wins, including three shutouts as a senior in 2014. A four-time All-Ivy selection, including First Team recognition in 2014 for posting an Ivy League best .745 save percentage, McSweeney also ranked 11th nationally with 6.53 saves per game. In the classroom, the Engineering concentrator was a four-year member of the NFHCA Division I Academic Squad, a two-time Academic All-Ivy selection, a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District pick, and instrumental in helping the Bears post the nation’s top GPA (3.59) in 2014.
Maia, a senior forward on the men’s basketball team, led the Ivy League in rebounding for the third consecutive year in 2014-15, collecting 8.7 rebounds per game. The two-time team captain averaged a double-double in Ivy League games this past season, recording 11.4 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. An Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection, Maia also led the conference in field goal percentage, connecting on 100-of-186 field goal attempts (53.8 percent). Maia started all 80 games in which he played for Brown over the past three years. The BEO concentrator has twice earned Academic All-Ivy and Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District laurels.
The Senior Class Speakers are representatives of the graduating senior class who have been selected to convey a special message about the student-athlete experience. These individuals have competed at the highest level on the playing field and in the classroom, and have demonstrated superior community service. This year’s senior speakers are Sophie Bikofsky (Newton, Mass.) and Corbin Booker (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Bikofsky, a senior guard on the women’s basketball team, concluded her career as the program’s all-time leader in three-point field goals (222), three-point field goal percentage (.397), and free throw percentage (.862). A two-time Honorable Mention All-Ivy selection, she became Brown’s 18th member on the 1,000-point list and ranks 17th all-time in scoring with 1,018 career points. Bikofsky’s precision from the free throw line last season (.921) was the third-best performance in the nation, while her .486 three-point field goal percentage as a junior in 2013-14 led the NCAA. The captain and Community Health concentrator earned CoSIDA Academic All-District and Academic All-Ivy accolades this past season.
Booker, a senior midfielder on the men’s lacrosse team, is one of Brown’s most visible and altruistic student-athletes. On the field, Booker was willing to step into the crease as a goalie early in his career, before becoming a key contributor of the Bears’ midfield over the past three seasons. This year, defending some of the top opposing midfielders with a short stick, Booker and the Bears earned a share of the Ivy League title and a berth in the NCAA tournament after posting a 12-5 overall record. Always looking to step up and volunteer, whether serving two years as the Co-President of Brown’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council or spearheading the Vartan Gregorian kickoff, the American Studies concentrator was willing to do it all.
Brown Athletics Appreciation Awards are presented to individuals or groups from within the University or outside the University who go above and beyond in support of its athletic teams. This year’s recipients are Mary Greineder, an Assistant Dean in Student Support Services in the Office of Student Life, Maria Suarez, an Associate Dean and the Director of Student Support Services in the Office of Student Life, and Bill Reynolds ’68, an award-winning columnist at the Providence Journal and a former Brown basketball player.