PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Sophomore forward Vanessa Welten (Toronto, Ontario) was honored by ECAC Hockey as the team's finalist for the annual Student-Athlete of the Year honor, recently renamed, the Mandi Schwartz Award. The newly named award honors the former Yale women's ice hockey player who inspired so many in her bout with leukemia.
Welten was recognized this past weekend at the team's final home game with a special ceremony prior to the contest. The second-year player boasts a 4.0 GPA while enduring the rigors of being a student-athlete, specifically those of ones in an Ivy League institution.
On the last home weekend of women's play at each ECAC Hockey school, the Mandi Schwartz Student-Athlete of the Year Finalists will be recognized pre-game on the ice as part of each program's senior weekend.
Mandi's struggle with leukemia energized thousands of people to volunteer to be bone marrow donors. Yale Athletics remains active in helping to fight the battle against cancer by hosting its annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registry Drive along with its annual "White Out for Mandi" in Mandi's memory.
The Mandi Schwartz Foundation (www.mandi17.org) has been created with a mission to provide immediate and ongoing support to youth hockey players with cancer. Its goals are to embody Mandi's courage and spirit, to raise awareness and create catalytic and self-sustaining support systems within the communities of the athletes they sponsor. This will include guidance for post treatment care and attention, while also raising awareness for cord blood donation within their state or province.