Fifty-Six Huskie Student-Athletes Earn Northern Illinois Degrees



May 11, 2010

DeKALB, Ill. - Forty-eight Huskie student-athletes earned their degrees from Northern Illinois University over the weekend, and by the end of the summer, 89 individuals who have worn the Cardinal and Black in 2009-10 will have become alums of NIU. The total number includes 33 December graduates and eight who will finish their undergraduate work this summer.

Sixteen of Northern Illinois' 17 sports programs had at least one student-athlete graduate in 2009-10, led by 29 from the Huskie football program and 11 from women's soccer. Four men's basketball and five women's basketball players are among this year's graduates, and they join six men's soccer, five women's track and field, five women's tennis and four men's tennis student-athletes on this year's grad lists. Three members of the men's golf, volleyball and softball teams will finish the 2009-10 academic year with degrees and the roster of graduates includes two gymnasts, a wrestler and a cross country runner.

"Our entire staff takes great pride in congratulating our 2009-10 student-athlete graduates," said NIU Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics Jeff Compher. "Achieving success in the classroom while competing in intercollegiate athletics takes a tremendous amount of discipline and hard work, and all of these graduates are to be commended. I'd also like to recognize the efforts of Francine St. Clair and our Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) staff, who work so hard to keep the student-athletes on track to graduation."

St. Clair also praised NIU's most recent graduates.

"Congratulations to all of our spring and summer graduates," St. Clair said. "The end of the semester is always a proud and exciting time for our staff as another group of student-athletes leave NIU with their degrees in hand. While the success of our student-athletes in competition garners the headlines, it is their accomplishments in the classroom that will endure long beyond their playing days."

For a few of the 2009-10 graduates, those college playing days have not ended. Among those seniors to be who graduated Saturday or will graduate this summer are football's Mike Sobol and Mike Krause, Sean Kowal, Marke Freeman and Bianca Brown of the Huskie basketball teams and golfers Andrew Frame and Tim Kay. They will take post-graduate and/or graduate courses while competing for the Huskies next year.

Finally one individual on the spring graduates list -- Huskie quarterback Ryan Morris -- has the unique distinction of leaving NIU with not one, but two, degrees. Morris, a Carol Stream product who came to Northern Illinois as a walk-on before earning a scholarship, earned his MBA Saturday.

The 2009-10 spring and summer student-athlete graduates represented 23 different majors, from organizational and corporate communications (11 graduates) to accountancy, finance, engineering, nursing, political science and art, among many others. The majors are listed next to each graduate's name below.

2010 Spring & Summer Graduates

Click here to see NIU's December 2009 graduates.

Nick Badgley - History
Joe Buonavolanto - Business Finance
*Andy Deain - General Studies
Sam Kapacinskas - Political Science
Chuck Lukanen - General Studies
*Dave Reynolds - Communications

Justin Anderson - General Studies
David Bryant - Communications
Tyler Clasey - Business Finance
Jake Coffman - Sociology-Criminology
Nick Kamenjarin - Business Marketing
^Mike Krause - Organizational Management
Ryan Morris - Master's Business Administration
^Mike Sobol - General Studies
Justin Stewart - Accountancy
Panan Tense - Communications
John Tranchitella - General Studies

Darion "Jake" Anderson - Communications
Ante Dzepina - Communications
*^Sean Kowal - Communications
Sean Smith - Communications

^Andrew Frame - Elementary Education
^Tim Kay - Accountancy
Matt Triplett - General Studies

Dzianis Lysenka - Accountancy
Aaron Zendejas - Communications
Joe Zimka - Art & Visual Communications

Javier Bernabe - Finance
John Kuang - Finance
Shaun Stewart - Communications

Emily Gooding - Kinesiology-Exercise Science
Allie Parker - Communication Disorders
Kate Welsh - Business Administration

Katie Walsh - General Studies

*^Bianca Brown - Communications
^Marke Freeman - Communications
Kylie York - Communications

Ashley Rittenbacher - Nursing

Rachel Adams - Nutrition & Dietetics
Ashley Hurley - Marketing

Lindsey Curnock - Psychology
Micaela Damas - History Education
Erin Fahey - Physical Education
*Audrey Holmer - Business Administration
*Sara McClard - Communications
Kelly Mullany - Nutrition & Dietetics
Kim Schmitt - Finance
Jamie Sitter - Communications

Brooke Forsberg - Business Administration
*Stephanie Okuma - Textiles, Apparel & Merchandising
Nao Umemura - Accountancy

*April Anderson - Communications
^Cora Caulfield - Elementary Education
Brittany Houghton - Textiles, Apparel & Merchandising
^Rochelle Muskeyvalley - Industrial Engineering
Rachel Pinson - Marketing

^Has eligibility remaining and will compete for NIU in 2010-11.
*Projected to graduate following summer 2010.

-- NIU -

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