Four NIU Student-Athletes Named 1A FAR Academic Excellence Award Recipients



Oct. 4, 2012

LINCOLN, Neb. – Four Northern Illinois student-athletes were named 2012 1A FAR Academic Excellence award recipients.
NIU volleyball player Kristin Hoffman, punter Ryan Neir of the Huskie football team, women’s golfer Kelsie Passolt and track & field’s Jenner Sio were among 55 awardees from Mid-American Conference schools on the list. Student-athletes who carry a 3.8 GPA, have competed at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision institution for at least two years and graduated between Sept. 1 and Aug. 31 during the academic year.
“These four recipients truly embody the student-athlete,” said NIU faculty athletics representative Matt Streb. “They all were extremely successful both in the classroom and in competition. We are proud that they are Huskies.”
Hoffman, an AVCA All-American and a CoSIDA Academic All-American as a senior for NIU’s MAC Champion volleyball team, ended her volleyball and undergraduate career with a 3.975 GPA and a degree in history. She was also the recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, the MAC’s Bob James Award and was one of nine Division I finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
Neir, the starting punter for the Huskies’ football team, graduated with a finance degree in May 2012. The Roscoe, Ill., native finished his undergraduate career with a 3.926 GPA and earned the Scholar-Athlete Award for having the highest GPA on the team.  He is completing his football career in 2012 while pursuing his MBA.
Passolt graduated in May with a journalism degree after completing a four-year career on the NIU women’s golf team. She earned a 3.919 GPA in undergraduate study, while also garnering Academic All-MAC and National Golf Coaches Association recognition. Passolt is currently working as a multimedia journalist for WREX-TV in Rockford, Ill.
Sio, a former record-setting triple jumper for the Huskies’ track & field team, graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in management. The Rockford, Ill., native earned Academic All-MAC honors for both indoor and outdoor competition, along with taking CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition.

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