Fifty Huskie Student-Athletes Earn NIU Degrees

GO HUSKIES The 2013 Spring Commencement ceremonies were the last at NIU for President John Peters.
The 2013 Spring Commencement ceremonies were the last at NIU for President John Peters.

May 15, 2013

DeKALB, Ill. - Fifty Northern Illinois University student-athletes representing 15 Huskie teams celebrated commencement along with their classmates on Saturday, May 11 at the NIU Convocation Center, bringing the total number of student-athletes graduates for 2012-13 to 65. The graduation ceremonies, the last presided over by NIU President Dr. John Peters, honored students graduating either this spring or after the summer.

The graduates included 11 members of the Huskie football program, including five 2012 seniors and five players who will return for their senior seasons in 2013. NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch, who will complete his bachelor's degree in kinesiology-preventative and rehabilitative exercise science this summer, was among the football graduates, as were fellow returning starters Jared Volk (business administration) and Dominique Ware (finance). Punter Ryan Neir, who completed his eligibility this year, leaves NIU with two degrees in his five seasons on campus as he earned his master's degree in business administration Saturday.

NIU's 2013 spring and summer graduates represented 25 different undergraduate majors. Business administration and kinesiology-preventative and rehabilitative exercise science ranked among the most popular along with health sciences/pre-physical therapy. In all, there were 18 graduates from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 13 graduates from NIU's College of Business, 10 from majors in the College of Health and Human Sciences, seven from Education and two College of Engineering grads. Along with standards like history, biology, finance and communications, the Huskies pursued majors like family, consumer and nutrition sciences (football's Tyrone Clark), environmental geosciences (golfer Kurtis Luedtke), public health administration (track's Amanda Schwab and Kayla Stipp) and a double major in applied mathematics and chemistry-biochemistry (Mike Mascitti of men's soccer).



After football, the graduate numbers were fairly evenly spread out across the Northern Illinois programs. Baseball and men's golf each accounted for five graduates, while softball, volleyball, men's soccer, wrestling, women's track and field/cross country and women's soccer had four each. NIU's men's and women's basketball programs had two graduates apiece. Jamison Wells, a wide receiver for the Huskie football team and the centerfielder for the NIU baseball team, received his degree in kinesiology-preventative and rehabilitative exercise science.

"In addition to earning their degrees, this year's group of graduating student-athletes has received numerous achievements both within their respective sports and academically," said NIU Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Support Services Liz Tovar. "Collectively, to be able to include within their list of accomplishments Academic All-America and Academic All MAC honors, NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarships winners and a 3.0 cumulative (student-athlete) GPA is phenomenal. We are extremely proud of their accomplishments and the examples they have set, academically, for their younger teammates going forward."

Northern Illinois honored its 2013 graduates with a reception for the student-athletes, their families or guests, coaches and athletic administrators on Friday afternoon, prior to the ceremonies on Saturday.

"Our student-athlete graduation reception is one way of paying tribute to our student-athletes for their hard work and dedication here at NIU, both in the classroom and on the fields of play," Tovar said. "It was a wonderful opportunity to congratulate them and to wish them all the best in the future. "

Below is a complete list of NIU's 2013 spring and summer student-athlete graduates by sport with their majors. Returning student-athletes are indicated by a *.

Football (11)
* Matt Battaglia - History (Summer)
Alan Baxter - Finance
Tyrone Clark - Family, Consumer and Nutrition Sciences
Nabal Jefferson - Accountancy (Summer)
* Jordan Lynch - Kinesiology-Preventative and Rehabilitative Exercise Science (Summer)
Ryan Neir - Master's in Business Administration
Logan Pegram - History
Kevin Sabock - Physical Education
* Jared Volk - Business Administration
* Dominique Ware - Finance
* Jamison Wells - Kinesiology-Preventative and Rehabilitative Exercise Science (also baseball)

Men's Golf (5)
Griffin Bauman - Organizational/Corporate Communications
Bryce Emory - Marketing
Paul Hammerschmidt - Mechanical Engineering
Kurtis Luedtke - Environmental Geosciences (Summer)
Greg Pohlmann - Operations and Information Management

Baseball (5)
Zach Badgley - Sociology
Tom Barry - History
Alex Beckman - Physical Education
Jacob Goldenberg - General Studies
Jamison Wells - Kinesiology-Preventative and Rehabilitative Exercise Science (also football)

Softball (4)
Jennifer Barnett - Nursing
Morgan Bittner - Biological Sciences
Carly Norton - Mechanical Engineering
Amanda Sheppard - Kinesiology-Preventative and Rehabilitative Exercise Science (Summer)

Volleyball (4)
Samantha Grams - Health Sciences/Pre-Physical Therapy
Sue Hayes - Accountancy (Summer)
Mary Kurisch - Business Administration
Meghan Romo - Health Sciences/Pre-Physical Therapy

Wrestling (4)
Arber Bebo - General Studies
Dan Burk - Kinesiology-Preventative and Rehabilitative Exercise Science (Summer)
* Shane Rosenberry - Business Administration
Stephen Zimmerman - Operations and Information Management

Women's Track & Field/Cross Country (4)
* Rebecca Cronin - Business Administration
Jenelle McCalla - Psychology
Amanda Schwab - Public Health Administration
Kayla Stipp - Public Health Administration (Summer)

Women's Soccer (4)
Lauren Eberts - General Public Health
Shelbi Johnson - Kinesiology-Preventative and Rehabilitative Exercise Science (Summer)
Nicolette Newquist - Nutrition and Dietetics
Anna Roman-Pleschko - Biological Sciences (Summer)

Men's Soccer (4)
Jordan Godsey - Communication Studies (Summer)
(Mike Mascitti - Applied Mathematics/Chemistry
Francis Otira - Economics
Hooman Shams - Biological Sciences

Men's Basketball (2)
Brandon Hayes - Business Administration (Summer)
Tony Nixon - Organizational/Corporate Communications

Women's Basketball (2)
Brittney Callahan - Organizational and Corporate Communications
Shaakira Haywood - Psychology

Gymnastics (1)
Natalie Sutter - Health Sciences/Pre-Physical Therapy

Women's Tennis (1)
Emily Rogers - Health Sciences/Pre-Physical Therapy

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