SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A total of 12 UC Santa Barbara student-athletes were named to the Big West Academic All-Conference team for the fall 2012 season, it was announced by the league on Wednesday. The men's and women's soccer teams led the way with four honorees apiece. Women's volleyball and men's cross country rounded out the Gaucho representatives with two honorees apiece.
The inclusion of so many Gauchos highlights the strong committment UCSB student-athletes have shown in the classroom, as well as on the playing field. UCSB boasted an 85% NCAA graduation rate for 2012, an all-time high and second best in the UC system.
To be eligible for the Big West Academic All-Conference team, student-athletes are required to maintain at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, complete one full academic year at the member institution prior to the season for which the award is being received (at least a sophomore academically), and compete in at least 50 percent of their team’s competitions.
The four women’s soccer honorees are senior Allie Ariniello (pre-biology major), junior Makenna Henry (pre-psychology major), sophomore Kelly McGrath (pre-biology major), and senior Erin Ortega (biopsychology major).
Men's soccer was represented on the team by junior Fifi Baiden (sociology major), senior Machael David (sociology major), sophomore Mathew Glodack (pre-computer science major), and sophomore Charlie Miller (undeclared).
Women's volleyball had a pair of honorees in senior Erica Lau (economics-mathematics major) and sophomore Jordan Pehanick (undeclared).
Men's cross country's Andrew Farkas (sophomore, pre-psychology major) and Bhavik Kanzaria (senior, physiology major) rounded out UCSB's fall honorees.
In spring 2009 UCSB Athletics launched its Dare to Be Great plan as part of the Campaign for UC Santa Barbara, the first comprehensive campaign to raise private funds to ensure UCSB's excellence for future generations.
Dare to Be Great is simply the strategic vision to accomplish two major goals. The first is to financially support the precious educational and athletic opportunity for today and future Gaucho student-athletes in all 20 sports. The second is to actively encourage their drive for academic success, career and personal development, health, and serving their community.
To learn more about Dare to Be Great, click here.