SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara senior women's volleyball player Stacey Schmidt has been named one of 30 Lowe's Senior CLASS award nominees, the committee announced on Thursday.
The Lowe's Senior CLASS award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. CLASS is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School.
Schmidt, an All-American last season, is just one of 30 players nationwide to be nominated for the prestigious award. Aside from her tremendous accomplishments on the court – where she is also a two-time All-Big West First Team pick – Schmidt has been a remarkable student and member of the community.
The native of Huntington Beach, Calif. compiled a 3.51 grade-point average during her time as an undergrad and is enrolled in a Master's program in economics. She has been a three-time member of UCSB's Dean List (3.75 GPA or higher in a given quarter) and is a two-time All-Big West Academic Team honoree. Last season Schmidt was UCSB's female Big West Scholar Athlete.
A team captain, Schmidt has been heavily involved throughout her hometown and Santa Barbara communities. She has worked extensively with the Special Olympics as a sport management intern and has served as a Special Olympics coach for bocce ball and gymnastics, helping children with intellectual disabilities improve their motor skills. Schmidt has also worked as a course instructor for the Special Olympics, working to develop new coaches into the Special Olympics programs.
She is also a member of UCSB's Student-Athlete Advisory Board, co-chairing a committee to organize an "Adopt-a-Family" holiday program to help an Isla Vista elementary school purchase playground equipment. As a Living Scholar, Schmidt also was involved in UCSB's beach cleanup and has been active at local homeless shelters.
Schmidt is one of just seven nominees from the west coast and one of just two Big West nominees.
This is the second year in a row a member of UCSB's volleyball team has been nominated as one of 30 finalists for the Senior CLASS award as Dana Vargas was a nominee last year.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. The winner will be announced during the 2011 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship, which will be played December 15 and 17 in San Antonio.
The Gaucho Fund, launched as part of the Dare to Be Great strategic plan, is UCSB Athletics' annual giving program to provide vital funding support for scholarships, academic success and leadership development for Gaucho student-athletes. The Gaucho Fund is the anchor to the Dare to Be Great campaign.