SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. - The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is proud to reveal the 2019-20 End-of-the-Year awards including the Student-Athlete of the Year winner and the first Pomeroy Athletic Service Award.
Congratulations to Colton Kuppler who has been selected as Student-Athlete of the Year and Mara Canada the winner of the Pomeroy Athletic Service Award. The two of these seniors have dedicated countless hours to the athletic department, their respective programs, the community, and their academic success. With their leadership and willingness to sacrifice, SMWC has seen excellence on multiple levels including winning National Championships, incredible on-campus and community involvement, and academic achievement.
The ideal Student-Athlete of the Year recipient is a student-athlete who is committed to representing SMWC at an athletic level unmatched but they must equally perform at a high-level in the classroom. The winner of this award must be a determined, hard-working, and humble individual who leads their team and campus by example. Not to mention, the winner must maintain a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA.
Colton Kuppler is a senior men's golfer from Sullivan, Ind. He is a two-time USCAA Individual National Champion (2017, 2019) and a USCAA Individual National Runner-Up (2018). He helped lead his team to back-to-back USCAA National Championships (2018, 2019). Colton has been named USCAA First Team All-American on three occasions (2017, 2018, 2019) and is a three-time USCAA National All-Academic member (2017, 2018, 2019). He owns the men's golf program record for best 18 and 36-hole scores. At the 2019 USCAA Men's Golf National Championships he was selected as the Men's Golf Student-Athlete of the Year and swept every other accolade. Colton holds a 3.84 cumulative GPA in accounting and completed a three-year internship with Thompson Thrift (Terre Haute, Ind.).
Head coach Abe Nasser will miss all the personality and hard work Colton brought to the program, "We were blessed to have Colton Kuppler. He is a tremendous student-athlete and an even better person. He has exceeded my expectations on the golf course and in the classroom. He will be a fine accountant. I expect him to continue being successful in the business world."
The Pomeroy Athletic Service Award recipient is awarded to a student-athlete who has impacted the community and campus in a positive manner. They consistently display the characteristics we celebrate in the department including sportsmanship, integrity, respect, and stewardship. The winner is required to hold a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA.
Mara Canada is a senior women's basketball player from Mount Vernon, Ind. She was a leader on her team, on campus, and in the community. Mara is a recipient of the Outstanding Junior Educator: Competent, Caring, Professional Educator Award, and Outstanding Future Educator Award. She is a member of the Future Teachers of America and the Black Student Association. Her service to the community and campus include: working with the Caps to Benches project, TH Children's Museum, attending the Expanding Your Horizons Conference, cleaning Alpaca fiber, volunteering at the Indiana Jammers Tournament, Ring Day, the MS Walk, the Light Your Way Christmas Parade, and the SMWC Foundation Day of Service. Additionally, she holds a 3.92 GPA and plans to work in Special Education.
Assistant Coach Aaron Ballenger believes Mara is the perfect student-athlete, "I nominated Mara for this award because not only what she has meant to the women's basketball program but SMWC as a whole." He added, "Every time we spoke she was involved in so many things such as Caps to Benches project, TH Children's Museum, as well as being a member of the Future Teachers of America organization. All this while playing women's basketball, being a captain for two seasons, and maintaining a 3.92 GPA. Mara, to me, defines what a STUDENT-ATHLETE should be both on and off the court."
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