Along with recognizing the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll recipients (3.0-3.749 cumulative GPA) and league Academic Medal winners (3.75-4.0 cumulative GPA), the department also announced the outstanding achievements by the school's student-athletes and respective teams with various awards.
One award, the Outstanding Scholar Award, recognizes one male and female from each academic class who have displayed exemplary academic success, community service, leadership, character, and overall representation of Southern Miss Athletics and The University of Southern Mississippi. One senior is then selected as the overall outstanding scholar athlete. These awards are chosen by Academic Counselors, coaches and the Athletic Director.
The freshmen winners for the Most Outstanding Scholar Award included Kirk McCarty (baseball) and Katie Dozier (women's basketball). Parker Adamson (football) and Alex Coyne (women's basketball) were the sophomore winners, while Chris Monroe (men's track and field) and Kay Kay Hypolite (soccer) collected the top junior awards. Alex Doleac (tennis) captured the men's senior award, while Shelbee Rogers (softball) won the overall award.
Drew Kirby of men's golf and Alex Pfefferle of volleyball captured the Outstanding Individual Grade Point Average Award, recognizing the senior male and female with the highest cumulative GPA. Kirby compiled a 3.786 GPA, while Pfefferle, who also won the Overall award, holds a 3.908 GPA.
Men's tennis won the male Outstanding Team Grade Point Average award with a 3.460, while cross country captured the women's award and overall accolade with a 3.740.
The Most Improved Team GPA Award went to the team that showed the greatest improvement in annual term GPA from the previous calendar year. The women's basketball team captured that honor by jumping from a 2.189 GPA to a 2.744.
In addition, Brittany Dinkins of women's basketball, Mikhail Esipov of men's tennis, Jeremy Sangster of football and Michael Gilbert of baseball garnered the Academic Counselor Awards, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated an increased commitment to academic support, class attendance, study hall, and shown an overall improvement in attitude toward academics and is based on Academic Counselor recommendations.
Brandon Allen of Sport Management and the College of Health earned the Faculty Appreciation Award, given to the faculty member who has shown a commitment to the academic excellence of Golden Eagle student-athletes. Nominations for this award were solicited from the student-athlete population and the award winner decided via a student-athlete poll.
The Academic Commitment Award went to men's tennis coach Zubin Engineer, who has demonstrated a commitment to the academic success of his or her team. This award was nominated by Academic Counselors and selected by the Director of Athletics.
The Academic Honors banquets also acknowledged the students from the Cheerleading and Southern Misses squads, who distinguished themselves in the classroom as well with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
For cheer, the group included Makenzie Baker, Myka Barnes-Garcia, Emily Bateman, Kimberly Boisseau, Jariel Davis, Anna Frierson, Magan Hebert, Terrie Jackson, Tiffany Johnson, Hannah Townsend, Jonathan Swalley.
Representing the Southern Misses were Alexis Barbaresi, Madeline Daigle, Kaitlyn Hernandez, Brooke Kuhn, Tayla McKinney, ShaKyiah Sadler, Brooke Thomas, Hailey Tierney, Emily Whittington, Raeven Wiggins and Kaylin Wilson.