Ross Stripling, 2012 Male Bill Erwin Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Alyssa Conner, 2012 Female Bill Erwin Scholar-Athlete of the Year

The Athletic Academic Awards Banquet recognizes student-athletes who have shown leadership within their teams and have achieved a 3.0 semester or cumulative GPR during a calendar year in which they represented Texas A&M through participation in intercollegiate athletics. In addition to having the award-winning student-athletes' names placed in the display cases of the Bright Complex, each award winner receives a handsome award at the annual Verizon/Texas A&M Champs Banquet that is traditionally held in early May. The Athletic Academic Awards Banquet is planned by SAAC in conjunction with CSAS. Highlights of the banquet include presentations of the Bill Erwin Scholar-Athletes of the Year, Superior Academic Achievement Awards (for student-athletes with a 4.0 semester), Distinguished Lettermen, Team GPA Awards, and Academic Inspiration awards.

2012 Winners

The annual Texas A&M Athletics CHAMPS Banquet, sponsored by Carolyn and the late Tommie E. Lohman '59, was held Wednesday at The Zone at Kyle Field where 354 student-athletes and student support staff were honored for posting a grade point average of 3.0 or higher during the 2011 calendar year. Of those, 46 earned an "Outstanding Athletics Scholar Award" for posting a 4.0 GPA for at least one semester.

"We talk about Building Champions and that includes in the classrooms as well as the various playing fields and in our community as well," Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. "I am very proud of our student-athletes, the academic support staff, and the professors and faculty across this campus."

The top academic honors are named for Jefferson Award winner, former GTE executive and longtime Brazos Valley volunteer Bill Erwin.

Women's swimming and diving standout Alyssa Conner (Granite Bay, CA) and Aggie baseball pitcher Ross Stripling (Southlake, TX) were honored as the Bill Erwin Scholar-Athletes of the Year. The honor goes to a senior who has completed his or her eligibility and has maintained at least a 3.5 grade-point average while also taking into account athletic achievements and community service and leadership.

Conner was named the 2011 NCAA Elite 88 Award recipient in women's swimming and diving as well as earning Capital One Academic All-America All-District honors as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. She is listed among the top all-time Aggie swimmers in the 500/1,000/1,650 free and the 400 IM.

Stripling was a 2011 Capital One Academic All-America selection and earned All-America honors on the diamond as a pitcher helping the Aggies reach the College World Series in 2011. He is currently 7-2 on the year with three complete games in 2012.

Jaele Patrick (Victoria, Australia) the 2012 NCAA Diver of the Meet and 3-meter board NCAA Champion as well as runner-up in the NCAA 1-meter competition and five-time All-American was named the Female Distinguished Letterman of the Year. On the men's side, football All-American placekicker, Lou Groza Award winner and recent NFL draftee of the Houston Texans Randy Bullock (Klein, TX) was honored as the Male Distinguished Letterman of the Year. The award is presented to a student-athlete who has exhibited qualities of honor in all areas, including academics and athletics.

The Texas A&M Freshman of the Year on the men's side was baseball player Blake Allemand (Boerne, TX), who is having an outstanding spring season helping the Aggie baseball team to a top 10 ranking. The female Freshman of the Year was Kelley Monogue (McKinney, TX) who helped the women's soccer team win the Big 12 Championship and advance to the NCAA Championships for the 17th straight season. Monogue was a Soccer America All-Freshman first-team selection and was ranked as the No. 1 freshman in the nation by

Aggie women's basketball player Tyra White (Kansas City, MO) was honored with the Lohman Learning Achievement Award. It is presented to a student-athlete who has demonstrated integrity and perseverance in overcoming challenges in pursuit of his or her education. This person shows a great commitment to working with and learning from others and serves as a role model for other students. The award represents students who prove that with hard work and high expectations, challenges can be overcome and academic success can be achieved.

The Prentice Gautt Awards are presented to a male and female student-athlete with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 in at least two years of competition and that have an undergraduate degree in hand, and are expected to enroll in graduate or professional school such as law, medical or vet school. The male winner is Aggie cross country standout Will Barry (Texarkana, TX) and the female award winner is Sheri Olivier (Topeka, KS) from the women's tennis team.

The ZT Wealth Post-Graduate Scholarship is presented to a student-athlete who has demonstrated the ability to balance and excel in athletics and academics and the award winner must have already completed the requirements for a baccalaureate degree. The 2012 winner is Skylar Collins (Cedar Hill, TX) from the women's basketball team.

Lee Hood was honored by the Texas A&M student-athletes with the Award of Excellence. All of the student-athletes can nominate staff members who have been at Texas A&M at least three years and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) makes the selection. Hood has served as a scholastics supervisor in academic support as well as assisting in Life Skills. She can be found in the Nye Academic Complex around the clock and has helped many of the Aggie student-athletes with business career preparations and job opportunities.

The Cleo Whitlock Award is presented to any non full-time athletic department person who has added to the welfare of Aggie student-athletes. All student-athletes can nominate and SAAC makes the selection. The 2012 winner is Khrystal Carter who has been such a key contributor in the area of academics and community involvement for the student-athletes.