CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Six UMBC student-athletes were among the 48 America East student-athletes named to the conference’s inaugural Presidential Scholar-Athlete class for their outstanding academic achievements throughout their collegiate careers. Approved by the America East Board of Presidents last June and implemented for 2013-14 academic year, the Presidential Scholar-Athlete award recognizes graduating student-athletes who compiled a cumulative grade-point-average (GPA) of 3.75 or higher as an undergraduate student.
The Retriever honorees were tennis’ Kim Berghaus (Offenbach, Germany/Leibnizgymnasium), swimming and diving’s Patty Hallberg (Severna Park, Md./Broadneck), volleyball’s Robbin Lee (Olney, Md./Sherwood), men’s soccer’s Corbin McCarron (Odenton, Md./Arundel), cross country/track athlete Kirsten McGovern (Sykesville, Md./Century) and baseball’s Luke Seppi (Annapolis, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt).
“Congratulations to these outstanding student-athletes for graduating with such high honors,” said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. “Our goal with this award was to properly recognize this impressive cumulative achievement attained by so many of our student-athletes. The recipients are prime examples of the academic excellence ongoing in this conference.”
In addition to registering a 3.75 GPA for their college career, honored student-athletes must have received their undergraduate degree in the academic year they are honored and have attended their institution for a minimum of two years.
Earning her degree in physics, Berghaus (3.84 GPA) earned America East All-Academic team honors for the second time in her career after her outstanding 2014 campaign. The co-captain of the 2014 squad received the athletic department's Matt Skalsky Female Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award, which goes to the highest-performing scholar-athlete. She won six consecutive matches at the top flight down the stretch to lead the squad to the conference semifinals and earned America East first team honors as a result.
A four-year letterwinner, Hallberg (3.86 GPA) earned her degree in psychology and received a minor in biology. She was selected to the America East All-Academic Team as both a junior in 2012-13 and as a senior in 2013-14 and received a spot on the Commissioner’s Honor Roll. Hallberg helped the Retrievers achieve runner-up finishes as each of the last three America East Championships after UMBC won the league title in her first season in 2010-11.
Lee (3.89 GPA) graduated in December of 2013 with degrees in both media and communication studies, as well as art history and museum studies. This past season, Lee served as a captain for the Retrievers, recording career-highs in multiple categories, and helping the squad get back to the America East Championship match, ultimately losing to host UNH in five sets. She was named to the America East Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her four seasons with the Retrievers.
McCarron earned undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology with a 3.88 GPA in just three years at UMBC. The youngest of three brothers to compete on the soccer field for the Retrievers, the fullback competed in 13 career games and started four during UMBC’s 2012 America East championship run.
McGovern (3.96 GPA) completed her degree in environmental sciences this past spring while also earning a minor in linguistic and an honors college certificate. She was honored on the America East Outdoor Track and Field All-Academic Team back in May after gaining the honor for each of the past two cross country seasons. McGovern helped the Retriever cross country team achieve its best-ever finish at an America East competition, fifth, back in the fall, and then continued her success during the indoor and outdoor track seasons. During the indoor season, the Sykesville, Md. native recorded the sixth-fastest 5k time in school history, while also climbing into the top-10 for the 3k event. Outdoors, McGovern registered a career-best 10k time of 37:27.37 at the America East Championships to claim the fourth spot in the UMBC record book.
Seppi (3.90 GPA), finished his degree in mathematics this spring after catching for the baseball team each of the past three seasons. The Annapolis, Md. native collected his first career hit this spring with a single against America East rival Binghamton. Seppi was named to the America East Honor Roll after the 2012 season and was named one of the team’s Unsung Heroes following the 2013 campaign.
All six Retriever student-athletes graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Student-athletes competing in 17 of America East’s 19 sponsored sports were recognized, including the conference’s Woman of the Year, Olivia Burne, and Man of the Year, Kelton Cullenberg. University of Hartford led the way with 11 student-athletes honored, followed by University of Maine with eight, Binghamton University, UMBC and University of New Hampshire each with six, University at Albany with four, Stony Brook University with three and UMass Lowell and University of Vermont each with two.