The path to a Michigan State Student-Athlete Support Services President’s Award is one of ups and downs. The Class of 2020 has four seniors who have been through all of the success and failures that college athletics can bring. Swimmers Scott Piper and Nehemiah “Nemo” Mork, volleyball player Samantha McLean, and soccer player Julia Crowe are all finishing with cumulative 4.0 GPAs. So we sat down and asked them, now that it’s all over what this award means to them.
“Coming into Michigan State like I knew that academics was always going to be very important to me and, something that I like I’ve always worked hard at my sport but then I’ve also really wanted to be a good student and that’s something I’m really passionate about. I loved my four years at Michigan State like we’ve had so many great resources and they’ve been so helpful so it was definitely a really cool experience getting this award,” said McLean.
“It was really special especially, you know having Nemo win it too we’ve been talking since like freshmen year like ‘oh we can get it we can do it.’ We’ve been making jokes about how we were like going to do our speeches um at the banquet which we weren’t able to do but you know just being able to like reach that goal after four years and it’s really something that’s I think really ingrained in the culture of our team and the whole athletic department,” said Piper.
“I just wanted to do the very best I could and I’m just really glad that I was able to share it with Scott and get this award and bring recognition to the swim team,” said Mork.
“I just thought it was like proof like that all my hard work paid off like all the all-nighters that I like did. People all my friends would be like ‘Julia you’re crazy that’s your third all-nighter this week.’ Just like proof that like it was worth it,” said Crowe.
Having the ability to keep your grades up while succeeding athletically at the NCAA Division I level is all about balance. Something these Spartans excelled at.
“When I’m at practice I focus on practice. When I’m not at practice I focus on academics, it’s just turning one on and turning the other off,” said Mork.
“The structure of being a student athlete actually I think helped me with my grades because like I was like oh I need to do my homework this time because I can’t do it another time,” said Crowe.
“You know the goal was never to win this award it was just to do the best that we could in school. It’s still a really nice honor,” said Piper.
These seniors are finishing up their final pass/fail courses before some of the them head off to pursue a graduate degree or medical school. For more information on their future click this link: