Night of Champions Banquet Honors Student-Athletes

April 15, 2014

CHICAGO – UIC student-athletes from all 19 teams were honored for their academic achievements by coaches, staff and family Monday night (April 14) at the annual “Night of Champions” Academic Banquet.

“I want to congratulate our student-athletes for another great academic year,” said UIC Athletic Director Jim Schmidt as he concluded the evening. “Here at UIC, our student-athletes are students first, then they are athletes. Everyone here tonight makes a concerted effort to make sure our student-athletes leave here with their degree. All this academic success would not be possible without the help of Sam Rush, Denny Wills, Shannon Norkus, Luis Silva, Anthony Binion and the rest of the Academic Staff. I sincerely appreciate all of the hard work that went into putting on this great event to celebrate our success in the classroom.”

The women’s tennis team was named the Horizon League Academic Team of the Year, earning a 3.54 cumulative grade-point-average during the 2013 Fall Semester. The team also claimed the title of Academic Team of the Year.

The Flames’ men’s tennis team was honored as the Horizon League Academic Team of the Year with the squad receiving a cumulative GPA of 3.24. Two members of the men’s and women’s tennis teams received solid 4.0 GPA’s during the semester.

Male Athlete of the Year ended in a four-way tie between Cody Lee (cross country), Piotr Lagowski (soccer), Mark Ciesielski (swimming) and Christopher Cole (tennis). The four Flames have cumulative 4.0 GPA’s.

Five female student-athletes shared the title of Female Athlete of the Year: Kayla Stueland (golf), Gabrielle May (gymnastics), Jacki Fletcher (softball), Laura Swan (softball) and Mariya Denisenko (track & field). This is the third year Fletcher and Denisenko have claimed the award, Stueland shares the honor for the second year in a row. All five UIC student-athletes have 4.0 GPA’s.

Prestigious scholarship awards were presented to deserving UIC student-athletes, and the student-athlete with the highest GPA on each team. Mark Ciesielski was awarded the Thomas Beckham Scholarship; Citlali Cuevas from women’s gymnastics received the Colvin Communications Scholarship; Sharon Mwale from the track & field team earned the Don Nash Scholarship; Maurizio Feoli (men’s tennis) and Erica Hampton (softball) shared the Aileen S. Andrew Scholarship; while Jesus Torres from men’s soccer was presented with the Port Academic Center Scholarship.

2014 Night of Champions Banquet Award Winners

UIC Academic Team of the Year – Women’s Tennis

Men’s Horizon League Academic Team of the Year – Men’s Tennis

Women’s Horizon League Academic Team of the Year – Women’s Tennis

Thomas Beckham Scholarship – Mark Ciesielski

Colvin Communications Scholarship - Citlali Cuevas

Don Nash Scholarship - Sharon Mwale

Aileen S. Andrew Scholarship - Maurizio Feoli (men’s tennis) and Erica Hampton (softball)

Female Athlete of the Year (tie) - Kayla Stueland (golf), Gabrielle May (gymnastics), Jacki Fletcher (softball), Laura Swan (softball), Mariya Denisenko (track & field).

Male Athlete of the Year (tie) - Cody Lee (cross country), Piotr Lagowski (soccer), Mark Ciesielski (swimming), Christopher Cole (tennis).

Team-by-Team Academic Athletic Honor Roll Award Winners (Fall 2012-Fall 2013)


Collin Weyer, Movement Sciences, 3.77 GPA

Men’s Basketball
Hayden Humes, Master’s Program/Instructional Leadership, 3.00 GPA

Women’s Basketball
Marissa Grossfeld, Accounting, 3.87 GPA

Men’s Cross Country
Cody Lee, Medicine/Biochemistry, 4.00 GPA

Women’s Cross Country
Emma Preston, Biological Sciences, 3.64 GPA

Women’s Golf
Kayla Stueland, Communications, 4.00 GPA

Men’s Gymnastics
Travis Burke, Computer Engineering, 3.50 GPA

Women’s Gymnastics
Gabrielle May, English, 4.00 GPA

Men’s Soccer
Piotr Lagowski, Finance, 4.00 GPA

Jacki Fletcher, Movement Sciences, 4.00 GPA
Laura Swan, Movement Sciences, 4.00 GPA

Men’s Swimming
Mark Ciesielski, Biological Sciences, 4.00 GPA

Women’s Swimming
Melanie Waszak, Nursing, 3.54 GPA

Men’s Tennis
Christopher Cole, Business Administration, 4.00 GPA

Women’s Tennis
Kathryn Sharples, Economics, 3.75 GPA

Men’s Track
Max Downey, Entrepreneurship, 3.42 GPA

Women’s Track
Mariya Denisenko, Movement Sciences, 4.00 GPA

MaryKate Imrie, Communications, 3.49 GPA