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    Feb. 5, 2013

    CHICAGO – On Jan. 29, the Scholar Baller program and the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) announced UIC women’s swimmer Emily Gniatczyk as a recipient of the Academic Momentum Award.  Gniatczyk was one of 63 student-athletes recognized for academic improvement.

    The nominations were divided into three teams based on the level of academic improvement and the impact of that academic momentum on each nominee and his or her peers.  Gniatczyk was one of 28 to be selected for team one, as 17 were chosen for team two and 19 for team three.

    Each award recipient will receive a recognition certificate; the second and first team will also receive a Scholar Baller medal.  All nominees who made the first team will also receive a ThinkMan/ThinkWoman trophy.

    The NCAS is an organization of colleges and universities that provides opportunities for current and former student-athletes to continue their pursuit of higher education, while working in the community with children to address social issues. Established in 1985, the overall mission of the NCAS is “to create a better society by focusing on educational attainment and using the power appeal of sport to positively affect social change.”

    Established in 1995, the Scholar Baller movement evolved in response to concerns that the student
    athlete’s athletic role increasingly superseded the student role.  In order to address this issue, the founding members of Scholar Baller developed a groundbreaking program to bridge the gap between education and sport utilizing student-athletes’ passion for entertainment and athletics.  As a result, the Scholar Baller program has produced unprecedented outcomes in student retention and academic achievement.