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24 Lakers receive Division 2 ADA Academic Achievement Awards

24 Lakers receive Division 2 ADA Academic Achievement Awards

CLEVELAND, Ohio- The Division 2 Athletics Directors Association (D2 ADA) announced the 2015-16 recipients of the D2 ADA Academic Achievement Awards on Wednesday (Aug. 17). The Academic Achievement Awards is a program that recognizes the academic accomplishments of student-athletes at the Division II level.

For a student-athlete to qualify the must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, attend a minimum of two years (four semesters) at their institution and have been an active member of their intercollegiate team in 2015-16.

Along with six other Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference institutions producing recipients, Lake Superior State featured 24 student athletes receiving the honors. LSSU men's and women's track and field had five honorees each, softball had four honorees, women's basketball had three, while men's basketball, men's golf and volleyball had two honorees each. Women's tennis player Laura Roberts, a native of Nelson, New Zealand and computer science major, also earned the distinction.

The men's track and field team was represented by Oshane Thomas (St. Thomas, Jamaica/Biochemistry), Nolin Livingston (Sand Creek, Mich./Manufacturing Engineering Technology), Ben Dueling (Muskegon, Mich./Biology), Sean Suehr (White Lake, Mich./Mathematics) and Alex Meyers (Manistee, Mich./Criminal Justice). On the women's side, McKenzie Richardson (Muskegon, Mich./Nursing), Rachel Leggett (Manton, Mich./Fisheries and Wildlife Management), Julianna Weir (Ray, Mich./Psychology), Jasmine Mata (Monroe, Mich./Psychology) and Miranda Emaus (Hudsonville, Mich./Chemistry) each received the distinction.

Emily Estep (Onaway, Mich./Biology), Taylor Steinhelper (Waterford, Mich./Exercise Science), Lindsey Pajot (Howell, Mich./Mechanical Engineering) and Carly Banchiu (Waterford, Mich./Business Administration- Management) represented the four honorees from softball.

Mackenzie Edwards (Gaylord, Mich./Accounting), Megan Manninen (Ishpeming, Mich./Exercise Science) and Natalie Peterson (Brighton, Mich./Accounting) represented the women's basketball team, while Michael Smutny (Saline, Mich./ Mechanical Engineering) and Mitch Mazucca (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont./Accounting) represented the men's basketball team.

Elizabeth Ballor (Okemos, Mich./Environmental Science) and Brooke Williams (Montrose, Mich./Nursing) represented Laker volleyball as honorees, while Mitchell Toth (Simcoe, Ont./Accounting) and Joe Ericson (Utica, Mich./Finance & Economics) represented the men's golf team as their two recipients.

A total of 156 institutions and a record number of student-athletes (8,072) are being recognized for the 2015-16 Academic Achievement Awards. For the fourth-straight year, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) had the most student-athletes honored with 846, followed by the Northeast-10 Conference with 842 student-athletes being provided with this award. The GLIAC finished fourth among the conferences with 563 honorees.

About D2 ADA: The D 2ADA is the first organization of its kind to provide educational and networking opportunities; enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics; and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of Division II athletics directors. For more information about the D2 ADA, please visit The D2 ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 52nd year. For more information on NACDA and the 17 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit