To compete at the highest level of college athletics takes a great deal of dedication and time commitment. To also achieve at a high level academically as a college student-athlete, while managing the time demands of practice and competition schedules, adds to the challenge. But to manage all of those demands and to graduate on schedule or early is an even more impressive achievement.
At the University of Wyoming, 10 student-athletes who are still competing for the Cowboys and Cowgirls have already achieved their first bachelor’s degrees and continue to pursue their studies while completing their college athletic careers. Those 10 individuals represent seven different sports and seven different undergraduate majors and have a combined cumulative grade-point average of 3.41.
“We are extremely proud of our student-athletes accomplishments and the manner in which they represent our athletics department,” said Tom Burman, University of Wyoming Athletics Director. “To see these 10 young men and women successfully complete their degrees early and go on to pursue postgraduate studies while still competing as Division I athletes is truly an impressive accomplishment.
“Earning a college degree is the ultimate goal that we want all of our student-athletes to focus on when they come to the University of Wyoming. It is rewarding to see a group of student-athletes take full advantage of the educational opportunities available to them here at Wyoming. We hope that our younger student-athletes will follow the example that these recent graduates have set.”
The 10 student-athletes who continue to compete for UW, while pursuing postgraduate degrees include:
Student-Athlete, Sport, Degree Earned, Postgraduate Degree Pursuing
Audra DeStefano, Women’s Track and Field, B.S. in Chemical Engineering, M.S. in Chemical Engineering
Casey Duckworth, Women’s Swimming and Diving, B.A. in Criminal Justice, Master of Public Administration
Gabrielle Gibson, Women’s Golf, B.A. in Communication, M.A. in Communication
Adam Kinder, Football, B.S. in Marketing, B.S. in Management
Devin McKenna, Football, B.S. in Accounting, M.S. in Accounting
Jason McManamen, Men’s Basketball, B.S. in Management, B.S. in Marketing
Eric Nzeocha, Football, B.S. in Business Administration, B.S. in Finance
Mike Seas, Men’s Track and Field, B.S. in Chemical Engineering, M.S. in Chemical Engineering
Nate Shaw, Wrestling, B.S. in Communication (From Northern Iowa), Master of Public Administration
Kereston Thomas, Women’s Track and Field, B.A. in Criminal Justice, M.A. in Communication
“These students represent the best of us,” said Albert Reiser, UW Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Services. “They graduated early while balancing the intense time demands of being a student-athlete. We ask our student-athletes to concentrate on school while they also need to make time for practice, film, weight training, medical treatment, required team meetings, travel and competitions.
“These students not only found a way to manage all of their different responsibilities, but they were able to work ahead and finish school early. Now they have an opportunity to pursue a master’s degree or a second bachelor’s degree. They truly embody the ideal of the student-athlete. They compete at the highest level athletically, and they excel academically.”
Men’s basketball, football, women’s golf, women’s swimming and diving, men’s track and field, women’s track and field and wrestling are all represented among the 10 graduates.
Degrees earned by the 10 individuals cover a wide range of majors, including accounting, business administration, chemical engineering, communication, criminal justice, management and marketing.
Postgraduate degrees that they are pursuing include: accounting, chemical engineering, communication, finance, management, marketing and public administration.