Perfect pair leads 1997-98 athletic award winners


Two students with perfect 5.0 grade point averages led the 1997-98 award winners in the Department of Athletics. Football star R. Bradley Gray and four-year women's basketball starter Nicole Gerrish were honored as winners of the Malcom Kispert Award given to the male and female senior scholar-athletes of the year.

Ms. Gerrish, a materials science and engineering major from Canton, MA, was basketball team captain in 1997-98, when the team recorded the most wins in a single season in the history of the program.

Mr. Gray, a chemical engineering major from Columbia, SC, has won awards for himself and MIT totaling more than $100,000, including a Marshall Scholarship. This year he was named an honorable mention All-American and won the Walter Byers Scholarship, given by the NCAA to the outstanding male scholar-athlete in the nation.

The winner of the Betsy Schumacker Award, given to a female undergraduate for excellence in athletic competition, is the pistol team's Tracey Ho, a junior in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) from Singapore. She is the individual women's air pistol national intercollegiate champion and led MIT to the team title as well. She had never shot a pistol before arriving at MIT but was named to the first Women's All-America pistol team this year, and will compete with the Malaysian national team when she returns home for a vacation in August.

Michael Butville, a senior in mechanical engineering from Levitown, PA, is the recipient of the Howard Johnson Award, given to the male senior athlete of the year. Over the last four years, he earned varsity letters and numerous distinctions in football, indoor track and field, and lacrosse.

The Pewter Bowl award, presented to the female senior who has shown the highest qualities of inspiration and leadership in contributing to women's athletics, went to Susan Dey, a senior in EECS from Howell, NJ. She is "absolutely the best team captain" that women's crew head coach Mayrene Earle has had in her 18-year career.

The winner of the Admiral Edward L. Cochrane award, presented to the male senior who has shown the highest qualities of humility, leadership and inspiration in intercollegiate athletics, is also a rower -- Joseph Irineo, a senior in EECS from Nanuet, NY. He is the coxswain of the varsity lightweight men's crew and a four-year letter winner. He participated in the physical training with the crew, which is unusual in the sport.

The Varsity Club Awards are presented to the male and female freshmen athletes of the year. The 1997-98 recipients are freshman gymnast Sonja Ellefson of Edina, MN, and runner Christopher McGuire, a sophomore in brain and cognitive sciences from Golden, CO.

Ms. Ellefson set records in three of the four individual events and in the all-around. She earned the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III championship in the floor exercise, and despite two falls in the national championships, finished eighth on the balance beam to earn All-America honors.

Mr. McGuire, the first sophomore to win the award, set the freshmen record in the 5,000 meters. Outdoors, he won the New England Division III title in the 5,000 meters, setting the outdoor freshmen record of 14:50.26.

Women's crew member Amy Gieffers, a graduate student in EECS from Arlington Heights, IL, won the Burton R. Anderson Award as the intercollegiate manager of the year. As an undergraduate, she was a four-year letter winner, captain and Straight "T" Award winner. As manager, her work included attending practices, preparing statistics and other paperwork, rigging boats and videotaping.

Stephanie Harrington, a graduate student in earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences (EAPS) from Edmonds, WA, earned the Harold J. Pettegrove Award for outstanding service to intramurals. She was the EAPS athletic chair for two years, served as the intramural vice chair in 1997 and in 1997 introduced women's triathlon to the intramural program and was soccer manager.

The Department of Athletics presented 17 students with the Straight "T" Award, the highest award given for athletic excellence in a particular sport at MIT. The 1997-98 recipients were:

Nora Szasz, a junior in EECS from Patty, Hungary (fencing).

Duane P. Stevens, a senior in mechanical engineering from Scio, OR, and Mr. Gray (football).

Allison J. Christenson, a senior in mechanical engineering from Waconia, MN, and Ms. Ellefson (gymnastics).

Hattie R. Gruneisen, a sophomore in mechanical engineering from Redding, CA; Ms. Ho; and Jane J. Sohn, a senior in biology from Lexington, MA (pistol).

Jessica M. Kleiss, a sophomore in chemistry from Shoreview, MN; and James W. Berry, a junior in economics from Dover-Foxcroft, ME (skiing).

Deirdre K. Dunn, a junior in chemical engineering from Weston, MA (swimming).

Eric L. Chen, a sophomore in EECS from Topeka, KS; and Benjamin P. Cooke, a sophomore in mathematics from Washington, DC (tennis).

Zachary O. Lee, a senior in mechanical engineering from Walnut Creek, CA; Ryan P. Adams, a sophomore in EECS from Baytown, TX; and freshmen Stefan K. Bewley from Atascadero, CA, and Matthew D. Hausmann from El Cajon, CA (water polo).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 3, 1998.


Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Sports and fitness

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