Six Blue Demons Receive Senior Leadership Awards
Ben Westley received a Senior Leadership Award along with Lynsey Ciezki, Melissa Fraser, Gia McKnight, Tim Nedow and Deanna Ortiz.

June 12, 2012

CHICAGO – Six DePaul student-athletes took their place among the university’s finest and were honored as Senior Leadership Award winners over the weekend.

Softball player Lynsey Ciezki, track & field athletes Melissa Fraser and Tim Nedow, tennis player Gia McKnight, women’s basketball player Deanna Ortiz and golfer Ben Westley were recognized along with the outstanding student leaders from throughout the university’s academic community.

“Aside from the leadership and motivation demonstrated by the top seniors in athletics, it’s an honor for them to be recognized in front of the entire university community at graduation,” said DePaul Director of Athletics Jean Lenti Ponsetto. “This is an outstanding milestone.

“It’s significant that the university goes to the lengths it does to promote the contributions of these student-athletes and places their names in the graduation program booklet.”

The six Blue Demons each had a lasting impact on the dynamics of their respective teams.

“You know an athletics program has arrived when younger student-athletes genuinely respect the upperclassmen and allow themselves to be guided by their peers as opposed to coaches having to tell them what to do,” Lenti said. “On behalf of the coaches and staff, we are all grateful for how these six individuals demonstrated leadership on and off the field.”

Whether it was in the athletic arena, in the class room or making a difference through community service, they did whatever was needed to motivate and inspire their teammates.



“This is our best of the best, senior student athletes who really stood out in so many ways,” said Associate Athletic Director Kathryn Statz. “It’s a tremendous accomplishment.”

“Deanna’s parents are accepted the award on her behalf while she is in the Czech Republic trying out for the Puerto Rico Olympic Team. Tim has an excellent chance to represent Canada in the Summer Olympics.

“These student-athletes clearly distinguished themselves and understood that the world is much bigger than the Athletic Center. This is the final stitch in the quilt of their collegiate journey.”

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