UTPA student-athletes score well academically
Posted: 05/22/2009
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Student-athletes at The University of Texas-Pan American are scoring well in the classroom according to statistics compiled and released by the University regarding their academic performance during the 2008-2009 school year.

Of the 173 student-athletes participating on one or more of UTPA's 14 intercollegiate teams during the last year, 51 earned Dean's List honors with a 3.5 GPA or above during the 2008-2009 academic year and 31 earned a 3.5 or above in their cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. Fall 2008 semester statistics indicated 76 earned a 3.0 or above, 33 earned a 3.5 or above and 8 earned a 4.0 GPA and during the spring 2009 semester 65 achieved a 3.0 GPA or above, 42 achieved a 3.5 GPA or above and 16 obtained a perfect 4.0 GPA.

"This is an outstanding performance academically," said Dr. Sue Reinders, associate director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator. "The average GPA for all the student-athletes during the 2008-2009 academic year was 3.1 with the women's team average at 3.29 and the men's team average at 2.93."

A number of student-athletes were also named to the Dean's List during the year. Lady Broncs making the Dean's List during the 2008-2009 academic year included 10 of the 12 volleyball team members; five of the seven members of the tennis team; and four of the eight-member golf team. In addition, one member of the women's track team, Michelle Elizondo, maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during all four years. Also among Dean's List honorees were three of the six members of the men's golf team.

Eleven UTPA student-athletes were named to the Great West Conference fall 2008 academic team, which recognizes those with a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA and who participated in 50 percent or more of their scheduled athletic contests. They included Chelsea Blakely, Marcelline Logan, Noelle Mayor, Kellie Phillips, Danielle Reed, Deanna Schneyer, Rebecca Toddy and Ytszel Trinidad - Volleyball; Carolina Izaguirre - Women's Cross Country; and Omar Doria and Luis Nava - Men's Cross Country. Twenty-six student-athletes were nominated for the spring 2009 Great West Academic Team.

The graduation success rate by student-athletes also exceeds that of the total student population Reinders said. The graduation success rate for the 2008-2009 academic year was 78 percent by Bronc student-athletes in the 1998-2001 cohort compared to 61 percent for the entire student population in that cohort. This achievement, she said, is despite the 20 hours or more a week most student-athletes spend on team practice and competition and does not include travel time which is often extensive due to UTPA's location. Some student-athletes also juggle part-time jobs while playing their sport.

"Our athletic program includes constant monitoring of their academic standing and their progress toward earning their degree in their major. However, as successful student-athletes they also monitor themselves. They know that they have to take care of things in the classroom to be on that field," she said. "Down the road, the skills they learn and develop in time management and teamwork, for example, are seen as valuable ones by potential employers."

For more information on the UTPA Intercollegiate Athletics Program, go to