FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University athletic officials recently announced the names of 17 Patriot student-athletes named to the university’s chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society.
To earn a place in this honor society, a student-athlete must be at least a junior, have a 3.40 cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 scale, and have an endorsement from his or her respective head coach. The nominees are then screened by a selection committee.
The 2009 inductees are baseball players Josh Biggers (Southlake, Texas) and Phillip Mozingo (Florence), women’s cross country runner Amanda Doyle (Laurens, S.C.), women’s volleyball player Jess O’Leary (St. Louis, Mo.), men’s tennis player Bastian Czwalinna (Erlangen, Germany), women’s tennis player Valeska Ibscher (Feucht, Germany), women’s soccer players Emily Brandenburg (West Columbia, S.C.), Angela Salem (Copley, Ohio), Kirby Stenard (Cincinnati, Ohio), and Rachel Rubin (Charlotte, N.C.), and women’s softball players Jessie Alesi (Elk Grove Village, Ill.), Kat Beauvais (Manassas, Va.), Michaela Wolf (Littleton, Colo.), Jamie Holmes (Monroe, Wash.), Jessica Birchmeier (Port Richey, Fla.), Stevie Arrand (London, Ontario, Canada), and Megan Pangburn (Covina, Calif.).
Eight current Patriot student-athletes were previously inducted: women’s basketball player Katherine Kiefer (Lilburn, Ga.), women’s softball players Lakyn Bendle (Amsterdam, Ohio) and Shawn Moore (Pamplico, S.C.), women’s soccer players Brandi Bonifay (Stuart, Fla.) and Kiersten Nedervelt (Montpelier, Va.), men’s tennis players Jordan Gandy (Darlington, S.C.) and Matthew Keth (Border, South Africa), and women’s volleyball player Jessica Lombardi (Massillon, Ohio).
Chi Alpha Sigma was founded in May 1996 by DePauw University head football coach Nick Mourouzis. The organization currently has 166 chapters in 38 states. Francis Marion is one of only six chapters in South Carolina, and FMU was the first school to have a chapter in the Palmetto State.
Over the past nine years, 80 different FMU student-athletes have earned this honor.
Chi Alpha Sigma's purposes are: to encourage and reward high academic scholarship of college athletes at four-year accredited institutions; to recognize outstanding academic achievement by intercollegiate varsity letterwinners; to encourage good citizenship, moral character, and friendship among the high academic achievers in college athletics; to recognize and honor the individual athlete, his/her team, sport, athletic department, and college or university; and to mentor and to provide leadership to other athletes.