HILTON HEAD, SC -- Peach Belt Conference commissioner Marvin Vanover announced this week that Francis Marion University women’s basketball player Jennifer Howard and University of North Florida men’s basketball player David Hartigan have been selected as the PBC’s Student-Athletes of the Year for 2004-05.
Howard becomes the fifth Patriot student-athlete to earn this award in the past seven years. The announcement was made at the league’s annual meeting in Hilton Head, S.C. The award is presented annually to the graduating male and female student-athlete with the highest grade point average from the league’s 12 member schools.
Howard, a native of Raleigh, N.C., graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. degree in biology and chemistry at FMU's 2005 spring commencement exercises. She also graduated with University Honors, having completed a minimum of 21 hours in Honors courses. At commencement, she received the William H. Blackwell Award, which is presented to the undergraduate Francis Marion University student, or students, with the highest grade point average (for all academic work undertaken at FMU) of those graduating during the past academic year. She completed her course work with a perfect 4.00 GPA.
She plans to pursue a degree in medicine.
At past FMU academic awards day ceremonies, she received the Biology Award, the Duane P. Myers Honors Award, and the Scholastic Achievement Award. She appeared on the FMU President’s List following each of her eight semesters, and has also served as a math and science tutor. She was a Francis Marion scholar and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Beta Beta Beta, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Chi Alpha Sigma honor societies. Each of her four years, she was named to the PBC Presidential Honor Roll and the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll. She is also a two-time winner of the Debra Lee Orander Swamp Fox Academic Award.
A 5-7 guard, Howard was a four-year letterwinner, and a three-year starter, on the FMU women’s basketball team. She ended her playing career 14th on the Patriots’ all-time assists list with 244 and 26th on the school’s career scoring list with 890 points.
On the court this past season, she averaged 9.5 points per game and was FMU’s third-leading scorer. She played in all 28 games and averaged 3.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game, and was third on the team in steals (42). She connected on 33.3 percent of her field goal attempts, including 31.7 percent from behind the three-point arc, and 65.5 percent of her free throws. She ranked fifth in the Peach Belt in three-point field goals made per game (1.89) and was 29th in scoring. During an early season contest against Presbyterian College, Howard set a school record for three-pointers made in a game with eight.
She earned first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District honors each of her final three years, and was a second-team Academic All-American in 2004.
Hartigan completed his biology degree and graduated from UNF in December with a perfect 4.00 GPA.
The Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year is the highest academic honor the conference presents. The honorees must be a graduating senior and have played and studied at a PBC member institution for at least two academic years.