Written by Edythe Bradley
The Albany State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted it’s first-ever ASU Student-Athlete Honors Ceremony on April 24. The program was geared to celebrate the spring graduation of former and current ASU athletes and the service efforts of the SAAC representatives.
“The members of the ASU SAAC wanted to create this program to congratulate the our student-athletes on their accomplishments and contributions outside of the fields, courts and track,” said Stan McCormick, SAAC advisor. “It’s always an exciting moment when our student-athletes receive their degrees.”
The ASU SAAC presented the 21 graduating student-athletes with commemorative pins for their accomplishments. The student-athletes, representing 10 of 12 sports, were pinned by their head coaches during the ceremony.
The ASU SAAC also honored nine seniors who served their final year in the organization. Those honorees included SAAC President Ken Nesbitt, Vice President Whitley Patterson, Secretary Symone Wilkerson, Treasurer Lauren Andrews, Male Representative Stephen Francis, Female Representative Brittany White, and sport representatives Tory Torstenson, Breanna Fields and Joseph Dancy. Nesbitt and Francis were also presented the SAAC Representative Emeritus Awards for their three years of service in the organization, while Torstenson received white graduation cords for becoming the first graduate under the ceremony’s new tradition.
“These student-athletes played a vital part in our SAAC organization during their tenure,” McCormick said. “They have served the students of Albany State and the community well. We are sad to see them go, but we are excited about the new opportunities that await them.”
The program was also highlighted by the induction of seven student-athletes into the Eta Chapter of the Chi Alpha Sigma National Honor Society. The honor society recognizes student-athletes who have achieved junior status and a 3.4 grade point average. Inducted by SAAC President Ken Nesbitt, the charter members of the Eta Chapter are Sabrina Garcia, volleyball; Shabreka Carter, women’s track & field; Vanessa Jones, softball; Janell Jones, football; Sherinna Lewis, women’s track & field; Janeka Reid, volleyball; and Briana Bowles, women’s track & field. Garcia was also presented with blue graduation cords to honor her as the first graduate from the honor society.
“We are very fortunate to have this new program for our student-athletes,” McCormick said. “These seven student-athletes made history by becoming the first charter members of this organization. They have set the bar very high, and I believe this will motivate our other student-athletes to work harder to reach this feat.”
Interim ASU Athletics Director Dr. Richard H. Williams hopes that the SAH program will become a huge tradition for the department.
“This program was a huge success,” Dr. Williams said. “It’s a great thing to see teammates, families and friends attend to show their support in celebrating these student-athletes. Coach McCormick, Coach Ali and the members of the ASU SAAC are to be commended for their outstanding efforts in producing this event.”
ASU Student-Athlete Graduates
Student-Athlete Sport Major
Justin Bell Football Psychology
Darryl Carey Football Healthcare Management
Jermyah Graves Football Sociology
Demetrice Johnson Football Criminal Justice
Develle Miller Football Health & Physical Education
Quinton Nelson Football Health, PE & Recreation
Tory Torstenson Football Business Management
Ernest Seay Football Business Management
Denee Allaway Cheerleading Middle Grades Education
Ayan Brown Cheerleading Accounting
Britni Norwood Cheerleading Health, PE & Recreation
Brandy Small Cheerleading Health, PE & Recreation
Brittany Carter Track and Field Criminal Justice
Sabrina Garcia Volleyball Business Management
Sean Glenn Basketball Health & Physical Education
Johnathon Hines Basketball Health, PE & Recreation
Oscar Morris Basketball Business Administration
Bryan Gary Baseball Business Management
Crystal LeGrand Tennis Early Childhood Education
Jasmine Williams Tennis Biology
Brad Porter Track and Field Criminal Justice
Dr. Richard Williams, left, Sabrina Garcia, Sherinna Lewis, Janeka Reid, Vanessa Jones, Shabreka Carter, Briana Bowles, Janell Jones and Geraldine Winns