Scholar-Athletes Honored at Annual Banquet
April 12, 2017
SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego State athletic department honored 329 student-athletes Monday evening at its 23rd annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet in Montezuma Hall on the SDSU campus. In order to qualify as a scholar-athlete for the semester, a student-athlete must achieve at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA or a 3.20 semester GPA.
Senior water polo star Alyssa Diacano (Ladera Ranch, Calif.) and senior offensive lineman Arthur Flores (Denver, Colo.) were honored as the 2016 Student-Athletes of the Year for demonstrating excellence in academics, athletics and leadership while displaying outstanding character.
Diacono, a public health major with a 3.76 cumulative grade point average, is a four-time San Diego State scholar-athlete and has earned a spot on the Dean's List each semester. She has also garnered all-academic accolades from the Golden Coast Conference on three occasions and has served as a representative on the SDSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council. A two-time honorable mention All-American at the center position, Diacono helped the Aztecs to back-to-back GCC championships and a berth in the 2016 NCAA tournament.
In addition to her accomplishments in the pool and in the classroom, Diacono has been involved in numerous community service and charitable events, including an internship with the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. She has also served as a site coordinator with the Bone Marrow Donor Drive and has participated in the Junior Seau Foundation's Shop With A Jock program, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, as well as the Women of Fox Sports Leadership Series.
Meanwhile, Flores, who boasts a 3.40 cumulative GPA in computer science, has received SDSU scholar-athlete recognition on five occasions and is four-time member of the Dean's List. He is also a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award recipient and Mountain West scholar-athlete honoree. Earlier this month, Flores was named to the 2017 NFF Hampshire Honor Society by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.
A mainstay on the Aztec offensive line, Flores, who started all 28 games over the last two seasons at center for the back-to-back MW football champions, helped SDSU to program records in rushing yards (3,680), rushing touchdowns (34), rushing yards per carry (5.8), points (493) and field goals (21) last year.
Flores, who is currently interning at a local medical device company as a software engineer, has also participated in several community service events, including the San Diego ALS Walk and Shop With A Jock. In addition, he has tutored students in the SDSU computer science department and has served as youth camp counselor in his hometown during winter breaks.
Monday's festivities also featured the presentation of the Malik Award, given to 19 student-athletes who achieved the highest GPAs in a semester. The award is named after Dr. James Malik, who was a professor of chemistry for 44 years and a former faculty athletic representative at San Diego State.
Recipients of the Malik Award include Haley Brock (rowing), Samantha Camello (softball), Alyssa Diacono (water polo), Sarah Dorl (lacrosse), Kassidy Ellis (track and field), Arthur Flores (football), Ellison Grove (track and field), Cali King (cross country/track and field), Greg Norris (men's soccer), Frankie Orlando (softball), Daria Peck (rowing), Kelbi Redquest (rowing), Natilee Ruiz (swimming and diving), Lily Seynaeve (track and field), Michaela Setiawan (rowing), Sierra Stillwater (rowing), Kambridge Van Der Veur (track and field), Andrea VanderMey (swimming and diving) and Whitney Weisz (swimming and diving).
The men's soccer team captured the athletic department's Team GPA Award for both the spring and fall of 2016. Likewise, the cross country squad received the same honor for spring 2016, while women's golf program earned the distinction for fall 2016.
Additionally, John Gaughen Jr., who works in student testing assessment and research, was presented the Dr. Jim Kitchen Distinguished Service Award.
23RD ANNUAL SAN DIEGO STATE SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARDS BANQUET
Malik Award Recipients (highest semester GPAs)
Team GPA Award winners
Dr. Jim Kitchen Distinguished Service Award