In conjunction with volleyball’s 3-1 win over Freed-Hardeman University Friday night, the Stephens College Athletics Department also had the opportunity to recognize standout student-athletes Jessica McConnell and Dana Heggemann for awards they received during the past year.
The Department honored Jessica McConnell ’13 B.S., ’14 M.B.A., who capped off her softball career with one of the most coveted honors at the collegiate level—McConnell became the first Academic All-American in any sport at Stephens and is easily one of the most decorated athletes in Stars history. During the spring, she was named first-team AMC All-Conference, another first for the Stephens softball program. She is a five-time Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete and an eight-time AMC Academic All-Conference honoree in volleyball, basketball and softball.
Also setting the bar high for current and future student-athletes is junior Dana Heggemann. In June, Heggemann was nominated for the Emil S. Liston Scholarship Award, which recognizes basketball student-athletes based on scholarship, character and playing ability. She was a unanimous choice to represent the American Midwest Conference and from there was chosen as the national recipient on the NAIA’s National Awards Day in September.
Heggemann is a two-time AMC Academic All-Conference honoree, serves as the president of the Tri Beta biological honor society and is a resident director following a year as resident assistant for Honors House Plan students.
Between the second and third sets of Friday’s volleyball match, McConnell and Heggemann were joined at center court by Stephens President Dianne Lynch and Athletics Director Deb Duren. The two student-athletes were each presented with a special plaque, flowers and banners that are now hung on the west wall of Silverthorne Arena.
“These two particular Stephens Women epitomize the term student-athlete,” Sports Information Director Adam Samson said. “If you take a look at the Stephens mission statement, we as an institution are committed to preparing students to become leaders, innovators and lifelong learners. Both Jessica and Dana have taken the mission statement to heart and have modeled how Stephens Stars should carry themselves in the classroom and on the field of play.”
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