Columbus State sets school record with seven NJCAA academic award winners

Columbus State sets school record with seven NJCAA academic award winners

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus State Community College athletic department set a school record with seven NJCAA academic award recipients during the 2015-16 academic year.

Columbus State student-athletes have now combined for 28 Academic award winners since 1991. To be named an NJCAA academic award winner, a student-athlete must achieve at least a 3.60 GPA over two full time terms.  "This is an amazing honor for our seven student-athletes, their teams, and the Cougar community as a whole," Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Scott Nichols said. "To have a record number selected is a direct result of the motivation and commitment that our student-athletes put into the pursuit of academic excellence."

A total of 4,239 NJCAA academic award winners were nominated to one of three possible awards:

  • Pinnacle Award for Academic Excellence: 4.00 GPA
  • Superior Academic Achievement Award: 3.80-3.99 GPA
  • Exemplary Academic Achievement Award: 3.60-3.79 GPA
Justin Dearth (Dublin / Home School) is a sophomore on the men's golf team and a recipient of the Superior Academic Achievement Award, carrying a 3.83 GPA. Justin is an accounting major who plans to transfer to Capital University. He and teammate Colin Dawson are the third and four men's golfers in school history to receive this award.

Julia Wynn (Columbus Grove/Columbus Grove HS) is a sophomore on the women's volleyball team and a recipient of the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, carrying a 3.65 GPA. Julia is a pre-nursing major who received her Associate of Arts degree in May 2016. She is transferring to the Mount Carmel College of Nursing. A student-athlete who has experienced both academic and athletic successes at Columbus State, she was named OCCAC First-Team All-Conference and to the NJCAA Region XII District F All-Tournament team. She and teammate Julia Littell are the fourth and fifth women's volleyball players in school history to receive this award.

Abdulkadir Bashir (Westerville/Westerville North HS) is a sophomore on the men's cross country team and a recipient of the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, carrying a 3.74 GPA. Abdi is an engineering major who received his Associate of Science degree in May 2016. He is transferring to The Ohio State University to major in aerospace engineering. Abdi is the 8th men's cross runner in school history to receive this award.

Emily Howard (Powell/Worthington Christian HS) is a freshman on the women's cross country team and a recipient of the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, carrying a 3.69 GPA. Emily is an early childhood education major at Columbus State and the 2nd women's cross country runner in school history to receive this award.

Grant Dierksheide (Worthington/Worthington Kilbourne HS) is a freshman on the men's basketball team and a recipient of the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, carrying a 3.76 GPA. Grant is a Sports and Exercise Studies major at Columbus State and is the 2nd men's basketball player in school history to receive this award.

Julia Littell (Springfield/Kenton Ridge HS) is a freshman on the women's volleyball team and a recipient of the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, carrying a 3.76 GPA. Julia is a pre-nursing major at Columbus State.

Colin Dawson (Ostrander/Buckeye Valley HS) is a freshman on the men's golf team and a recipient of the Exemplary Academic Achievement Award, carrying a 3.74 GPA. Colin is an Associate of Arts major at Columbus State.

Highlights:
  • Seven athletes over five sports are represented
  • Honorees are comprised of three sophomores and four freshmen
  • Two of the three sophomores graduated in May 2016
  • All three sophomores are transferring to a four year institution to continue their respective academic careers
  • Three of the four freshmen are returning to Columbus State to continue their education
  • Men's golf and women's volleyball each had two honorees
  • One honoree was awarded the Superior Award while the other six honorees received the Exemplary Award