Fairfax, Va.-----An All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) gymnast from the Southern California area and a golfer from India personify the diversity of the San Jose State University student-athlete population.
Gymnast Shanice Howard and women's golfer Kanika Minocha each excel as a kinesiology major and May 2010 graduate with summa cum laude honors, respecitvely. Their respective academic excellence was cited by Diverse Issues in Higher Education as first-team 2010 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars.
The awards honor "...undergraduate students of color who have made achieving both academically and athletically a winning combination." The award is named after tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Jr., the first African -American male to win a Grand Slam tennis championship with his 1968 U.S. Open triumph. Ashe (1943-1993) also was well-known for his stance of worldwide civil rights issues.
Howard's 3.99 cumulative grade-point average at the time of the nomination, is the highest among the 10 women's gymnasts named as 2010 Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholars. The Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., resident is a three-time Academic All-WAC and San Jose State University Scholar-Athlete. Heading into her senior season in 2011, Howard is a three-time all-conference gymnast specializing in the vault and the floor exercise.
Minocha was one of seven NCAA Division I women's golfers honored. As an undergraduate, she was a San Jose State University President's Scholar, a 2008 National Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar, an Academic All-WAC selection and a four-time San Jose State Scholar-Athlete.
Anthony Bona (Union City, Calif., James Logan HS), baseball; Katrina Delen-Briones (San Francisco, Lowell HS), women's golf; Alex Esparza (San Francisco, St. Ignatius Prep), men's cross country; Lauren Ng-Pinkerton (San Jose, Calif., Santa Teresa HS), women's soccer; and Kristal Tsukano (Honolulu, Hawaii, Kamehameha HS), volleyball, were second team selections. Cross country runner Alan Shelton (Murrieta, Calif., Vista Murrieta HS) and volleyball player Thao Pham (San Jose, Calif., Piedmont Hills HS) were third-team choices. Cross country runner Megan Arias (Riverside, Calif., Poly HS) earned honorable mention recognition.
Of the 257 student-athletes from all NCAA and NAIA classifications honored, San Jose State is the only WAC member with student-athletes receiving first-team honors this year.
Institutions nominated student-athletes who maintained at least a 3.20 (out of 4.00) cumulative grade-point average, made meaningful contributions to their team's performance and were active on their campuses or in their communities.