April 14, 2010
BOCA RATON, FL - Florida Atlantic University football standout Alfred Morris and softball's shortstop Blair Bodenmiller have been named the Male and Female Student Athlete of the Year. They will receive their award at the 2010 University Honors Convocation ceremony. The event is hosted by the FAU's provost office, and is presided by Dr. John Pritchett, interim president, and Dr. Diane Alprin, interim provost.
The award is a two-fold recognition. The students must first have an outstanding academic standing with a GPA of above 3.0. They also must serve their respective team well and excelled in representing the university athletically.
Morris exemplified both as the Male Student Athlete of the Year. Morris, an exercise science major with a 3.126 GPA, has earned above a 3.0 all but his first semester of attendance. Athletically, the redshirt sophomore stepped up to fill a void left due to two injuries in the spring of 2009. The Pensacola, FL native moved from fullback to halfback and made the transition with ease, leading the Sun Belt Conference in total yards with 1,392. Morris earned the Team's Most Valuable Player award, as well as the team's scholastic achievement, and is the first player in the program's nine seasons to receive both honors in the same season. Morris is the current FAU record-holder for yards in a single season and tallied seven games with more than 100 yards. The first team SBC selection ended his sophomore campaign listed 13th nationally in total yards.
"Alfred averaged 5.3 yards per carry for us in 2009," said Howard Schnellenberger, FAU's head football coach. "He took on a role out of necessity and became one of the league's premier backs. He is one of the special young men who understand and can balance an outstanding collegiate career, a demanding academic work-load and yet still find time to volunteer as a peer educator. He does all this with humility and gratitude."
There is no better example of a student athlete than graduate student Blair Bodenmiller. Bodenmiller earned a starting spot as a freshman prior to breaking her foot in game two. She returned to the position a year later and has never relinquished that role. Bodenmiller capitalized on the extra season of competition by working on her master's degree. In fact, after five years at FAU, Bodenmiller will graduate with honors at both the bachelor and master's degree level. Bodenmiller's lowest grade in five years is an A-. She was named Preseason All-Sun Belt Co-Player of the Year. Bodenmiller is currently hitting .309 with a team leading five home runs and 13 RBIs. Defensively, she has just eight errors in 125 opportunities. Bodenmiller was named to the 2009 CoSIDA All-Academic District III team and is among 10 seniors named to a 2010 watch list for the best senior in the nation.
The Orlando, FL native graduated in 2008 with an undergraduate degree in political science after just 3.5 years of course work. She will graduate in 2010 with a master's in political science. Bodenmiller is a consistent member of the 3.0 gpa club for the athletics department, the Sun Belt Conference and both the president's and dean's list. She is a two-time pre-season all-conference selection and a first team all-conference member in 2009.
"Blair has done everything and more that has been asked on the field as a five-year starting shortstop," said Joan Joyce, FAU's head softball coach. "She is a three-time team captain and has led the squad in nearly every offensive category. Blair's work ethic in the weight room, and during and after practice is second to none."
Softball has been involved with more than a dozen charities in the last five years. Bodenmiller has been a consistent volunteer with each and is always the first to come and the last to leave.
The duo will be honored at the 2010 University Honors Convocation held in the University Theatre, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431