WKU Celebrates Academic Excellence in Athletics with TOPSY Awards Banquet

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — WKU held its annual athletic department academic banquet Monday evening, the "TOPSY" Awards, honoring the top outstanding-performing student-athletes of the year.

The evening featured a social hour and speeches by WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell, head women's basketball coach Michelle Clark-Heard and Director of Athletics Todd Stewart, as well as award presentations.

Ali Stahlke of the women's soccer program was recognized for being a first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American this year, one of just 11 in the nation, and she was also honored as one of two women's scholar athletes of the year at WKU for having the highest grade point average (GPA) among graduating seniors, joining Katie DiTommaso of the women's tennis program.

Brett Austin of the track and field and cross country program was recognized as the male scholar athlete of the year, and all three scholar athletes had perfect 4.0 GPAs.

Both golf programs received scholar team of the year awards, given to the teams at WKU with the highest cumulative GPAs, with the men's program holding a 3.21 team GPA and the women's program earning a 3.69 team GPA.

After overcoming two major knee surgeries during her playing career at WKU and then rebounding with an outstanding 2012 senior season, Amanda Buechel of the women's soccer program was given the Courage Award, and teammate Christen Sims earned the Outreach-Service Award after demonstrating a willingness to go above and beyond in the community during her time as a student-athlete at WKU.

WKU honored 30 student-athletes who were inducted into the Chi Alpha Sigma national college athlete honor society, giving WKU 215 Chi Alpha Sigma inductees in the last seven years.

Helen Heines was recognized as the athletic tutor of the year.

The athletic academic advising staff at WKU is Dixie Mahurin, Jashard Justice, Dianna Marshall, Rannen Roberson, Tanner Siewert, Kristin Eden, Jimmy Cottrell and Marci Turner.