Rutgers Winter Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-Big Ten Honors

PISCATAWAY – The Big Ten recognized 33 Rutgers student-athletes as Winter 2018 Academic All-Conference, it was announced on Wednesday. All eligible Rutgers programs are represented on the list, which includes 14 repeat selections and the school’s first, four-time honoree in wrestling graduate student and three-time NCAA Championships qualifier Nick Gravina.

“Having our highest number of Big Ten Winter All-Academic honorees reflects the hard work and commitment of our student-athletes, coaches and academic support staff,” said Director of Athletics Pat Hobbs. “We are incredibly proud of our young men and women who excel, both off and on the field of play, while representing the State University of New Jersey. It’s only fitting that the Big Ten made this announcement on Rutgers’ Giving Day, as it further illustrates the importance of providing our student-athletes the necessary resources to achieve.”

Rutgers’ three-time Big Ten All-Academic honorees are seniors Libby Groden from gymnastics, as well as Thomasin Lee, Larissa Neilan, Karli Rymer and Addison Walkowiak from swimming & diving. Groden has been to NCAA Regionals as an all-arounder three times and became the first RU gymnast to earn All-Big Ten status last year. Walkowiak is a four-time NCAA Championships qualifier who earned Honorable Mention All-America honors last week after an 11th place finish in 1-meter diving at the Championships.

The Rutgers Leadership Academy and its Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) was well represented once again on a Big Ten All-Academic Team. In addition to Gravina, Groden and Walkowiak, Joey Downes (men’s basketball), Kathleen Fitzpatrick (women’s basketball), Victoria Harris (women’s basketball), Meghan Moses (swimming & diving) and Jordan Pagano (wrestling) are SAAC members. A committee of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience, the SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations and policies that affect student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institution campuses.

The 33 Winter selections join the 78 Rutgers student-athletes who earned Academic All-Big Ten in the Fall. The 33 honorees signal the most winter selections for the Scarlet Knights since joining the Big Ten in 2014-15, surpassing the 32 honorees in Winter 2016.

Rutgers University’s third annual Giving Day is a 24-hour fundraising initiative that calls upon the entire Rutgers community to make an impact that will transform the future for generations to come. Visit for additional information and to make a gift. 

To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letterwinners who are in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.

Student-Athlete Program Class Major(s) Selection
Joey Downes Men’s Basketball So. Journalism And Media Studies 1st
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Women’s Basketball Sr. Communication 1st
Victoria Harris Women’s Basketball Jr. Public Health 2nd
Kate Hill Women’s Basketball So. Journalism And Media Studies 1st
Jazlynd Rollins Women’s Basketball Sr. Public Health 1st
Riahanah Ali Gymnastics Jr. Psychology 2nd
Jenna Crisalli Gymnastics Sr. Communication 2nd
Chloe DeVries Gymnastics So. Criminal Justice 1st
Libby Groden Gymnastics Sr. Visual Arts 3rd
Emma Karas Gymnastics So. Human Resource Management 1st
Erin McLachlan Gymnastics So. Journalism And Media Studies 1st
Polina Poliakova Gymnastics So. Psychology 1st
Eriel Santagado Gymnastics Jr. Evolutionary Anthropology 2nd
Makenzey Shank Gymnastics Sr. Journalism And Media Studies 2nd
Marin Bloise Swimming & Diving Jr. Communication 1st
Alexis Brewer Swimming & Diving So. Exercise Science And Sport Studies 1st
Rachel Byrne Swimming & Diving Jr. Biological Sciences 2nd
Sarah Davis Swimming & Diving So. Nutritional Sciences 1st
Alexandra Fabugais-Inaba Swimming & Diving So. Exercise Science And Sport Studies 1st
Vera Koprivova Swimming & Diving Jr. Psychology 2nd
Clare Lawlor Swimming & Diving So. Exercise Science And Sport Studies 1st
Thomasin Lee Swimming & Diving Sr. Public Health / Psychology 3rd
Meghan Moses Swimming & Diving So. Biological Sciences 1st
Nadia Nabhan Swimming & Diving So. Exercise Science And Sport Studies 1st
Larissa Neilan Swimming & Diving Sr. Public Health 3rd
Karli Rymer Swimming & Diving Sr. Public Health 3rd
Abbey Saunders Swimming & Diving Jr. Planning And Public Policy 1st
Francesca Stoppa Swimming & Diving Jr. Visual Arts 2nd
Addison Walkowiak Swimming & Diving Sr. Public Health 3rd
Brett Donner Wrestling So. Exercise Science & Sports Studies 1st
Nicholas Gravina Wrestling Gr. Counseling Psychology 4th
Jordan Pagano Wrestling Jr. Psychology 2nd
John Van Brill Wrestling Sr. Human Resource Management 2nd

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