May 18, 2013

Yale Honors Seven Seniors and One Team with Annual Awards at Senior Reception

Brodhead, Ford, Kiphuth and Meyer Award Winners Announced

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Seven seniors and one team were honored by the Yale Athletics Department with awards at the annual senior student-athlete reception Saturday afternoon at the Lanman Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The women’s fencing team earned the Brodhead Award for highest team grade point average. Sam Haig (Greenwich, Conn.) of the men’s squash team, Heather May (Newport Beach, Calif.) of the coed and women’s sailing teams and Alyssa Zupon (Basking Ridge, N.J.) of the women’s ice hockey team were the recipients of the Ford Student-Athlete Community Outreach Award. Dakota McCoy (Wexford, Pa.) of the women’s track and field team and Patrick O’Keefe (Pittsford, N.Y.) of the lightweight crew team were the recipients of the Kiphuth Student-Athlete Distinction Award. Lexy Adams (Lancaster, Pa.) of the field hockey team and Collin Bibb (San Antonio, Texas) of the football team were the recipients of the Meyer Humanitarian Award.

The Brodhead Award is named in honor of Richard H. Brodhead '68, Ph.D. '72, who served as Dean of Yale College from 1993 through 2004 and was on the faculty of the department of English for more than 30 years. The women’s fencing team won the award with a 3.69 cumulative grade point average through the fall of 2012. The team had an Academic All-Ivy League selection in senior Madeline Oliver (Bethesda, Md.), a history of art major. She was one of 10 team members who qualified for NCAA Regionals, and was one of two who went on to compete at the NCAA Championship. Yale finished 10th at the championship.

The Ford Award, given annually to the male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated their commitment to strengthening the relationship between Yale Athletics and the New Haven community, is named in honor of Thomas W. Ford '42, who endowed the Yale Athletics Community Outreach Program in the fall of 1996.

Haig was a volunteer for Squash Haven, working daily as both a tutor and a squash coach for more than 80 local children enrolled in the program. He served as an assistant coach for one of Squash Haven’s traveling middle school teams. Haig was also one of the volunteers for Yale Athletics Youth Days -- he managed the barbecue lunch for more than 600 participants per year as Yale student-athletes worked with local children on sports skills twice per year. This year Haig received the Yale squash team’s Harold K. Wilkens, Sr. Award for his character, dedication and discipline.

Haig is a physics major in Berkeley College. Prior to Yale he attended Brunswick Academy.

May, a NEISA All-American crew, was chair of the Yale Athletics Student-Athlete Community Outreach Committee, working on a number of events that were part of the department’s Thomas W. Ford ’42 Community Outreach Program. She organized the entire population of Yale student-athletes for the two annual youth days, serving more than 600 children from the New Haven area. She also organized the Yale Athletics Holiday Gift Giving Initiative, arranging for Yale athletic teams to purchase gifts for needy families in the area. May also managed the Bulldog Buddies program, which brings Yale student-athletes to Troup Elementary School for reading, tutoring and academic help.

May is an American studies major in Jonathan Edwards College. Prior to Yale she attended Corona Del Mar High.

Zupon’s charitable work extended to the New Haven community and beyond. She co-founded the “Yale Bulldog PAWS (Pediatric Alliance With Student-athletes)” program, which pairs Yale athletic teams with pediatric patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital to serve as a support group. She and her Yale women’s ice hockey teammates “adopted” a local girl named Giana, who was recovering from surgery for a brain tumor. Zupon also co-founded “Hope for Tomorrow”, a charitable organization designed to assist with earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan. 

The Ford Award is the latest in a series of awards for Zupon, who also won ECAC Hockey’s Mandi Schwartz Award (as the conference’s student-athlete of the year) and the Sarah Devens Award, a combined leadership award for ECAC Hockey and Hockey East. She also was a finalist for the Hockey Humanitarian Award and a semi-finalist for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup. She earned the Yale women’s ice hockey team’s Bingham Award for leadership.

Zupon is a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major in Morse College. Prior to Yale she attended Pingry.

The Kiphuth Award that McCoy and O’Keefe won is given to the male and female student-athletes who rank highest in scholarship and have earned two varsity awards. It is named in honor of DeLaney Kiphuth '41, M.A. '47, who served as Director of Athletics from 1954 through 1976.

McCoy, a biology major and member of Branford College, has a 3.95 GPA and has been awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and a Goldwater Scholarship. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Over the course of her career as a hurdler and thrower for Yale, she has also earned Academic All-Ivy League and CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition. Prior to Yale she attended North Allegheny.

O’Keefe, an applied mathematics major in Calhoun College, has a 3.94 GPA. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Last year he won a gold medal at the Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges (EARC) Sprints as a member of the second varsity boat, and helped the varsity boat to a third-place finish at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) National Championship. On Saturday he was presented with his award at EARC Sprints in Worcester, Mass., where he and his Yale teammates will compete for the EARC and Ivy League championships on Sunday. Prior to Yale he attended Pittsford Sutherland.

The Meyer Award is named in honor of Molly Meyer, a nurse practitioner at Yale University Health Services who has been addressing the health needs of student-athletes at Yale since 1975. The award is given each year to a varsity athlete in the senior class "whose character exemplifies selfless devotion along with compassion and concern for their team and the community at Yale and beyond."

A molecular biophysics and biochemistry major who will spend the next year finishing up her master’s degree in public health at Yale, Adams is the head freshman counselor in Branford College. She is a graduate of Penn Manor.

Adams’ time at Yale has been marked by involvement in a wide variety of initiatives to improve the lives of those around her. She is one of 40 undergraduate Yale Communication and Consent Educators working to foster a positive campus climate, especially in terms of sexual culture. She has also been a Community Health Educator in the New Haven public schools since 2011, teaching students the skills, self-respect and information needed to make healthy decisions about their bodies and their futures.

Adams has made an impact in multiple countries. During Spring Break in 2011, Reach Out Thailand allowed her the opportunity to design and teach an English curriculum for middle school Thai students in Buriram Province.

 

Adams was in Mauritius as a Summer Teaching Fellow with ELI Africa in 2011. There, she designed and taught her own hands-on science curriculum. She served as the Chief Programming Officer from 2011-12 and designed schedules for the summer and year-long Teaching Fellow Program, organized events on campus and coordinated appointments with various Mauritian ministries. Since 2012, she has served as President and coordinates board meetings, fundraising and communication with Mauritius. The organization was founded by former Yale football player Vedant Seeam ’11.

 

In the summer of 2012, Adams was a Fellow for the Global Health Leadership Institute (GHLI) Conference in Ethiopia. She aided an Ethiopian delegation in designing and monitoring an evaluation plan at the annual GHLI conference. After the conference she spent eight weeks interning for the Federal Ministry of Health implementing the Ethiopian Hospital Alliance for Quality, performing hospital site visits focused on documenting best practices. She supported the 20-Year Visioning Committee for Ethiopian health outcomes, researching strategies in coordination with the Ministry of Health, Yale GHLI, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Adams has also been active locally, helping save lives as a volunteer for the annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale. Those drives have added nearly 4,000 potential donors to the Be The Match Registry for patients with life-threatening illnesses in need of donor matches for transplants. The drive is named in memory of Yale women’s ice hockey player Mandi Schwartz ’10 (1988-2011), who passed away in April 2011 after battling cancer for more than two years. During her sophomore year, Adams herself was identified as a match for a patient with cancer. She overcame her fear of needles and made the marrow donation.

As a freshman Adams won the field hockey team’s Senior Award, “awarded by the senior class to a freshman team member who reflects positive contribution to the team’s philosophy and whose individual character encourages the future direction and excellence of Yale Field Hockey.”

Bibb was responsible for organizing the Warrior-Scholar program at Yale. That program is part of Operation Opportunity, a charitable organization started by former Yale football player Jesse Reising ’11.

This past year nine military service members participated in the Warrior-Scholar program, which utilizes classes and workshops at Yale to help service members prepare for the transition from the military to college. Participants in the program, which lasted a week, ranged from a young Marine Corps corporal who had completed four years of military service to a Navy SEAL with nearly 30 years of service. The group’s activities also included a pick-up game of flag football with members of the Yale football team.

In addition to developing and implementing the curriculum and interviewing applicants for the Warrior-Scholar program, Bibb served as an academic tutor and mentor. He helped these veterans learn college-level writing skills and study habits. Thanks in part to his work, dozens of veterans will make a more seamless transition back into the civilian world.

Bibb was an Academic All-Ivy League selection and earned the Norman S. Hall Memorial Trophy for service to Yale football. A political science major, he is a member of Davenport College and a graduate of Alamo Heights.

Saturday’s ceremony also included a welcome from Tom Beckett, Yale's Director of Athletics, who praised the members of the senior class for their contributions as student-athletes and as members of the community. There were also reflections from two members of the graduating class: Elizabeth Epstein (Chicago, Ill.) of the Ivy League champion women’s tennis team and Andrew Miller (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) of the NCAA champion men’s ice hockey team. The Bulldogs also recognized those seniors that had participated in Yale’s Kiphuth Leadership Academy, a program that is designed to foster leadership skills in Yale’s student-athletes.

A crowd of several hundred was on hand for the event, including senior student-athletes and their families along with coaches and athletic department administrators.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity