FAIRFAX, Va. – Olivet College student-athletes Kayla Blett, Griffin Hammond, Kea Kunz, Yul Snell and Samantha Torres, were recently recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a 2019 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar for their dedication to academics and athletics.
To be considered for the award, minority student-athletes must have a 3.20 or higher cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale, be at least a sophomore, been an active member of an intercollegiate athletic team during the 2018-19 academic year, and demonstrate service to the campus or community.
"It is quite an honor for these students to be recognized by this national publication," said Olivet College Provost and Dean Maria Davis, Ph.D. "I am so proud each of them for all the good they are accomplishing on and off the field."
A graphic design major, Blett is a third-selection softball player. She has participated in community service projects during the college's semi-annual Service Day. Blett was named to the Dean's List twice and was a 2017-18 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Academic Honor Roll recipient. On the softball field, she earned her first varsity letter in 2018. In the final month of her sophomore season, Blett has played in 55 career games at Olivet and has a .310 batting average.
A business administration major, Hammond is a third-team selection on the soccer team. He has participated in Walk for Warmth which raises money for those who struggle with heat bills, volunteered at Grace Episcopal Church during the town's festival to sell egg rolls, assisted with transporting homeless people back to shelters after they spent the night at the church, served as a volunteer youth soccer coach and mentored fellow classmates who struggle with classes and behavioral issues. Hammond was also named to the Dean's List twice and the 2017-18 MIAA Academic Honor Roll. On the soccer field, he has earned two varsity letters and has played in 14 contests.
A biology major, Kunz is a first-team selection on the swimming & diving team. She has been a participant in the college's semi-annual Service Day and volunteers on campus to take care of the science department's teaching animals. In addition in her home state of Hawaii, Kunz has done multiple beach clean-ups, volunteered at local nursing homes to do window cleaning and trash pick-up and made blankets for residents at Kahuku Hospital. In the pool, her specialty is the breaststroke events. Kunz holds the 10th-fastest in school history in the 100 breaststroke. She is also in the midst of her second season on the women's lacrosse team.
A criminal justice major, Snell is a second-team selection on the football team. He has spent more than 20 hours each of the past two years reading to students at Fern Persons Elementary School, participated in the college's semi-annual Service Day and volunteered at Capuchin Soup Kitchen in Detroit and Alicia Helping Hands. Snell was named the criminal justice department's Outstanding Freshman in 2018, and earned Dean's List honors twice. He has been a part of the football team for the last two seasons.
A criminal justice major, Torres is a third-team pick on the soccer team. She has participated in the college's semi-annual Service Day. She was named to the 2017-18 MIAA Academic Honor Roll and the college's Dean's List twice. Over the last two years on the soccer field, Torres has played in 29 games, with 16 starts, has 10 points on three goals and four assists. She is also a letterwinner on the track & field team.