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Student-athletes achieve highest aggregate GPA in school history

Sixty athletes finished the recently completed fall semester with grade point averages (GPA) of 4.0 to lead the Jacksonville University student-athlete cohort of more than 400 athletes to a school-record 3.36 average GPA.

 “An average GPA of above a 3.0 for an entire athletics department is significant no matter where you are. When you are able to achieve a 3.36 GPA in a department of more than 400 student-athletes, it is nothing short of extraordinary,” says Alex Ricker-Gilbert, Senior Vice President and Athletic Director. “A huge congratulations to our student-athletes, our coaches, and our staff in student-athletes services for their important, impressive work.”

Eighteen of 19 Dolphins teams and 76 percent (325) of student-athletes finished the semester with a GPA of 3.0 or greater. Seven teams and 48 percent (208) of athletes achieved GPA of 3.5 or better. The Cheer and Dance and Men’s Golf programs achieved their highest-ever GPA and seven other programs achieved their second-best historical averages.

Ricker-Gilbert says last semester’s success continues a trend for the department. Athletes achieved their previous high GPA during the spring 2018 semester. Dolphin student-athletes now regularly best their previous all-time high semester GPA because the University has invested to help make classroom success a reality, he says.

“It starts with prioritizing what is important to us. It starts with taking a focused-approach. We are an educational institution first and we are in the business of developing young people and creating college graduates,” Ricker-Gilbert says. “This will always be our top priority. We start there as a guiding principle and then we work to recruit highly talented prospective student-athletes who care about the classroom.

“Similarly, we recruit talented coaches and staff who care about the academic experience and achievement of student-athletes. We strive to provide the necessary academic support services to our student-athletes and I am proud to say that our Student-Athlete Services area started as a staff of one in fall 2014 and has grown to a team of seven professionals who strive each and every day to assist our students in achieving their academic goals and pursuits.”

That student-athlete centered model is yielding extreme success in the classroom.

“Student-athlete centered means that all of our strategic decisions will be made with our student-athletes at the center of our thought process. We have been intentional about prioritizing the areas that most directly impact the student experience,” Ricker-Gilbert says. “We’ve made significant enhancements in academic support, strength and conditioning, sports performance, athletic training, and nutrition. The formula is simple, the better we make the experience for our student-athletes, the more likely we are to have success.”

The 429 athletes are enrolled in 48 majors. There are 169 in the College of Arts & Sciences, 138 in the Davis College of Business, 84 in the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences, and 19 in the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts. Nineteen student-athletes are still deciding on majors.

Twenty-one of the 429 athletes are enrolled in graduate programs. They achieved a 3.63 GPA as a group.

The 60 student athletes who achieved 4.0 GPA last semester include:

Cambria Arturo Micah Harden Hayleigh Palotti
Adam Baker Addyson Hawkes Kacie Patterson
Jacquelyn Baldwin Gabrielle Heard Lauren Polimeno
Shaylee Befus Jacqueline Hodskins Megan Prescott
Arkesh Bhatia Noel Christoffer Bertil Holm Alexander Salvador
Cassidy Burdge George Hunter Maia Hanna Samuelsson
Jordan Caprino Ireland Johnson Destiny Scott
Madeline Cloyd Hallie Kern Emily Seiter
Elizabeth Cornelius Jennifer Kinsey Gabriel Simoneau
Elizabeth Crosby Kate Krawczyk Ryan Springer
Ashley Darakjian Zoe Macrae Mya Stolarski
Alec Drosos Sherri McLamb Elina Stroemberg
Julia Duff Sade Meeks Madison Sturgell
Peter Dugan Katharina Mitchell Casey Sullivan
Maya Fisher Sharn Muffett Mia Suplee
Abrielle Genest Parker Murphy Alexander Turnock
Michele Giunti Emily Myslinski Marlena Warren
Theodore Gotthelf Whitley Naylor Natalie Wehner
Kayla Hancock Lauren Negrete Barbara Wohlgemuth
Joel Harden Olivia O’Leary Kathryn Wristen