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A+ Athletes

Photo: From top left, Deborah Frantz, Cassandra Rickette, Matthew Makowski, Kelly McLaughlin, Melissa Casale, and Jonathan Freimark

Clockwise from top left: Deborah Frantz, Cassandra Ricketts, Matthew Makowski, Jonathan Freimark, Melissa Casale, and Kelly McLaughlin

There’s a reason the word “student” precedes “athlete” at American University. A whopping 85 AU student-athletes were named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll for the fall of 2008. Twenty earned at least a 3.75 GPA, and six posted perfect 4.0s. To be eligible for the honor, a student-athlete must have earned both a 3.20 GPA and varsity letter in the fall semester.

“We are very pleased at the academic success of our student-athletes,” Athletic Director Keith Gill said. “Eighty-five students on the Patriot League Honor Roll and all teams with a fall cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0 just demonstrates how hard our students and coaches work to achieve excellence in the classroom.”

American magazine asked AU’s perfect six a few questions about their achievements in the classroom and on the playing field.

Deborah Frantz
sophomore, volleyball
Major: Marine Science
Favorite class: Oceanography
Toughest class last semester: The Global Marketplace
Career goal: Marine Biologist
Why did you choose AU?: “The good balance between athletics and academics.”
Athletic highlight: “Winning the Patriot League and continuing the [winning] legacy.”

Cassandra Ricketts
sophomore, volleyball
Major: Biochemistry
Favorite class: Organic Chemistry
Toughest class last semester: Physics
Career goal: Pediatrician or Orthopedic Surgeon
Why did you choose AU?: “I fell in love with the volleyball program and the people involved with it. It was a good fit for me because it is a good academic school and has a good volleyball program.”
Athletic highlight: “Winning the Patriot League championship for the eighth year in a row. It was my second championship, and it was an amazing experience.”

Matthew Makowski
freshman, soccer
Major: Undecided
Favorite class: Biology Lab
Toughest class last semester: Honors English
Career goal: Medicine
Why did you choose AU?: “AU is a good academic school with a good soccer program, and most importantly, they were interested in me.”
Athletic highlight this season: “The Bucknell game. It was a competitive game, and the environment was great. Our goal in overtime to win was a spectacular ending.”

Kelly McLaughlin
junior, soccer
Major: International Business
Toughest class last semester: Production Operations Management
Career goal: Undecided
Why did you choose AU?: “Great location, and the great girls on the team.”
Athletic highlight: “My sophomore year when we went undefeated in the Patriot League and made it to the conference tournament.”

Melissa Casale
freshman, field hockey
Major: Undecided
Favorite class: Anthropology
Toughest class last semester: Critical Approach to Cinema
Career goal: Undecided
Why did you choose AU?: “I came for the great opportunities provided by the field hockey program, excellent academics, and city life. It’s a win-win environment for me.”
Athletic highlight this season: “Winning the Patriot League championship—I’d never won a championship before. Also, scoring my first collegiate goal during the Patriot League Tournament.”

Jonathan Freimark
sophomore, soccer
Major: International Studies
Favorite class: Politics of Education
Toughest class last semester: Cross-Cultural Communications
Career goal: Undecided
Why did you choose AU?: “The International Studies Program.”
Athletic highlight this season: “Routing Georgetown, 4-1.”