Stanford's Smit, Cornman named Pac-12 men's and women's rowing scholar-athletes of the year
GOLD RIVER, Calif. – STANFORD’s Kaess Smit has been named the Pac-12 Men’s Rowing Scholar-Athlete of the Year and fellow Cardinal Naomi Cornman has been tabbed the Pac-12 Women’s Rowing Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Conference office announced today. The award was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are exemplary both academically and in their sports discipline. This is the second year in a row in which both the Men’s and Women’s Rowing Scholar Athletes have been Stanford student-athletes.
Smit, a St. Louis, Mo. native, is a two-time member of the All-Pac-12 team and the current captain of the Cardinal. He has been part of Stanford’s varsity eight for the last three years, earning both bronze and silver medals at Pac-12 Championships. Smit also earned a bronze medal with the Team USA eight at the 2014 U-23 World Championships in Varese, Italy and with the USA four at the 2013 U-23 World Championships in Linz, Austria. Interestingly, he is even part of a genome study at Stanford that focuses solely on those deemed “super athletes”.
A two-time Pac-12 All-Academic performer and two-time IRA All-Academic Team selection, Smit has been just as stellar in the classroom. The mechanical engineering major has earned a 3.628 grade-point average at Stanford. Smit has also managed to make time for several impressive internships including working at Corning where he did impact testing on glass, working on the app development team at Comcast Silicon Valley, and interning at the 2012 London Olympics as a news researcher. If all that is not enough, Smit has also worked with Amazon to test the glass used in Kindle Fires and built a drift trike from scratch in one of his engineering classes.
Cornman came to Stanford from Tiburon, Calif. and is currently the team leader for the sixth-ranked Cardinal; she has been the coxswain of the varsity eight for the last two seasons. They’ve won five of their seven races this spring, including wins over No. 2 Washington and No. 3 Virginia. Cornman was part of the Cardinal’s 2014 Pac-12 Championship and helped the team place fourth at NCAAs in 2014. She was also part of a team that defeated Cal for the first time since 2009 and ended Ohio State’s 19-race winning streak in 2014.
Cornman is double-majoring in French and International Relations with a special focus on French literature and international security and history. She holds a 3.688 grade point average and is a two-time Pac-12 All-Academic selection as well as a two-time CRCA Scholar Athlete. Impressively, Cornman was awarded the prestigious 2015 Stanford Award of Excellence, given to Stanford students (not just student-athletes) who demonstrate a sincere commitment to the university through involvement, leadership and extraordinary Stanford spirit. Cornman’s academic interests are many and varied: she is running a study on immaterial presence in the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford, she’s done research on Oculus Rift goggles, she’s been published by Stanford Journalism’s multimedia hub, she serves as a French peer advisor, and she is on the leadership team for the Green Living Council which promotes sustainability. Next year, Cornman plans to get her masters in Communications and Media Studies.
In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility) on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum of one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletic accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in the voting for the award.
A Scholar-Athlete of the Year will be named in each of the Pac-12’s 22 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling.
The Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Awards were established during the 2007-08 academic year.
Also nominated (Men): Jack Kornfed, CAL; Aidan Daly-Jensen, OSU; Edward Nainby-Luxmoore, WASH; John Gehring, WSU.
Also nominated (Women): Vanessa Gerber, CAL; Katie Low, OSU; Chloe Kojima, UCLA; Elizabeth Turner, USC; Hannah Lukanuski, WASH; Sarah Wu, WSU.