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Pac-12 student-athletes

Pac-12 honors two student-athletes with leadership awards

Dec 6, 2016

Award recognizes leadership and service on Student-Athlete Advisory Committees at Pac-12 institutions
Clare Wise of Colorado and Patrick Woepse of UCLA honored with 2016 award

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 named COLORADO graduate Clare Wise and UCLA senior Patrick Woepse as this year’s recipients of the Pac-12 Leadership Award, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today. The pair was selected via a vote by the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and will each receive a $3,000 postgraduate scholarship.

The Pac-12 Leadership Award honors student-athletes who distinguish themselves as standout leaders on their campuses, in their athletic departments, on their teams, and at the Conference level in the areas of student-athlete welfare and student-athlete voice. As members of the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT), Wise and Woepse demonstrated a steadfast commitment to helping fellow student-athletes and giving back to their communities. 

“Clare and Patrick are incredible examples of the tremendous leadership we see in our Pac-12 student-athletes,” said Commissioner Scott. “Beyond their national championships and high-achievement in the classroom, both have driven real reform on behalf of student-athletes and engaged on important issues nationally for their peers.”

Wise, a native of Wenatchee, Wash., graduated from Colorado in May of 2016 with a 3.87 cumulative GPA in Chemical and Biological Engineering. A member of the Buffalo alpine ski team and two-time national champion, she was a member of Colorado’s SAAC for three years and its president in 2015-16. Wise chaired the inaugural Pac-12 SALT meetings in October 2015 where she took on a historic role in advancing the student-athlete voice in the Pac-12. Those meetings marked the first time the Conference officially recognized the student-athlete voice in its governance structure, and Wise led the way in making important recommendations to the conference’s athletics directors, senior woman administrators, and faculty athletics representatives. 

In Boulder, Wise led her peers as a member of the Veteran Leaders Section, the Student-Athlete Engineers Organization, and the Society of Women Engineers. Wise’s academic honors include being named the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department’s Distinguished Senior, a member of the CU Athletics 4.0 Club, a Presidential Scholarship recipient, and a member of the NCAA All-Academic Ski Team. Wise is finishing her prerequisites for medical school and plans to enroll next fall.

A native of Tustin, Calif., Woepse is a four-time letter winner in water polo for the Bruins and is a two-time national champion. He served on the Bruin Athletic Council for five years, including as its president during the 2015-16 school year. Woepse will graduate later this month and currently holds a 3.41 cumulative GPA in Geography / Environmental Studies. Like Wise, Woepse was a member of the inaugural Pac-12 SALT group that was so pivotal in making the student-athlete voice heard at the highest level.

Co-captain of his water polo team, Woepse’s leadership has extended beyond the pool. He was named a recipient of the Bruin Leadership Award in May 2016 and serves his community through programs like Team Prime Time, Dribble for the Cure, and UCLA’s student-athlete mentorship program. Woepse was also twice named to UCLA’s All-Academic Team – which honors student-athletes from each team who boast a team-high GPA – and to the Mount Pacific Sports Federation’s All-Academic team. After graduation this month, Woepse plans to go to business school. 

The Pac-12 Leadership Award is voted on by members of the Pac-12 SAAC and is a $3,000 postgraduate scholarship designed to recognize leadership and service on student-athlete advisory committees at Pac-12 member institutions. Applicants were required to be in their final year of intercollegiate athletics eligibility during the 2015-16 academic year and/or on track to graduate in the 2016-17 academic year when nominated