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Honoring The Best Of 2020-21

May 15, 2021

Cal's Athletic Study Center handed out a broad set of awards and scholarships during Saturday's virtual Cal Student-Athlete Graduation Celebration. Golden Bears were recognized for their work in their sports, in the classroom and in the broader Cal community.
The event featured comments from Chancellor Carol Christ and Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton, as well as a student-athlete address from softball's Cameron Kondo and a head coach's perspective on the year from Walter Chun, the Alex and Marie Shipman Director of Men's Golf.
Women's basketball received top team honors for having the highest grade-point average among Cal's 30 intercollegiate programs with a 3.61 GPA. The team also received the Big C Most Improved Award for having the highest percentage GPA increase over its historical average.
Among individuals, Darren Baker from baseball and Deshae Wise from women's track & field were the recipients of the Tom Hansen Conference Medal, which is awarded to one outstanding senior male and female student-athlete at each Pac-12 school.
Please see the list before for the full list of honors presented Saturday.
Tom Hansen Conference Medal:
The Thomas C. Hansen Conference Medal is presented to one outstanding senior male and one outstanding senior female student-athlete at each Pac-12 institution.

  • Darren Baker (Baseball)
  • Deshae Wise (Women's Track & Field)

Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Awards:
The Neufeld Scholar-Athlete Awards are given to the graduating male and female student-athletes with the highest cumulative grade-point averages. Cal Hall of Famer William Neufeld Sr. established the award in honor and memory of his son, William Jr., who ran track at Cal before his untimely death in a boating accident.

  • Male – Ben Harper (Men's Track & Field)
  • Female – Archer Olson (Women's Basketball)

Jake Gimbel Prize and Anna Espenschade Award:
The Jake Gimbel Prize and Anna Espenschade Award were established in the 1930s and 1987, respectively, to recognize a graduating male and female student-athlete for successful integration of academic and athletic pursuits. The winners of these awards exemplify the true "Golden Bear" spirit.

  • Male – Ben Harper (Men's Track & Field)
  • Female – Cameron Kondo (Softball)

Oscar Geballe Postgraduate Scholarship:
The Oscar Geballe Award was created through the generosity of Dr. Theodore Geballe to honor his father, Oscar Geballe. It recognizes Oscar Geballe's devotion to Cal and his strong belief in the value of combining scholarship and intercollegiate athletic competition. The award comes with a $10,000 stipend for postgraduate studies.

  • Roshan Toopal (Men's Gymnastics)
  • Jack Robertson (Men's Rowing)

Pac 12 Postgraduate Scholarship:
The Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship was created to honor outstanding scholar-athletes intending to pursue graduate studies. It includes a $9,000 stipend.

  • George Finlayson (Men's Rowing)
  • Jamie Stankiewicz (Field Hockey)

Joseph McDonnell Kavanagh Award:
This award, in its eighth year, recognizes the student-athlete who has made exceptional improvement in his or her academic and intellectual pursuits at Cal. The University's motto - Fiat Lux, "Let there be light" - is appropriate for this most academically inspirational athlete award.

  • Milan Clausi (Women's Gymnastics)

Walter A. Haas Jr. Community Service Award:
The Walter A. Haas Jr. Community Service Award was created to honor Walter A. Haas Jr. for his commitment and service to the University and larger community. This award is given annually to a student-athlete(s) for his or her outstanding contribution to community service.

  • Cailyn Crocker & Sierra Richey (Women's Basketball)
  • Elijah Hicks (Football)
  • Catherine Roxas (Lacrosse)

Athletic Study Center Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
The ASC Scholar-Athlete of the Week program honors a student-athlete for academic development and achievements developed through practice, study habits, course performance and leadership.

  • Cassidy Ball (Women's Water Polo)

Jonathan and Judy Hoff Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year:
The Jonathan and Judy Hoff Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year award recognizes a football student-athlete who has dedicated himself to a holistic approach toward academic, athletic and personal development by demonstrating consistent daily routines, persistent community outreach and collaborative leadership ability.

  • DeCarlos Brooks (Football)

Highest Team GPA:

  • Women's basketball (3.61)

Big C Most Improved GPA:

  • Women's basketball

Golden Bear Awards
The Golden Bear Achievement Awards are presented to the student-athlete with the highest GPA on his or her respective team.

Sport Student-Athlete Major
Baseball Reuben Drogin  Mathematics
Men's Basketball Logan Alters Business Administration
Women's Basketball Archer Olson Business Administration & Economics
Beach Volleyball Kate Bierly Media Studies
Men's Cross Country Ben Harper Music & Political Science
Women's Cross Country Elizabeth Ordeman Genetics & Plant Biology
Field Hockey Cato Knipping Economics & Cognitive Science
Football Sami Nazzal American Studies
Men's Golf Aaron Chen Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Women's Golf Tzu-Yi Chang Environmental Economics & Policy
Men's Gymnastics Aidan Giusti Legal Studies
Women's Gymnastics Nina Schank Business Administration & Molecular & Cell Biology
Lacrosse Amanda Morse Media Studies
Men's Rowing Jack Robertson Anthropology
Women's Rowing Madison Necochea History
Rugby Henry Poon Business Administration
Men's Soccer Matthew Westly Business Administration
Women's Soccer Natalie Hueston Business Administration
Softball Nicole Hammoude Landscape Architecture
Men's Swimming & Diving Preston Niayesh Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Women's Swimming & Diving Ayla Spitz Political Economy
Men's Tennis Can Kaya Business Administration & Economics
Women's Tennis Anna Bright Business Administration & Data Science
Men's Track & Field Mason Mangum Intended Computer Science
Women's Track & Field Tierni Kaufman Chemistry & Bioengineering
Volleyball Jessica Houghton Data Science & Cognitive Science
Men's Water Polo Nikalaos Papanikolaou Economics & Data Science
Women's Water Polo Sydney Hammill Business Administration