2010 Student Award Recipients Announced, Lauded for Achievements

April 12, 2010

Each year, Penn State honors several undergraduate and graduate students for the highest levels of academic excellence, outstanding leadership, and meritorious service. The 2010 Student Award recipients—27 outstanding students—reach across campuses and colleges and exemplify best practices and achievements among Penn State students reflecting the University's mission of teaching, research, and service. This year, three students in the College of Health and Human Development—Ashley Griffith, Bridgette Franek, and Lamis Jomaa—received these awards.

Griffith honored with McCoy Award

The McCoy Award is presented annually to one senior male and one senior female student-athlete who have combined successful athletic participation with academic excellence. The award is named for the longtime dean of Penn State's College of Physical Education, who also served as the University's athletic director.

An outfielder and co-captain for the softball team, Griffith was named second-team All-Big Ten and the Nittany Lions' Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. She started in all 46 games her junior year and finished the season with a team-high .311 batting average. She also has been a star in the classroom, earning the 2009 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Award and twice earning Academic All-Big Ten laurels. Griffith is studying Kinesiology (Movement Science option).

Franek receives Walker Award

The Eric A. Walker Award is presented annually to the student who has contributed most to enhancing the reputation of the University through extracurricular activities. Walker was president of Penn State from 1956 to 1970.

A kinesiology/movement science major with a 3.4 GPA, Franek is a seven-time NCAA All-American in cross country/track and field and was named Big Ten Athlete of the Year while leading her team to the Big Ten Cross Country Championship last year. During her 10 seasons as a Nittany Lion, she qualified for 10 NCAA competitions. In 2009, she represented the United States at the IAAF World Championships World Championships.

Franek is a graduate of Crestwood High School in Mantua, Ohio. While at Penn State, her volunteer activities have included mentoring high school athletes at the University's track and field camp and serving as her team's representative on the Student Athlete Advisory Board. She earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors each season of her career and was voted team captain in both cross country and track and field during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons.

Jomaa recognized with Graduate Student Service Award

Lamis Jomaa, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Nutritional Sciences, has been honored with the 2009 Graduate Student Service Award. Established in 1991, the award recognizes a graduate student or students who best combine high academic achievement with leadership in University or other public activities.

A full-time graduate research assistant, Jomaa maintains a 3.97 grade-point average while serving in numerous volunteer roles. She co-founded Penn State's Lebanese Student Association, which she serves as president. She also has volunteered with the Office of International Student Services and with Global Connections on activities such as a children's festival, spring festival, Middle Eastern coffee hour, international student orientation week, and Martin Luther King service day.

Within the College of Health and Human Development, Jomaa has served as the graduate student representative on the Graduate Student Council. She also is graduate student representative on the Student Insurance Advisory Board and on the diversity committee of the Department of Nutritional Sciences, and is treasurer of the Nutrition Graduate Student Association. Beyond Penn State, Jomaa is an active student member of the Society of Nutrition Education, including serving on the advisory committee advocating for childhood food assistance programs in federal legislation.

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at 814-865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.