NESCAC Announces NCAA Woman of the Year Nominees

NESCAC Announces NCAA Woman of the Year Nominees

A total of eight women have been nominated by their respective institutions to represent the NESCAC as its NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. A committee of conference administrators will select the NESCAC’s representative for the award. The nominees represent six institutions and have outstanding athletic, academic, and community achievements. 

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. The award has been given annually since 1991. The 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on October 16 in Indianapolis, Indiana. More information on the award and a list of previous winners can be found here.

Marilyn Allen, Tufts University

Marilyn Allen (Plainsboro, N.J.) received her degree from Tufts University this spring in chemical and biological engineering. She spent time as an undergraduate researcher in the Tufts Chemical Engineering Department working on a probiotic to treat a metabolic disorder, and was named a Tufts University Chemical Engineering Departmental Scholar. Allen was a recipient of the 2016 Tufts Alumni Association Senior Award, which emphasizes academic excellence, service, loyalty, leadership, and commitment, and the Frederick Melvin Ellis Prize, which is awarded to an individual that demonstrates marked athletic versatility, a modest manner, successful academic achievement, and the potential for effective leadership of youth. She also received the Africana Center Leadership Award after spending two years as a peer advisor. During her first year at Tufts, Allen was one of three "Story of Stuff" essay contest winners with an essay entitled "The Natural Chemicals". She was also named to the Dean's List.

On the track, Allen was a two-time NESCAC and ECAC Champion in the 100-meter hurdles. She was also a two-time member of the conference champion 4x100-meter relay. As a junior, she won the 100-meter hurdles at the Division III New England Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the 60-meter hurdles at the Division III New England Indoor Track & Field Championships. Allen was a three-time NCAA Championship qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles and a two-time NCAA Championship qualifier in the 60-meter hurdles. A captain this past season, she was a member of the 2013 NESCAC Championship squad. Allen was selected as Tufts Women's Track & Field Rookie of the Year in 2013 and Most Valuable Performer in 2015.

On campus, Allen was a three-year member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and served as the President and Membership Chair. She was a summer residential assistant for Tufts Residential Life and Learning in 2015.

Marilyn Allen
Katharine (Katie) Costantini, Williams College

Katharine Costantini (Pelham, N.Y.), a 2016 graduate of Williams College with degree in psychology while minoring in environmental studies, was a four-year member of the Eph women's rowing team. She was named to the Dean's List at Williams each semester of her collegiate career, and was a three-time NESCAC All-Academic and NIRC All-Academic honoree. During the fall semester of her junior year, Costantini conducted independent research on social resilience in response to climate change in an under-resourced region in Queensland, Australia.

On the water, Costantini helped the Ephs place second in the first varsity eight grand final and third as a team at the 2016 NCAA Division III Rowing Championship. This season, Costantini was also part of the boat that finished first at the Head of the Charles Regatta and the NIRC Invitational, which secured the 2016 NESCAC Championship. Earlier in her collegiate career, the two-time First Team All-NESCAC honoree was a member of the first-place boat in the second varsity eight grand final at the 2013 NCAA Division III Rowing Championship.

In the surrounding Williams community, Costantini worked to educate elementary students about the environment. She was an ecology educator with grades K-5 during the Woodchuck Wednesdays after-school program through the Williamstown Rural Land Foundation. Costantini was a teacher's assistant for science labs at the Williamstown Elementary School for grades K-2, developed climate change curriculum for third- and sixth-graders at Williamstown Elementary School, and worked on an USDA-funded environmental planning project to create a farm-to-school program and a rooftop greenhouse. Last summer, she was a summer intern at Sustainable Ballard, a neighborhood environmental non-profit organization in Seattle. Costantini was also a member of Anything But Straight in Athletics (ABS), a group that looked at LGBTQ+ issues for student-athletes. 

Katharine Costantini
Martha Griffin, Trinity College

Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) graduated from Trinity College with a degree in neuroscience. She received Faculty Honors in Fall 2015, and was a member of the Health Fellows program and a CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection in 2016. 

Athletically, Griffin was a two-time NESCAC Player of the Year, a two-time First Team All-American, a two-time NCAA All-Tournament Team selection, a three-time First Team All-Region pick and a member of four NCAA runner-up women's lacrosse teams. Last year, she set single-season program records for goals scored (82) and points (105) en route to being named the Synapse Sports Division III National Midfielder of the Year. Griffin is only the second Bantam to score 200 goals in her career, and ranks first in career draw controls (203) and second in points (278) and assists (77). This year, the Bantam co-captain received the Trinity's Robin L. Sheppard Award and Trinity Club of Hartford Award as the 2016 Senior Female Athlete of the Year.

In the community, Griffin has planned and conducted lacrosse practices for inner-city youth through Inner City Lacrosse and served as a volunteer and coach in a variety of Special Olympics activities. She served as the team lead for the child drafted onto the Bantam roster through Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization chartered to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. This year, Griffin served as a Health Fellow at Connecticut Children's Primary Care Center, assisting with research and interacting with patients. She was also a Resident Assistant at Trinity during her sophomore year.

Martha Griffin
Emily Hyde, Amherst College

Emily Hyde (Vernon, N.Y.), a 2016 graduate of Amherst College, excelled in numerous facets of college life. Having graduated with a degree in psychology, Hyde received the Gordon B. Perry Memorial Award, which recognizes scholarship and citizenship, in 2013.

Athletically, Hyde closed out her career as one of the most decorated swimmers in Amherst history, helping the Purple & White finish sixth at the NCAA Championships all four years. The 23-time All-American and five-time Honorable Mention All-American capped off her illustrious career this season by winning the national title in the 200 breaststroke with a NCAA Division III Championship record time. Earlier in the meet, Hyde won her second national championship in the 200 individual medley after having won the event in 2014. She also excelled in the 100 breaststroke, finishing as the national runner-up in 2015 and 2016. Hyde was named the 2016 NESCAC Swimmer of the Year and NESCAC Four-Year High Point Swimmer. She was a four-time NESCAC champion in the 200 breaststroke and a three-time conference champion in the 100 breaststroke and the 200 individual medley. Hyde, a co-captain this past year, is also the conference record holder in the 200 breaststroke and holds the NESCAC championship meet record in the 200 individual medley. 

In the Amherst community, Hyde was a four-year member of Amherst Dance, and was a co-choreographer this academic year. She played performance piano for four years and served as a swim instructor for three years. 

Emily Hyde
Kim Kahnweiler, Bowdoin College

Kim Kahnweiler (Winnetka, Ill.), a 2016 graduate of Bowdoin College, proved to be well-rounded in academics and athletics and a valuable member of the Bowdoin community. A cum laude graduate with a degree in economics, she was a three-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree, a four-time member of the NFHCA Division III All-Academic Squad and a CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team selection in 2016. Kahnweiler was a quantitative reasoning tutor, teacher's assistant and grader in the economics department for three years. She also served as a liaison between economics students and faculty members for three years. During her junior year, Kahnweiler conducted independent research in Sri Lanka entitled "The Empowerment of Women Through Business Ownership." She also received the President's Award, which is given to a senior for uncommon contributions to Bowdoin. 

In the community, Kahnweiler was a co-leader of the Alcohol Team (A Team), which created programming around the alcohol culture on campus and led meetings between faculty and students to discuss this culture. She was a four-year mentor in the local Big Brother Big Sister program. Kahnweiler was a co-leader of Fostering Female Leadership in Youth (FFLY), a group-based mentoring program at a local middle school, and Winning Together in Athletics, an event where students talked about their experiences with race and athletics. Over the course of her collegiate career, she volunteered at the Midcoast Hunger Prevention Center, Camp Sunshine in Casco, Maine, Safe Passage in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and the annual Women and Girls in Sports Day hosted at Bowdoin. She was also an RA during her sophomore year. Kahnweiler is currently serving as a Class of 2016 Class Agent.

On the field, Kahnweiler was a member of the 2013 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship team and the last two NCAA runner-up squads. The co-captain had a banner senior campaign, as she was the 2015 NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year, a First Team All-American, an All-NCAA Tournament Team selection, and was named the Division III Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for field hockey. Kahnweiler, who was the co-recipient of the 2016 Anne L.E. Dane Award for Outstanding Leadership by a Female Athlete, was a two-time NFHCA First Team All-Region pick (2014, 2015) and a Second Team All-Region selection in 2013.

Kim Kahnweiler
Mai Mitsuyama, Williams College

Mai Mitsuyama (Natick, Mass.) graduated from Williams College on Sunday with a dual degree in psychology and Japanese. Mitsuyama has collected a variety of academic accolades during her collegiate career, having been named the 2015 NSCAA Division III Women's Soccer Scholar Player of the Year, a two-time NSCAA Scholar All-American, a three-time NESCAC All-Academic honoree and a Dean's List selection numerous times.

On the field, Mitsuyama helped guide Williams to the 2015 NCAA Division III Women's Soccer Championship one year after finishing as the NCAA runner-up. The Midfielder of the Year was named a NSCAA First Team All-American as well. Mitsuyama, a captain this season, was named First Team All-NESCAC and First Team All-Region in 2013, 2014 and 2015. She finished her career with 13 points on two goals, both of which came during this year's postseason run, and nine assists. 

At Williams, Mitsuyama served as a Junior Advisor for the Class of 2018, promoting and cultivating an environment that helped first-year students adapt to daily college life while living in a residence hall. She also served as Class Marshall, and was selected to be the Class of 2016 Alumni Fund Head Class Agent.

Mai Mitsuyama
Whitney Paine, Bates College

Whitney Paine (Moultonboro, N.H.) received her Bates degree in "Inequalities in Education," an individually-designed interdisciplinary studies major. Paine was named to the NESCAC All-Academic Team three times, the CSCAA Scholar All-America Team twice, and landed on the Dean's List on several occasions. 

In the pool, Paine was a four-time Honorable Mention All-American swimmer as a member of Bates' 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 400 medley relays. She helped the Bobcats finish 10th in the 200 and 400 medley relays this past season at the NCAA Championships. Paine was the 2015 NESCAC 50 Backstroke Champion, and finished as runner-up in 2014 and 2016. She was also this year's four-year high point scorer on the Bates women's swimming and diving team.

In the Bates community, Paine was an admissions tour guide for two years, a tour guide special events coordinator, and an Admissions Senior Fellow. Her work extended well beyond Bates, as she spent a great deal of time throughout her college career in elementary classrooms serving as a teacher's assistant for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, third grade and fourth grade, as well as a tutor for the 21st Century After School Program. She was a four-year participant of the Big Brother Big Sister program and the Sunshine Society, and was the club president this past year. Paine served as a tutor for Maine Immigrant and Refugee Services this year and interned at Advocates for Children as a junior. She was named the "Most Outstanding International Intern" for Partners with After School Care Projects when she was abroad in Cape Town, South Africa as well.

Whitney Paine
Caroline Ross, Tufts University

Caroline Ross (Sewickley, Pa.) graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a degree in biology. Last summer, Ross interned at the University of Pittsburgh, leading a research project that investigated the cellular phenotype of children with Localized Scleroderma. In 2014, she assisted with a research project in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Tufts Medical School. Ross was the recipient of the Adrian Misic Prize Fund, which is awarded by the Department of Athletics to the individual who demonstrates excellence athletically and academically and is active in work which helps improve the human condition. She was a three-time NESCAC All-Academic selection.

Athletically, Ross was a two-time First Team All-NESCAC and First Team IWLCA All-America selection, the 2013 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Rookie of the Year, a two-time IWLCA First Team All-Region pick and a two-time IWLCA Second Team All-Region honoree. The two-year team captain finished her collegiate career with 231 points on 167 goals and 64 assists.

In the greater Medford area, Ross mentored middle school students through Level the Field and coached middle school girls lacrosse through Metro Lacrosse for two years each. 

Caroline Ross