Central Connecticut's Katherine Bossardet was named as the recipient of the Northeast Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee Student Athlete of the Year award. A distance runner who competed in both cross country and track and field, Bossardet became the second CCSU student-athlete to earn the honor, which recognizes individual excellence in both the academic and athletic realms as well as contributions to one's community. This is the second major NEC honor for Bossardet, who was tabbed the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women's track and field last month.
"Katherine personifies the goals of the NEC and its member institutions in terms of the role athletics plays in the overall mission of the university," said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. "Not only did she challenge herself to excel in the classroom and on the field, she sought ways to improve the campus and local communities through multiple service activities. Congratulations to Katherine on this award. She is an outstanding representative of the over 4,800 student-athletes in the Northeast Conference. "
For her work in the classroom, Bossardet was one of just four CCSU students to earn the President's Citation Award, which is based on academic achievement and contributions to the community. A member of the University Honor's Program and Dean's List student each semester of her attendance, she graduated in May with a degree in English and near-perfect 3.95 grade point average. Bossardet was honored at the CCSU senior awards dinner with the Coca-Cola Award, bestowed upon the student-athlete with the highest GPA.
Bossardet won the 3,000 meter steeplechase in a meet record time of 11:00.10 at the NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championships in May, beating the field by more than 14 seconds in a dominating performance. The All-New England honoree finished her career with three top-four finishes at the annual event. One of Bossardet's most notable attributes was her versatility; she competed in six different events as a senior, posting team-best times in the steeplechase, 3000 meters and 5,000 meters. She leaves CCSU as the school record holder in the steeplechase.
Bossardet also finished fourth in the 5,000 meters at the 2011 NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships and earned All-Conference honors last fall at the NEC Cross Country Championships for the third straight year with a 13th place finish.
"Katherine's always been a terrific leader in competition, during practice and of course in community service in the CCSU community," said Eric Blake, CCSU cross county and track & field coach. "This is a great honor not just for her but also our track and field program."
Bossardet's commitment to her community was evident by her participation in a number of initiatives throughout her time at CCSU. She took part in the Toiletry Drive for Shelters and Operation Christmas Child in each of her four years. Bossardet also volunteered for the Connecticut Special Olympics, Care Packages for Soldiers, the Letters to Soldiers Project, the Nike Recycling Campaign, at the New Britain Museum of Art and as organizer of the Rich Royster Memorial Scholarship Flag Football Tournament.
On campus, she displayed her aptitude as a leader both on and off the track. The team captain of the cross country and track and field teams in 2010-11, Bossardet also served as the face of CCSU athletics when she was elected President of the SAAC as a senior. Further, the Gales Ferry, CT native spent time as an editor and writer for the school's student newspaper, The Recorder.
"We are very proud of Katherine," said Paul Schlickmann, CCSU Director of Athletics. "Her coaches, fellow student-athletes and our administrative staff are fully aware that Katherine represents all the best values that we espouse as Blue Devils. She has proven herself as a leader in all of her endeavors as a CCSU student-athlete. It is special that her peers in the NEC have recognized her qualities and contributions."
Weighing one's leadership ability, athletic prowess, academic achievement, and community service, the NEC SAAC members select the annual recipient of the award. The NEC began honoring a SAAC Student Athlete of the Year in 2003 when CCSU's Sabrina Mariani claimed the inaugural honor. Mariani was a standout in the classroom, the community and on the field for the Blue Devil women's soccer team.
Northeast Conference SAAC Student-Athlete of the Year Award Winners
2010-11 Katherine Bossardet CCSU
2009-10 Kundayi Mawema Bryant
2008-09 Alexandra Tomlinson Wagner
2007-08 Tiffany Hahn Monmouth
2006-07 Erika Jacobs Saint Francis (PA)
2005-06 Joy Gallagher Wagner
2004-05 Beth Swink Saint Francis (PA)
2003-04 Naomi Campano Mount St. Mary's
2002-03 Sabrina Mariani CCSU