Grand Rapids, Mich. -- The Joseph Baker and Sr. Helen Louise Brogger Awards are given annually to an Aquinas College male and female senior student athlete who meets the three requirements established by the alumni board. These requirements are academic strength, service to others and athletic involvement and success. This year's recipients are exemplary in meeting these requirements.
JOSHEPH BAKER AWARD
Nick Thelen - Nick was a graduate of Grand Ledge High School and a four year letter winner for the Saints cross country and track & field teams. A four-time NAIA All-American on the track, Thelen has been a key ingredient in making the middle distance program for Aquinas a national power. Nick is a part of two school record relays and has accumulated five top five all-time performances. Nick was just as successful in the classroom where he earned a 3.95 G.P.A. while majoring in Math and minoring in History. Thelen also was a four-time NAIA Academic All-American and Aquinas College representative for the Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award. Nick also was active in the Insignis Honors Program, Math Club, Phi Alpha Theta, History Society, Pi Mu Epsilon Math Society, and myTeam Triumph. Nick is the son of Brian and Mary Beth Thelen.
SR. HELEN LOUISE BROGGER AWARD
Emily Sandula - Emily was a graduate of Saginaw Nouvel High School and was a five year member of the Saints cross country and track and field teams. During her senior season, Sandula was instrumental in leading the Saints to the 2011 WHAC Cross Country Championship and was named an All-WHAC performer. Emily will also be representing Aquinas College at the NAIA Track & Field Nationals this May in the Marathon. Sandula also garnered Academic All-American accolades in both Cross Country and Track a total of five times. Emily sported a 3.9 G.P.A. while majoring in Learning Disabilities for K-12 Education and minoring in English. Sandula also was involved in the Student Athlete Advisory Board, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development Education Club and the United Way Schools of Hope Tutoring program. Emily also found time to work in the College's Admissions Department as a Student Ambassador and completed her student teaching at Crossroads Middle School. Emily is the daughter of Doug and Mary Sandula.
Ashley Hendrick - Ashley was a graduate of Northview High School and was a four year member for the Saints tennis program. During her time at Aquinas, she has been an inspiration and motivator for her coaches and teammates. Hendrick was named the team's champion of character during her senior season and led the Saints to a 13-9 record. While at Aquinas, Ashley majored in Sociology and maintained a 3.7 G.P.A. Hendrick was also involved in the Student Athlete Advisory Board, Bible Study, and AQ Light. Hendrick also coordinated a tennis fundraiser to support cancer research. Ashley also worked as a tennis instructor and was involved with "neverthesame", a Christ-centered & hope focused non-profit organization that is focused on unleashing a generation of young people to bring about a spiritual awakening in America. Ashley is the daughter of Jerry and Beth Hendrick.
Monica Rischiotto - Monica was a graduate of Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon and was a four year member of the Saints soccer team. During her senior season at Aquinas, the soccer team was crowned regular season WHAC champions and ended their season with a 16-4 record. Rischiotto was named All-Conference during her teams title run and was also named an NAIA Academic All-American. While at Aquinas Monica was a dual major in English and Community Leadership and earned a 3.6 G.P.A. Rischiotto's face appeared all over campus as she was involved in the Student Senate, 125th Anniversary Committee and the Arete Bike Retreat Leader. Monica also worked in the Aquinas Admissions Department as a Student Ambassador, as a Resident Assistant and as editor of the The Saint. Monica also held an internship at the Blanford Nature Center. Monica is the daughter of John and Jean Rischiotto.