UAlbany Earns Four 2015-16 SUNY Chancellor’s Scholar-Athlete Awards

SUNY CHANCELLOR’S SCHOLAR-ATHLETE AWARD WINNERS

ALBANY, N.Y. – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher announced today 78 recipients of the 2015-16 Scholar-Athlete Award, which recognizes outstanding academic excellence and athletic achievement. The University at Albany’s Kelly Costello, Krista Fitzpatrick, Peter Hooley, and Alba Sala received four of the 15 Division I awards.

"Recipients of this award are honored for high achievement in and out of the classroom, accomplishment marked by hard work, dedication, and discipline,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to each of this year’s SUNY scholar athletes, and thank you to the many faculty, coaches, and staff across SUNY who mentor and support them."

Kelly Costello, a senior from Windsor, N.Y., earned the softball award. Costello has accrued a 3.55 cumulative GPA as an actuarial & mathematical science major with a minor in economics and sociology. An America East All-Academic selection, Costello has earned America East All-Conference honors every season, including a first-team nod in 2015. A four-year starter at second base, Costello owns a .308 batting average with 40 hits and 22 runs batted in so far this season. Costello also leads the team and ranks third in the conference with 40 runs scored.

Krista Fitzpatrick, a senior from Levittown, N.Y., garnered the women’s soccer honor. Fitzpatrick boasts a 3.97 cumulative GPA as double major in criminal justice and sociology. She was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Third Team and was a First-Team Academic All-District selection. A member of the America East All-Academic Team, Fitzpatrick helped UAlbany women’s soccer to its first ever America East Tournament title in 2015. Fitzpatrick was also UAlbany’s 2016 Presidential Scholar-Athlete Award winner, given annually to the top student-athlete based on grade-point average.

Peter Hooley, a graduate student from Adelaide, Australia, took home the men’s basketball accolade. Hooley finished his undergraduate degree with a 3.56 GPA with a dual degree in journalism and psychology and is currently working on a Master’s of Communication with a 3.60 GPA through the first semester. Hooley is a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team and America East All-Academic selection, as well as a two-time America East Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Award winner. Hooley concluded his career in March with 1,519 points, 336 assists, 410 made free throws and a career free throw percentage of 80.2%. A two-time America East Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Hooley made three NCAA Tournament appearances as a Great Dane. A true student-athlete on and off the court, Hooley was a two-time NABC Honors Court member, earned the 2015 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, the 2016 President’s Athlete Leadership Award at UAlbany, and the athletic department’s 2016 ECAC Merit Medal.

Alba Sala, a junior from Barcelona, Spain, earned the women’s tennis award. Boasting a 3.92 GPA as a mathematics major with minors in physics and art, Sala helped the Great Danes to a 14-7 record in 2016, the program’s first ever America East Conference title and first appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament. Sala is three-time America East All-Conference selection, including this spring in which she owned a 20-8 singles record and 22-9 doubles mark.

“Congratulations to Kelly, Krista, Peter, and Alba on this prestigious honor,” said UAlbany Director of Athletics Mark Benson. “They are all exemplary student-athletes, achieving a high-level of success in their sports and in the classroom, and exhibit the core values of the University.”

In order to be considered for this award, student-athletes were nominated by their campus athletic director. Nominees’ academic credentials and athletic accomplishments were then reviewed by a panel of athletic directors from across the SUNY system and members of the provost’s office.

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