Four Huskie student-athletes named recipients of 2012 1A FAR Academic Excellence awards

Jenner Sio
Jenner Sio

Four Northern Illinois student-athletes were named 2012 1A FAR Academic Excellence award recipients.

NIU volleyball player Kristin Hoffman, punter Ryan Neir of the Huskie football team, women’s golfer Kelsie Passolt and track and field’s Jenner Sio were among 55 awardees from Mid-American Conference schools on the list.

Student-athletes who carry a 3.8 GPA, have competed at an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision institution for at least two years and graduated between Sept. 1 and Aug. 31 during the academic year.

“These four recipients truly embody the student-athlete,” said NIU faculty athletics representative Matt Streb. “They all were extremely successful both in the classroom and in competition. We are proud that they are Huskies.”

Hoffman, an AVCA All-American and a CoSIDA Academic All-American as a senior for NIU’s MAC Champion volleyball team, ended her volleyball and undergraduate career with a 3.975 GPA and a degree in history. She was also the recipient of the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, the MAC’s Bob James Award and was one of nine Division I finalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Neir, the starting punter for the Huskies’ football team, graduated with a finance degree in May 2012. The Roscoe, Ill., native finished his undergraduate career with a 3.926 GPA and earned the Scholar-Athlete Award for having the highest GPA on the team.  He is completing his football career in 2012 while pursuing his MBA.

Passolt graduated in May with a journalism degree after completing a four-year career on the NIU women’s golf team. She earned a 3.919 GPA in undergraduate study, while also garnering Academic All-MAC and National Golf Coaches Association recognition. Passolt is currently working as a multimedia journalist for WREX-TV in Rockford, Ill.

Sio, a former record-setting triple jumper for the Huskies’ track & field team, graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA while majoring in management. The Rockford, Ill., native earned Academic All-MAC honors for both indoor and outdoor competition, along with taking CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition.

For more information on Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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