Bemidji State boasts league-leading 22 WCHA Scholar-Athletes

Bemidji State boasts league-leading 22 WCHA Scholar-Athletes
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Bemidji State boasts league-leading 22 WCHA Scholar-Athletes

EDINA, Minn. -- The Western Collegiate Hockey Association, through Bowling Green State University President Mary Ellen Mazey (Chair, Men’s League), Minnesota State University, Mankato Faculty Athletics Representative Jeffrey Pribyl (Chair, Women’s League) and Commissioner Bill Robertson, today announced that a record 123 conference-member student-athletes make up the 11th annual group of WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award recipients for 2015-16.
Bemidji State's men's (9) and women's (13) teams were among thier respective league's leaders and combined for a WCHA-best 20 student-athletes honored on the list.
“On behalf of the entire Western Collegiate Hockey Association family, we extend our sincere congratulations to all of our men’s and women’s WCHA Scholar-Athletes for 2015-16,” said Dr. Mazey, Dr. Pribyl and Robertson in a joint statement. “The individuals who compete in our conference are truly exceptional, while embodying the very best of the student-athlete ideal. The record number of Scholar-Athlete Award recipients this year demonstrates the ongoing and successful commitment of our member institutions to the WCHA mission of providing the very best experience, both on and off the ice.”
“We are thrilled to publicly recognize the wonderful academic accomplishments of these outstanding young men and women. Our Scholar-Athlete Award honorees compete at the highest level of their chosen sport, while also maintaining exemplary academic standards – a testament to their tremendous commitment, effort and dedication in all facets of their collegiate life. These student-athletes are terrific representatives of the WCHA and its member institutions; we commend and applaud each and every one of them.”
The prestigious WCHA Scholar-Athlete Award was developed through Association member faculty representatives and approved by the conference membership beginning with the 2005-06 season.
To earn recognition as a WCHA Scholar-Athlete, conference-member student-athletes must have completed at least one year of residency at their present institution prior to the current academic year and must also have a grade-point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for the previous two semesters or three quarters, or may qualify if his or her overall GPA is at least 3.50 for all terms at his or her present institution.
Over the 11 years of the award, there have now been more than 950 WCHA Scholar-Athlete honorees representing every men's and women's conference-member institution. Fifty-five of this season's 123 recipients are repeat honorees, with 20 of those now being three-time honorees.

BSU players recognized as 2015-16 WCHA Scholar-Athletes are: Nate Arentz (Jr., F, Lakeville, Minn.); Kyle Bauman (So., F, Apopka, Fla.); Michael Bitzer (So., G, Moorhead, Minn.); Mackenzie Bruch (Sr., G, Barrie, Ontario); Carley Esse (Jr., D, Cloquet, Minn.); Reilly Fawcett (So., F, Proctor, Minn.); Brendan Harms*** (Jr., F, Steinbach, Manitoba); Madison Hutchinson** (Jr., D, Manitou, Manitoba); Alexis Joyce (So., D, Lakeville, Minn.); Megan Lushanko** (Sr., F, Chisago City, Minn.); Graeme McCormack** (Sr., D, Thunder Bay, Ontario); Lauren Miller** (Jr., F, Brockville, Ontario); Reid Mimmack*** (Jr., G, Brainerd, Minn.); Hanna Moher*** (Sr., F, Milton, Ontario); Brittni Mowat** (Jr., G, Glenboro, Manitoba); Charlie O’Connor (Jr., F, Elk Grove Village, Ill.); Ruslan Pedan (Jr., D, Moscow, Russia); Emma Terres (So., F, New Hope, Minn.);  Summer Thibodeau (So., F, Maple Grove, Minn.); Kaitlyn Tougas (Sr., F, Thunder Bay, Ontario); Jesse Wilkins (So., G, Calgary, Alberta); Whitney Wivoda**** (Sr., F, Fairbanks, Alaska).
(** indicates two-time recipient, *** indicates three-time recipient, **** indicates four-time recipient)

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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).

(Portions of the release courtesy of