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Teresa Craig named as one of six OVC Scholar-Athletes

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech's Teresa Craig, a senior on the Golden Eagle volleyball team, has been chosen as one of six individuals in the Ohio Valley Conference to receive its prestigious Scholar-Athlete Award for 2008-09.

The award is the highest individual honor that can be earned by OVC student-athletes, and is given annually to three men and three women student-athletes of junior or senior status for their accomplishments in both the classroom and athletic arena, and because of their leadership qualities.

A four-year starter for the Golden Eagle volleyball team under coach John Blair, Craig is a right-side hitter from Muncie, Ind., and is majoring in political science. Last month, she was named first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America.

A team captain, Craig helped her team win the 2008 OVC Regular Season and Tournament Championships and advance to the NCAA Tournament last season. This year, she has played a key role in the Golden Eagles reaching the OVC Tournament. Having played in over 430 career sets, Craig is nearing the TTU top five list in that category. In 2009 she has established career-highs in both kills and hitting percentage.

In the classroom Craig has a perfect 4.00 GPA and is on track to graduate in the spring and plans to go to law school. After being a second-team selection last year, Craig was also a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team selection by CoSIDA this season and will appear on the national ballot later this month for consideration for the honor of Academic All-America.

She has been a three-time OVC Medal of Honor and Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection in addition to being named to the Tennessee Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in each of her six semesters in school. She is the President of the Pi Sigma Alpha honor society, a member of the Pre-Law Society, Mortar Board and the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. Each of the past two years she has helped organize the “Take Back the Night” event on the TTU campus; the event helped raise awareness about violence against women and children. Craig is a native of Muncie, Ind.

The six winners were selected from a group of 19 finalists by a vote of OVC Faculty Athletics Representatives. Honorees must have performed athletically with distinction, earned at least a 3.25 grade point average and conducted themselves in a manner which has brought credit to the student-athlete, his or her institution, intercollegiate athletics and the OVC. The award is based on academic and athletic criteria/accomplishments achieved during the 2008-09 school year.

Craig becomes the 25th student-athlete from Tennessee Tech to win the honor since it was established in 1981-82 and the sixth from the Golden Eagle volleyball team.

Previous Tech men to win the award are Derek Lee (1986), Kevin Kalen (1987), Jim Cornelius (1988), Clark Richey (1988), Stephen Arnette (1990), Wes Gallagher (1999), Shane Sewell (2000), Kevin Boucher (2001), Stephen Gordon (2002), Thomas Nelson (2007) and Braadley Thompson (2008).

Previous Tech women to capture the honor are Jerilynn Harper (1982), Jan Schuler (1986), Angie Duncan (1984), Cecilia Ramsey (1991), Julie Jones (1992), Merrie Robin Caldwell (1995), Dena Adams (1996), Rachel Melchiorre (1998), Meredith Ferlic (1999), Diane Seng (2000), Stephanie Ward (2003), Anne Morrow (2005) and Beth Boden (2008).

In addition to Craig, the other five 2008-09 Ohio Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete winners are: Josh Cain of Jacksonville State University (football), Jamie Furstenberg of the University of Tennessee at Martin (soccer), Jessica Goshert of Eastern Kentucky University (soccer), Derek Hardman of Eastern Kentucky University (football) and Leonardo Locatelli of Austin Peay State University (tennis).

Information on the other five winners:

Josh Cain – Josh Cain is in his final season with the Jacksonville State football team. In over 43 career games he has over 130 career tackles including the second-most on the JSU team this season. This year he has started every game at strong safety and had a season-high 14 tackles in a road victory over Austin Peay. This season he was also named a national semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy which is presented by the National Football Foundation and is also known as the “Academic Heisman.” Cain was a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team selection by CoSIDA and will appear on the national ballot later this month for consideration for the honor of Academic All-America. Cain was one of just 22 (and one of only three from the Football Championship Subdivision) selected to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team in September; the award was given to honor players who embodied the true spirit of teamwork and giving back through acts of kindness and community service. Cain is active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) as a team huddle leader, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program, a counselor for the Kanakuk Sports Kamps and he spent last summer with a medical missionary team in Tanzania, Africa. In the classroom Cain has already earned his undergraduate degree in computer science (May 2009), graduating Magna Cum Laude with honors, compiling a 3.89 grade point average. He is currently working on his master’s degree in the same field. Cain has been named to the President’s List, Dean’s List and the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. He has also been awarded the Ohio Valley Conference Academic Medal of Honor, while being a representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society and the Upsilon Pi Epsilon Honor Society. Cain is a native of Wetumpka, Ala.

Jamie Furstenberg – Jamie Furstenberg is a four-year member of the UT Martin soccer team, including serving as the team captain in 2009. The midfielder played in only two games in 2009 before injury cut her season short. For her career she has 58 career starts, seven goals and five assists and ranks in the top 10 in school history in each of those categories. Her freshman season she played defender for a team that ranked among the nation’s best in defense and was named the squad’s Most Valuable Defender. A year ago she was named to the OVC All-Tournament team. In the classroom she has a 3.97 GPA in psychology. She has been a three-time OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection and a two-time recipient of the OVC Medal of Honor. In 2008 when was named an All-American Scholar by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). She has also been a member of the UTM Honor’s Program and the Dean’s List. Furstenberg is a member of the Gamma Beta Phi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, the Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and President of the Psi Chi National Honor Society. She also has participated in numerous volunteer activities including Operation Christmas Child, Recycle Day and Touchdowns for Telethon. Furstenberg is a native of Traverse City, Mich.

Jessica Goshert – Jessica Goshert just completed her fourth year of soccer at Eastern Kentucky University and was the Colonels team captain for two years. A starter for most of her career she logged the second most minutes on the team in 2008, helping the EKU defense record an OVC-best and program-record eight shutouts. As a sophomore in 2007 she was honored as a second-team All-OVC selection at defender. Her efforts helped Eastern Kentucky to its first OVC Tournament appearance in 2008, after the team finished second in the regular season. In the classroom Goshert has compiled a 3.99 GPA in biology (pre-med) with a minor in Spanish. She has been a selection to the Dean’s List and a Colonel Scholar every semester of her college career and a member of the President’s List five times. She has also been named to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll as well as received the OVC Medal of Honor. Goshert is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society as well as a member of EKU’s Honors Program. She has been a regular volunteer at the Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center in Richmond as well as the St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. She has also volunteered with the EKU Canned Food Drives and Charity Kick-off that collected shoes for the Soles4Souls organization. Goshert is a native of Indianapolis, Ind.

Derek Hardman – Derek Hardman is in his fourth season as a starter on the Eastern Kentucky offensive line. After redshirting in 2005 he has started every game since. The last two years he has been a part of OVC Championship teams that have been among the league’s best in rushing offense as well as protecting the quarterback from sacks. The left tackle also serves as EKU’s team captain. Hardman was named to the OVC All-Newcomer Team in 2006, the All-OVC first-team in 2008 and was a Preseason All-American selection heading into the 2009 season. This season he was named a national semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy which is presented by the National Football Foundation and is also known as the “Academic Heisman.” Hardman was also a first-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team selection by CoSIDA and will appear on the national ballot later this month for consideration for the honor of Academic All-America. Hardman completed a degree in business administration in Dec. 2008, finishing with a 3.53 GPA and graduating Cum Laude. He is now working on his MBA and has a 4.00 GPA in graduate school. Hardman has been a member of the Dean’s List, a selection to the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and OVC Medal of Honor recipient. He is a member of the Chi Alpha Sigma Student-Athlete Honor Society and the International Honor Society for Beta Gamma Sigma. Hardman has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, the Roane County 4-H and the Shriner’s Hospital among other activities and was a Homecoming King nominee this past year. Hardman is a native of Spencer, W.Va.

Leonardo Locatelli – Leonardo Locatelli is in his fourth season with the Austin Peay men’s tennis squad. A varsity captain, he has played in the top three singles spots his first three years with the program. That includes a 9-8 record as a No. 1 seed in singles and a 9-7 mark in No. 1 doubles in 2008-09. In 2006-07 Locatelli was named the program’s Most Improved Player and has been Team MVP each of the last two seasons. He was an All-OVC second-team choice in 2008-09. In the classroom he has maintained a perfect 4.00 GPA in business administration (with a concentration in economics and international management). Locatelli has earned OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and Medal of Honors selections in each of the past three years. He has been named to the APSU’s President’s List for six straight semesters and was Austin Peay’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2008-09 (all programs). Locatelli was a second-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District choice a year ago and was the recipient of the Governor’s Club Academic Achievement Scholarship in 2008-09. He has been an active member of APSU’s International Program that helps promote diversity at the University. He has served as a Peer Mentor for Freshman Orientation, is a member of the Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society and has been awarded the Global Learning Scholarship to study abroad in Spain. Locatelli is a native of Pelotas, Brazil.

Other nominees for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Taylor Askew of Tennessee Tech University (football); Dustin Davis of Southeast Missouri State University (cross country/track and field); Alexandra Gjevre of Morehead State University (softball); Kelsey Johnikin of Jacksonville State University (basketball); Juli Koenegstein of Southeast Missouri State University (cross country/track and field); Drew Lee of Morehead State University (baseball); Mallory Luckett of Murray State University (basketball); Lauren Moon of Austin Peay State University (soccer); Erin O’Grady of Eastern Illinois University (cross country/track and field); LaDonna Pierce of Tennessee State University (basketball); Jeff Rutherford of Eastern Illinois University (tennis); Kyle Tiernan of Murray State University (baseball); Charles Sparkman of Tennessee State University (football).