DENVER – Seattle U volleyball player Kelly Biette, New Mexico State softball player Amber Olive and Louisiana Tech bowler Kayla Ghersini have been nominated for the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The award acknowledges senior female student-athletes’ distinguished achievements in areas of service, leadership, athletics and academics. The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will select the top 10 winners in each NCAA division (I, II and III). From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will select the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics (CWA) will vote from among the top nine to determine the 2013 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Biette, a middle hitter from Brighton, Colo., graduated with a 3.91 cumulative GPA in cell and molecular biology. A four-year letterwinner and team captain as a senior, Biette was 2012 CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District first team selection and was named Academic All-WAC. She received the team’s Rising Star Award in 2009 and was named Most Inspirational in 2011.
Biette was named to the President's List (3.9 GPA or better) eight times and to the Dean's List (3.6 GPA or better) four times. She was involved in three major research programs, submitted four peer-reviewed publications, and presented at three national conferences and at one international conference. Biette has been accepted to and will enroll at Harvard University in the fall in the biomedical and biological sciences doctoral program.
A four-year member of the Seattle U Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), as a senior Biette served as president and was the Seattle U representative to the WAC SAAC. She was also co-president and vice president for student-athlete well-being in 2011-12 and served as secretary of the organization as a sophomore in 2010-11.
A volunteer coach for Sudden Impact Volleyball Club from 2011-13, during her senior year Biette was a weekly volunteer at Holy Rosary Elementary School, responsible for giving short lectures and planning science experiments for two second grade classes. She also was a bi-weekly volunteer at the Rotary Boys and Girls Club, running all girls open gym and training new volunteers.
Biette was selected as an Ignatian Leader at Seattle U, a group that advise the University President on service projects, was a Student Leader Across Campus, a committee of student leaders who represent large student organizations, and was one of two student-athletes selected to serve on the Seattle U Athletic Advisory Board.
Olive, a senior outfielder from Simi Valley, Calif., posted a 3.91 GPA and graduated in May with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and communication studies. She was the New Mexico State Female Scholar Athlete of the Year and was honored with the NM State Psychology Department’s Award for Academic Excellence.
A member of the New Mexico State SAAC as a senior, Olive was the co-chair of Drive H.O.P.E (Helping Other People Eat), where the NM State student-athletes collected more than 2,500 pounds of food for Las Cruces and Dona Ana County. She was also active with Project Hope through the Golden Key International Honor Society.
A three-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Scholar Athlete, Olive was a four-time Academic All-WAC selection. She was also one just of two WAC softball players named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® second team. She also earned the All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year award, which recognizes a student-athlete’s dedication to strength training and conditioning, from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.
On the field, Olive was named first team All-WAC and to the NFCA All-Pacific Region team as a senior, when she led the conference with 79 hits and 41 runs, and ranked second in batting average (.393).
Ghersini graduated in May with a 3.35 GPA in economics. The Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada native, was a four-year member of the bowling team, serving as team captain as a senior. A four-year member of the Louisiana Tech SAAC, she served as secretary in 2012-13.
Ghersini was named to the Dean’s List five times and was a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, the oldest and largest professional business fraternity. She served as chair of the Halloween Bowling Fundraiser and the Bowling with Tech Professors Event. Ghersini also participated in The Big Event, an annual Louisiana Tech community service project, the SAAC Halloween Carnival and the St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital Radiothon.