Christie earns conference student-athlete award
UW-Parkside senior Hope Christie has been named the women's recipient of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award. Christie, who completed her eligibility in both cross country and track & field, is just the second UW-Parkside student-athlete to ever win the conference's top individual honor.
"This is such a great honor and an exciting moment for Hope, for our track program, and for our institution," said UW-Parkside cross country/track and field coach Micah VanDenend. "Hope truly is one of those individuals that live out what it means to be a student-athlete. Hope continues to set the bench mark for the rest of the student-athletes in our program and she will certainly be a tough act to follow."
The honor is awarded annually to one male and one female student from the conference based on academic excellence, athletic ability and achievement, character, and leadership. Christie joins Stefanie Strauss-Thompkins, who was chosen in 2004-2005, as UW-Parkside's only Paragon Award winners.
"What a deserving honor for Hope and a proud day for Ranger Athletics," added UW-Parkside Director of Athletics, Tamie Falk-Day. "Hope embraced the Division II philosophy and definitely made the most of her student-athlete experience."
The award caps off a banner career for Christie, a native of Somers, Wis. The nursing major recorded a 3.845 grade point average as a nursing major with minors in Spanish and sociology. She recently earned UW-Parkside's Female Academic Athlete of the Year award, is a ten-time GLVC All-Academic team honoree, and has been named an Academic All-American on six occasions.
Athletically, Christie will leave UW-Parkside as one of the school's most decorated runners. She earned All-American status earlier this fall in the cross country season; the second All-American honor of her career. She was also a member of the Rangers All-American distance medley team in 2009.
Christie has competed in six national meets and will add a seventh to her total when she heads to Pueblo, Colorado next weekend for the 2012 NCAA Division II Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the 3,000 meter run. It will be the third appearance at nationals for her this year despite battling plantar fasciitis for much of the season.
She has earned spots on nine All-GLVC teams and is a six-time GLVC Runner of the Week. She was the conference's freshman of the year in cross country in 2007 and was named the UW-Parkside Newcomer of the Year as well.
Christie has been highly active on the campus and the community. She is currently involved in the Big Brother/Big Sister of Racine & Kenosha mentoring program for middle school students and is a part of the Student Nurses' Association. She is also involved in the Campus Crusade for Christ, Athletes in Action Bible Study as an Action Group leader. She spent the previous two years as a Sunday School Teacher for preschoolers at Great Lakes Church among other community service initiatives.The conference will present the awards on Tuesday at the league's annual meetings in St. Louis, Mo. Bellarmine's Braydon Hobbs was selected as the men's winner. Christie will be unable to attend as she travels to Pueblo for the outdoor championships.