McCulloch named ECAC Division III Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Mary Elizabeth McCulloch (Wingate, Pa./Bald Eagle), of Penn State Altoona women's swimming, has been named the 2013 Robbins/ECAC Division III Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

McCulloch will be recognized at the 2013 ECAC Honors Dinner on Sept. 29 during the 25th annual ECAC Convention and Trade Show in North Falmouth, Mass. 

The ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award honors the outstanding academic and athletic achievements of student-athletes representing ECAC schools in Division I, II, and III. One male and one female athlete from each division are selected based on extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics, and community service. The candidate must have earned a cumulative minimum overall GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale and must have reached sophomore athletics and academic status. The candidate must be a starter or significant reserve in a particular sport and must compete in a least 50 percent of the contests in that sport. Other factors, such as community service, exemplary citizenship, or other extracurricular activities, are taken into consideration.

"When considering the ECAC, which contains over 300 schools spanning from North Carolina to Maine, I realize the profound honor it is to be recognized as the Division III Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year,” McCulloch stated. “Throughout my life as a swimmer, my coaches instilled in me the importance of practicing excellence and self-discipline. These two qualities have had a great impact in every area of my life – not only in my swimming career, but also my bioengineering studies, my musicianship, my humanitarian efforts, and specifically my work abroad for Ecuadorian special needs children. I am truly honored to represent Penn State Altoona with this award."

McCulloch is a junior at Penn State Altoona, carrying a 3.93 cumulative grade point average as a bioengineering major. In 2013, she was named the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Women’s Swimmer of the Year. She was the conference champion in the 50-meter freestyle, the 100-meter breaststroke, and the 200-meter breaststroke, and she was named First Team All-AMCC in three separate events. The Lady Lions’ team captain also set the Penn State Altoona school record in the 50-meter breaststroke.

Outside of the pool, McCulloch has done extensive work in the community on an institutional, regional, and international level. She currently aids in the research of an assistive speech device for individuals with nonverbal Cerebral Palsy. She has traveled to Ecuador to work with orphaned special needs children, and completed extensive volunteer work with impoverished communities in the Dominican Republic. On campus, she is a piano player and singer for the Penn State Altoona Christian Student Fellowship and Students About Living Truth. McCulloch also serves on the Suicide Prevention/Depression committee and is a math and physics tutor.

“Mary Elizabeth exemplifies the ideals of a student-athlete, devoting herself to success in athletics and in the classroom while striving to make a difference in the community,” said Fredina M. Ingold, director of athletics at Penn State Altoona. “Her achievements as a swimmer are matched only by her accomplishments as a student and her dedication to serving others. I am so very proud of her.”

Last Updated September 06, 2013