July 9, 2008
DAVIS, Calif. -
Five UC Davis student-athletes were selected as 2008 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars by the publication Diverse: Issues In Higher Education. Alphabetically, the list of Aggie honorees comprise swimmer Toki Burke, golfer Lauren Dobashi, water polo player Lindsay Kiyama, rower May Roberts and volleyball player Avreeta Singh.
To be honored for the award, student-athletes must self-identify as a student of color, hold a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher, have completed in one academic year of course work prior to nomination, have competed in an intercollegiate team during the current academic year, and demonstrate a record of service to the campus and/or community.
Burke, a senior international relations and Japanese double-major from Rohnert Park, Calif., competed in butterfly and distance freestyle events at the Big West Conference Championships in February, winning a pair of bonus finals. He also serves as an officer for UC Davis' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Dobashi, a junior design major from Gold River, Calif., competed in four tournaments in 2007-08, posting a top-10 finish at the Lady Braveheart Classic in February. The Aggies won a three-team playoff to advance to the NCAA Championship, where they finished 21st overall.
Kiyama, a junior biochemistry and molecular biology major from Concord, Calif., earned All-America honorable mention after helping UC Davis to a No. 5 final national rank and historic fourth-place finish at the National Collegiate Championship in May. Also the winner of the university's W. P. Lindley Award as the outstanding scholar-athlete of the year, Kiyama led her team in assists and steals while ranking among the Aggie leaders with 38 goals. Additionally, she served as her team's representative to SAAC.
Roberts, a senior biological sciences major (marine biology) from Goleta, Calif., has been a member of the first varsity eight for three straight years. This year, she earned first-team All-Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association honors, helping the Aggies pick up three dual wins as well as victories in the grand finals at the Dad Vail Regatta and San Diego Crew Classic. Roberts served as her team's SAAC representative.
Singh, a sophomore exercise biology major from Fresno, Calif., garnered honorable mention on the All-Big West Conference team. In addition to setting school-record defensive numbers on the court, she also was named as UC Davis' Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the Big West Conference and was selected the represent the university at the 2007 NCAA Leadership Conference. Singh was volleyball's representative to SAAC and will serve as an officer in 2008-09.
Illinois tennis player Momei Qu and Hampton football standout Marcus Dixon were selected as the Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars of the Year. Clemson's Cliff Hammonds (basketball), Ohio State's Brian Robiskie (football), George Washington's Sarah-Jo Lawrence (basketball) and Maryland's Jessica Young (soccer) were finalists for the award.
Student-athletes in 18 men's sports and 18 women's sports earned Sports Scholar awards. Kiyama was the only women's water polo honoree nationwide. A few sports had first, second and sometimes third-team selections for the award. Dobashi and Singh were both second-team honorees in their respective sports.
UC Davis completed its first official year of NCAA Division I membership in 2007-08.