posted June 17, 2009

Nora Kuiper Named DIII's Top Track & Field Scholar-Athlete

Hope's Nora Kuiper is a gold medal winner on both the track and in the classroom.

Last month Kuiper captured the gold medal in the 100-meter dash at the NCAA Division III track and field championships.

Today the Phi Beta Kappa student has been named the College Division Academic All-American of the Year in women's track and field by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Kuiper was chosen for the honor after being named one of 45 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in women's track and field.

The national championship in women's track and field and the Academic All-American of the Year are both firsts for Hope. Kuiper is Hope's 38th CoSIDA Academic All-American.

Earlier this week she was named the winner of the Sheila Wallace-Kovalchik Scholar-Athletic Award as the outstanding female senior in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA).

She earned All-American honors three times during her career. She finished fifth in the 100 meters at the NCAA Division III national meet in 2008, then won the 100 meters in 2009 with a time of 11.84 seconds, the best time in the nation on the season. In the process, she became the first Hope female track athlete in school history to win a national championship. Kuiper also finished second in the 200 meters in 2009.

Kuiper earned All-MIAA honors in track and field all four years at Hope. She was an eight-time MIAA champion, winning the 100-meter dash all four years for the Flying Dutch. She also won the 200 meters in 2008 and 2009, and was part of Hope's winning 4x100-meter relay teams in 2008 and 2009. She set the MIAA record in the 100 meters in 2008 with a time of 12.13 seconds, then broke that mark in 2009 with a time of 12.10 seconds.

Kuiper was named the MIAA's most valuable runner in 2009, and was also named the recipient of the Jack Schouten Award, given to Hope's outstanding senior female student-athlete, in 2009.
 
A chemistry major, Kuiper graduated from Hope in May with a grade point average of 3.93. She received numerous academic honors, including Phi Beta Kappa recognition and being named general chemistry student of the year and recipient of the Kleinheksel Award in Mathematics at Hope. She was named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll four consecutive years, and also was named to the U.S. Track Coaches Association All-Academic Team.
 
Kuiper was a teaching assistant in Hope's chemistry department for three years, served on Hope's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for two years and was a member of Omnicron Delta Kappa, a leadership society. She also gave a presentation at an American Chemistry Society conference on utilizing fluorescent spectroscopy in DNA protein-building.
 
In addition, Kuiper was a group Bible study leader, tutored at-risk elementary students in Hope's Children's After School Achievement (CASA) program, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and participated in a mission trip to Mozambique. She plans to spend a year in Mozambique working on a project to improve water supplies.
 
A graduate of Parchment High School,  Kuiper is the daughter of Scott and Ann Kuiper.

The 15 Academic All-America® College Division first team honorees have an average G.P.A. of 3.92. Five of the first team selections owned a perfect 4.00 G.P.A.

To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

ESPN The Magazine - winner of the 2006 and 2003 National Magazine Award for General Excellence - is a provocative and innovative sports publication. Full of insight, analysis, impact and wit, the oversized biweekly with a circulation of 1.9 million looks ahead to give fans a unique perspective on the world of sports.