Carrie LaPonza is a midfielder on the women's soccer team at Cal State Monterey Bay (CSUMB) and is also the President of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. She is a hard working student when she is not practicing her sport on the field.
According to LaPonza, "I am majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Computer Science, which are two hard fields to study and be a student-athlete. I work hard every day to stay on top of my studies so that I can excel in the classroom."
A notable accomplishment on the field includes scoring a goal off a header in last years game against Western Washington, who was ranked among the top ten teams of the nation. Off the field, her accomplishments include getting perfect scores on math midterms and finals.
When she isn't studying or practicing, the scholar-athlete is also a tutor for Academic Skills Achievement Program (ASAP) and the Athletics Department.
None of this was done without sacrifice, focus and determination.
"I know that school work always comes first so if that wasn't done then I would not hang out with friends. I was always doing my work on the bus as we traveled for many of our games this season. Staying disciplined I would say is a huge part of balancing all of the different aspects of my life," said LaPonza.
She was awarded the Outstanding Senior Scholar-Athlete Award at the seventh annual Honors Convocation on April 15 for all of her hard work. She was nominated for the Scholar-Athlete Award by both Vince Otoupal, the Athletic Director at CSUMB and Stephanie Duke, the Associate Athletic Director.
According to Vince Otoupal, "We are very proud of Carrie and what she has done here at CSUMB as a student-athlete. We have confidence that Carrie will leave CSUMB and go off and continue to do great things in the world."
"When I first heard that I was receiving this award I was very surprised and shocked. I was very grateful to receive such an honor and to see that all of my hard work is recognized" said LaPonza. So what does the future hold for the student-athlete? While nothing is set in stone, according to LaPonza herself, she has already been accepted into graduate school and has several job offers from Boeing to be a Systems Engineer.