Dec. 15, 2011
TOWSON, Md. – University of New Mexico senior Kelly Williamson was selected to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Volleyball First Team today. Williamson is the first-ever repeat recipient in program history, as she was named to the academic All-America third team last year. She is also the first Lobo volleyball athlete ever to be selected to the academic All-America first team.
“It's a great honor,” Williamson said. “I would never have achieved it without the support of my team, coaches, professors, parents and the incredible academic support staff at UNM. I would like to give special thanks to Katie Scanlon, my academic advisor, who kept me on track to graduate and was someone I could always turn to for great advice. I would also like to thank my parents who instilled good work ethic and passion into me from a young age. Thanks go out to my professors, who have challenged me to go beyond the classroom to discover my love for science and the environment and to my team and coaches who have made my experience at UNM so unforgettable.”
The award is a true testament to what hard work and dedication in the classroom can bring. Williamson is the epitome of what a student athlete should strive to be. Her relentless diligence finally paid off in the form of an academic All-America first team selection. The award should come as now surprise when looking at Williamson’s track record.
First and foremost, Williamson was named a Rhodes Scholar Candidate in 2010. She has made UNM’s Dean’s List all three years she has attended UNM. She is one of the UNM Student Athlete Advisory Committee Representatives. And she is involved in student government as a senator in ASUNM.
Williamson is a Conservation Biology major with a 4.00 G.P.A. and is a three-time member of the All-MW Academic team. Last June, Williamson competed in the USA Challenge Invitational Tournament for the Bring it Promotions (BIP)/USA Development Team. BIP, in conjunction with USA Volleyball, sent two teams of top-level collegiate players to compete in the event in Beijing, China. She was also named the Lobo Club Student-Athlete of The Year for community service contributions as well as academic excellence.
The 6-2 outside hitter also earned her stripes on the court this season, as she was a first team All-Mountain West selection. The Buenos Aires, Argentina, native led the Lobos to a 14-15 record and was second on the team with 3.64 kills per set, while averaging 1.51 digs per set.
To paint an even brighter picture of Williamson’s academic achievements you would have to start by mentioning the fact she was named a Rhodes Scholar candidate in 2010. She has made UNM’s Dean’s List all three years she has attended UNM. She is one of the UNM Student Athlete Advisory Committee Representatives and is also involved in student government as a Senator in ASUNM.
Williamson’s societal contributions don’t just start and stop with academic accolades and on court success. Staying true to her conservation biologist background, the activist in her came out while at UNM. During her time as a Lobo, Williamson organized annual "Green Games” during her playing career. The aim of the events was to ensure that everyone gained an understanding of how sustainability can be incorporated into their daily lives.
Head coach Jeff Nelson summed everything up by adding, “"Kelly is our first two-time academic All-American, she works really hard at everything she does and is exceptional in the classroom. She really leads our team in terms of classroom and community service and I think she's really deserving of the award. I don't know anyone in that group that's worked harder and that has been more involved on campus and in everything else. I'm really excited for her and it's exciting to have her win it two years in a row."