July 17, 2012
To view the list of college and university nominees, click here.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Mountain West student-athlete and 2011-12 Mountain West Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Kelly Williamson is among the 429 college and university nominees for the 22nd annual NCAA Woman of the Year award, announced today by the governing body.
The award honors senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Nominees represent all three divisions.
In order to be eligible for the award, a female student-athlete must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2012 spring season, graduated no later than the end of the summer 2012 term, and achieved a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5.
Williamson graduated summa cum laude this past May with a degree in conservation biology and a minor in sustainability studies. A four-year letterwinner for the Lobos' volleyball program, she closed out her playing career with first-team all-Mountain West accolades in 2011.
The Buenos Aires, Argentina, native twice earned CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition en route to becoming the Lobos' first two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, garnering first-team honors in 2011 after being named to the third team the previous season. A 2010 Rhodes Scholar candidate and member of the University's Honors Program, she maintained a 3.98 cumulative grade point average, leading to Academic all-MW and MW Scholar-Athlete accolades all four years.
Throughout her four years at New Mexico, Williamson strived to integrate her athletic and academic endeavors. In addition to completing a four-year stint as a member of the UNM Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Williamson served for one year as a student senator, promoting campus legislation and community service projects that focused on environmental concerns. She also used her experience with the UNM volleyball program as the basis for her honors thesis, proposing ways to offset the environmental impact of the team's travel with on-campus renewable energy resources.
Williamson, who was named a 2012 recipient of a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, also took her studies abroad, spending two summers in China and Nepal working with various conservation efforts.
The 6-2 outside hitter was an impact player for UNM, especially in her junior and senior seasons. Williamson finished 2010 third on the team in total kills (296), blocks (57) and points (335.5). In 2011, she was second on the team in total kills (404, 3.64/game) and points (435, 3.92/game), while recording 40 blocks on the season.
As a freshman she played in 27 games, recording 26 kills and six blocks. Her sophomore year she tallied 59 kills and 18 blocks over 49 games.
The pool of nominees will be cut to 30 with each division having 10 representatives. In September, the Woman of the Year selection committee will choose the top three candidates from each division, narrowing the pool to nine finalists. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will then vote to determine the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be recognized, and the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year award winner will be announced at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Oct. 14.