Academic Services for Student-Athletes (ASSA) hosted a celebration for UCF student-athletes in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day (NSAD), which was attended by UCF faculty and staff. NSAD was created by Richard Lapchick, director for the DeVos Sports Business Management Program at UCF, as a way to celebrate the academic and community service accomplishments of student-athletes throughout America.

ASSA saluted the 221 student-athletes who maintained a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher at the end of the Fall term. Each was named on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. ASSA also recognized the 28 student-athletes who earned C-USA Academic medals for maintaining a 3.75 cumulative GPA or higher.

Two head coaches, George O’Leary (football) and Caryl Smith-Gilbert (women’s track and field), along with two student-athletes spoke at the event. Katie Detlefsen, who is a women’s golfer and in her third year at UCF, earned her undergraduate degree in Advertising and Public Relations with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Detlefsen is also maintaining a 4.0 GPA as a Mass Communications graduate student. She is an active member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has been extremely active in the Orlando community. Timothy “TJ” Harndan, a recipient of the Order of Pegasus, was the other student speaker. Harnden, a leader of last year’s football team graduated early and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Sports and Fitness. He, along with other UCF student-athletes, participated in over 55 community service projects this year, including raising $60,000 for the Central Florida Children’s Home.

“I am inspired by the community involvement and academic achievements of our student-athletes,” says Mark Gumble, director for ASSA. “Emblematic of The UCF Creed, these students have embraced excellence as a way of life.”

The Office of ASSA is in the Division of Student Development and Enrollment Services.