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RCC Volleyball Star Named a SUNY Scholar-Athlete

RCC Volleyball Star Named a SUNY Scholar-Athlete

Shannon Thomas

DATE: May 4, 2017

Shannon Thomas chosen for prestigious award


RAMAPO – Shannon Thomas truly made her mark in her first year at Rockland Community College. The North Rockland High School graduate found success both on the volleyball court and in the classroom, and as a result Thomas is now part of a very prestigious club.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced Thomas as one of only 77 recipients statewide of the 2016-17 SUNY Scholar-Athlete Award, recognizing outstanding academic excellence and athletic success.

Thomas posted a 3.8 GPA while leading RCC’s volleyball team to a solid season last fall. The team reached the finals of the Mid-Hudson Conference and qualified for the Region XV tournament. Thomas was named the conference’s Most Valuable Player and an All-Region first team selection, and ranked high in the nation in several statistical categories. She also earned Academic All-Region honors.

“I was successful because I used all the free time I had towards my academics,” Thomas said. “I learned from a young age to put school first and I did not let sports distract me from my education.”

Thomas will return to RCC in the fall, with plans to later transfer to a four-year college and ultimately to attend medical school. “I hope to be a doctor one day, which has been a dream from a very young age,” she said.

“In addition to being one of the most talented volleyball players to come through RCC, Shannon is an extremely bright and coachable athlete,” said RCC head volleyball coach Erik Ellingsen. “She has a genuine interest in being the best she can be in the classroom and on the court, and she makes all those around her better as well.”

In order to be considered for this award, student athletes were nominated by their campus athletic director. Nominees’ academic credentials and athletic accomplishments were then reviewed by a panel of athletic directors from across the SUNY system and members of the SUNY provost’s office.

"It takes a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work to achieve such a high level of academic and athletic success,” Chancellor Zimpher said.