CIS academic top 8; Ellis, Clerc, Canada West recipients


October 21, 2013, Edmonton (ISN) – On Monday, Canadian Interuniversity Sport announced student-athletes selected as Top Eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2012-13 season, including the top male and female from the Canada West Universities Athletic Association.

Canada West recipients are Kinesiology students Jaki Ellis, a volleyball player from Alberta, and Paul Clerc, a soccer player from UBC.

The elite group will be honoured at Rideau Hall in Ottawa later this fall.

Every year, a growing number of CIS student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians, having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one – or more – of their university’s varsity teams.

In 2012-2013, a record 2,695 students achieved the prestigious status, eclipsing the previous mark of 2,617 set a year ago.

Five CIS universities had 100 Academic All-Canadians or more last year, including Alberta (117). Calgary (99), Queen’s (98) and Manitoba (91) both ranked among the top 10 nationally.

Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four CIS regional associations are selected annually to make up the Top Eight.

The ’12-13 recipients from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) are UNB swimmer Monica MacDonald and Acadia hockey player Travis Gibbons, both kinesiology students.

Representing the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) are a pair of medicine students, Montreal soccer player Émilie Chamard and McGill football player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.

The winners from Ontario University Athletics (OUA) are Toronto track & field star Alicia Brown, who specializes in visual culture and communications, as well as Steven Takahashi, a wrestler and kinesiology major at Western.

“Our student-athletes continue to amaze us with their ability to achieve excellence on and off the playing field,” said CIS chief executive officer, Pierre Lafontaine. “The record number of Academic All-Canadians once again this year speaks volume about the quality of our students, but also our coaches, support staff and our universities. To be selected among 11,000 of their peers is an accomplishment members of the Top Eight should be extremely proud of.”

Canada West Universities Athletic Association

  • Name: Jaki Ellis
  • Hometown: Mississauga, Ont.
  • School: University of Alberta
  • Faculty: Physical Education & Recreation
  • Program: Kinesiology
  • Sport: Volleyball
  • Eligibility in 2012-13: 5th year

Jaki Ellis wrapped up her exceptional volleyball career with the Alberta Pandas in 2012-13. In five seasons with the team, the talented setter earned three selections as an all-Canadian and as many nods as a CIS championship all-star, while leading the Pandas to three Canada West medals, one conference title and a pair of appearances in the CIS final. The native of Mississauga, Ont., who represented Canada at the 2011 Universiade in China, was named the U of A’s most outstanding female athlete each of the past two years.

A three-time CIS Academic All-Canadian, Ellis earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with Distinction last June after maintaining a 3.5 grade point average over five years. She was awarded the Dr. Maury Van Vliet Athletic/Academic Scholarship on three occasions and, in 2012-13, was the Canada West nominee for the Thérèse Quigley award, presented to the CIS women’s volleyball athlete who best combines athletics, academics and community service.

As a member of the U of A Athletics Board, she planned and participated in volunteer opportunities at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, with Bear Hugs Program, Bike for AIDS, Hockey Puck Toss to benefit KidSport, Super Sub Day for United Way, the USchool Program, Tobacco Free Kids program, Read in Week, and Christmas Food Drive for the Edmonton Youth Emergency Shelter.

“Jaki left an indelible mark on the Pandas volleyball program. Her tremendous work ethic and passion for volleyball enabled her to reach the highest levels within our sport,” says Alberta head coach Laurie Eisler. “She carried these same characteristics to her studies which are evidenced by both her grade point average and her engagement in the learning process. She is a tremendous role model who will excel in any field to which she sets her sights.”

  • Name: Paul Clerc
  • Hometown: Coquitlam, B.C.
  • School: University of British Columbia
  • Faculty: Kinesiology
  • Program: Kinesiology & Health Science
  • Sports: Soccer
  • Eligibility in 2012-13: 3rd year

Paul Clerc was a first-team Canada West all-star in 2012, his third campaign with UBC’s men’s soccer squad. Since he joined the team, the defender from Coquitlam, B.C., has been instrumental in the Thunderbirds success, helping them capture a pair of Canada West banners, a CIS silver medal, as well as their record 12th national title a year ago. Last summer, he was selected to represent Canada at the Universiade in Kazan, Russia.

A three-time CIS Academic All-Canadian in kinesiology, Clerc maintained an 84.5 per cent average in 2012-13.

On campus and in the community, he has been a lifeguard and swimming instructor at the UBC Aquatic Centre for the past three years. In 2013, he also held a volunteer position with the Healthy Heart Program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, and was a personal trainer at the UBC Bodyworks Fitness Center.

“We’re thrilled for Paul. It’s quite an honour and achievement to be recognized as a top student-athlete out of a very strong conference,” says UBC head coach Mike Mosher. “Since Paul’s come to our program, he’s just gotten better and better on the field. His academic performance has been extremely consistent and strong. He’s got a terrific future ahead of him.”

All-time Canada West recipients: 

Canada West Online Publication: 

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, 11,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 55 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit