The elite group will be honoured in Ottawa on November 8, when His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presents the fourth annual Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation to the eight recipients during a ceremony at Rideau Hall, his official residence.
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.
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 2015-16 recipients from Atlantic University Sport (AUS) are Elenor Henry (Toronto), a soccer player and biochemistry student from Mount Allison University, and Geoff Schemitsch (Thornhill, Ont.), a hockey player and kinesiology student from Acadia University.
Representing the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) are Laval University’s Gabrielle Lapointe (Montmagny, Que.), a soccer player and medical student, as well as McGill University’s François Jarry (Lachine, Que.), a cross country/track and field athlete and physical and health education major.
The winners from Ontario University Athletics (OUA) are Cindy Nelles (Belleville, Ont.), a rugby player and civil engineering student from McMaster University, and Colin Behenna (Waterloo, Ont.), a hockey player and math and business student from the University of Waterloo.
Last but not least, the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) recipients are swimmer Rebecca Terejko (Brantford, Ont.), a kinesiology student, as well as Chad Bush (Ottawa), a soccer player and history major, both from the University of British Columbia.
“The number of Academic All-Canadians speaks volume about the quality of our student-athletes, but also our coaches, support staff and our universities,” said Graham Brown, chief executive officer of CIS. “To be selected among 12,000 of their peers is an achievement these exceptional student-athletes should be extremely proud of. They represent the very best of what university sport is all about.”
Following is a profile of each member of the 2015-16 Top Eight, as well as a list of all-time winners.
Name: Elenor Henry
Hometown: Toronto, Ont.
School: Mount Allison University
Eligibility in 2015-16: 2nd year
Toronto native Elenor Henry has been a solid presence on the back end for Mount Allison since joining the program in 2012. Playing in 39 career games, the defender started 33 contests over the course of her career, including 13 last season, where she was named team captain.
Academically, Henry finished with a perfect 4.3 GPA in her final year and can be found on the Dean’s List from 2012 to 2016. A four-time Academic All-Canadian, she is also the recipient of the Goodridge Scholarship (2012-2016) and the R.A Jodrey Scholarship (2012). In the community, Henry was the executive with Mounties in Motion (2012-2016), as a well as helping athletes find volunteer opportunities in the community at the local hospital and middle school. The executive of Right To Play Mount Allison, Henry also coached with the North York Cosmos Soccer Association in 2014.
“In many ways Ellie was the consummate student athlete; Dedicated to her teammates, committed to the team vision and disciplined and determined for self-improvement,” said Mounties women’s soccer head coach Gene Ouellette. “But as a true student-athlete, Ellie was not at Mount Allison only for soccer. She was a straight-A student in the sciences, involved in various community and extracurricular volunteer endeavors, all of which helped her get accepted into medical school for the current year. Ellie embodies the definition of student-athlete- through her work ethic and determination in both academics and athletics.”
Name: Geoff Schemitsch
Hometown: Thornhill, Ont.
School: Acadia University
Faculty: Professional Studies
Eligibility in 2015-16: 4th year
Raised in Thornhill, Ont., Geoff Schemitsch joined the Axemen for the 2013-2014 season, and made an immediate impact. Named to the All-Rookie team in his first season, the blueliner helped Acadia win the 2014 AUS title before posting a career-best three goals and 22 points – good for fifth in the conference – en route to Second-Team All-Star honours this past season.
Studying Kinesiology, Schemitsch is a three-time Academic All-Canadian (2014-2016) and was named to the Dean’s List from 2013-2016. He has also received numerous academic awards since arriving studying at Acadia, including the Sully Ashfield and Barbara Bill Ashfield Award, the Acadia Sports Therapy Clinic Award, and the Kirton Scholarship. The 24-year-old is also prominent in the community, volunteering at various fundraisers, group activities and team functions with minor hockey players affiliated with Acadia University’s minor hockey program.
“Geoff is arguably one of the most committed, intelligent and hardest working individuals I have coached,” said Acadia men’s hockey head coach Darren Burns. “(He) is now a captain on our team and is doing exactly what I envisioned he would accomplish on our campus, in the local community and on the ice. I marvel at his accountability and responsibility in leading others.”
RÉSEAU DU SPORT ÉTUDIANT DU QUÉBEC (RSEQ)
Name: Gabrielle Lapointe
Hometown: Montmagny, Que.
School: Laval University
Eligibility in 2015-16: 5th year
Born in Levis, Que., Gabrielle Lapointe led the Rouge et Or to a bronze medal at the 2015 CIS Women’s Soccer championship last season, after posting a conference-best 12-0-2 record, and garnering RSEQ first-team all-star honours The veteran fifth-year, who helped Laval to a record 36-game unbeaten streak over three seasons, was also a part of the 2015 Universiade squad that finished fourth in Gwangju, South Korea.
A medical student completing her Ph.D., Lapointe won the Jean-Marie de Konick Award for academics last year at the Rouge et Or Athletic Banquet.
“Gabrielle Lapointe is a player with a lot of character and drive,” said Laval women’s soccer head coach Helder Duarte. “She is an outstanding player, but also an outstanding student. She is the only player I have coached in 22 years who has played 5 years while succeeding in her medical studies. And she did it while being the best on the field and in the classroom. She is a role model for the youth; she demonstrates that with hard work and tenacity, it is possible to succeed.”
Name: François Jarry
Hometown: Lachine, Que.
School: McGill University
Program: Physical & Health Education
Sport: Cross Country/Track & Field
Eligibility in 2015-16: 3rd year
Name: Cindy Nelles
Hometown: Belleville, Ont.
School: McMaster University
Program: Civil Engineering
Eligibility in 2015-16: 4th year
Born in Belleville, Ont., Cindy Nelles had a season for the ages. A CIS first-team all-Canadian, Nelles earned player of the year honours, captaining the Marauders to gold medals at the both the OUA and CIS Rugby Championship, where she was later named championship final most valuable player.
Not only the golden girl on the field, Nelles is also impressive in the classroom. A two-time CIS Academic All-Canadian and three-time Dean’s Honour List from 2014-2016, the 23-year-old engineering student is also the recipient of the Ronald V. Joyce Award for Combining Outstanding Athletic and Academic Performance in 2016 and a three-time Marauder Scholar Award recipient from 2013-2016. Nelles has also been an active member in the McMaster Athletes Care Program, volunteering at community centres within Hamilton. She also serves as head coach for the Westdale High school senior girl’s rugby team throughout their spring season.
“Cindy’s commitment to her academic success, her on-field achievement, and her community leadership in the Hamilton area have ensured that her legacy at McMaster will go far beyond her career as a Marauder,” said McMaster women’s rugby head coach Shaun Allen. “As captain of the OUA and CIS champion McMaster women’s rugby team, Cindy has led her team to every major Canadian intercollegiate championship while also attaining remarkable individual success. She has maintained incredible balance while achieving grades to qualify as a Marauder Scholar.”
Name: Colin Behenna
Hometown: Waterloo, Ont.
School: University of Waterloo
Program: Math & Business
Eligibility in 2015-16: 4th year
Waterloo, Ont., native Colin Behenna was named OUA West MVP last season, and a second-team All-Canadian, after recording 44 points in 27 games – the third most in the county. In four season with the Warriors, Behenna racked up 150 points, ranking him third overall on the Warriors all-time scoring list.
Academically, studying Math and Business, Behenna was named to the President’s Academic Honour Roll, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity.
“Colin had a tremendous impact on the Warrior hockey program,” said Waterloo men’s hockey head coach Brian Borque. “From the first day he stepped on campus he led by example by being a great student, a motivated athlete, an excellent leader, and a great teammate.”
CANADA WEST UNIVERSITIES ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION (CWUAA)
Name: Rebecca Terejko
Hometown: Brantford, Ont.
School: University of British Columbia
Program: Interdisciplinary Studies
Eligibility in 2015-16: 5th year
Born in Brantford, Ont., swimmer Rebecca Terejko captained UBC to another Canada West gold medal last season, marking the seventh straight time UBC has captured the title. Terejko won a total of seven medals at the event – five golds, one silver, and one bronze – before leading the Thunderbirds to a silver medal finish the CIS Championship, where she was named a First Team All-Canadian.
In the classroom, studying Kinesiology, Terejko finished the school year with a 4.17 GPA. She earned the Twenty-8 Award for Academic Achievement, which recognizes the academic achievement by a UBC Thunderbird. In 2015-2016, the 23-year old received the Student-Athlete Community Service Award in Canada West swimming and she also coaches both the UBC Masters Swim Group as well as the triathlon swim group. Terejko also offered to teach free swimming lessons to under-priviledged children from the East end of Vancouver.
“Rebecca always gave back to her team and the greater UBC community first, embodying what it truly meant to live the Thunderbird lifestyle,” said UBC swimming head coach Steve Price. “As team captain in her last season as a ‘Bird, she led her team to success at the Canada West and CIS championships. “I have no doubt that wherever Rebecca’s journey takes her as a post grad she will excel at whatever she chooses to do.”
Name: Chad Bush
Hometown: Ottawa, Ont.
School: University of British Columbia
Eligibility in 2015-16: 1st
Ottawa native Chad Bush could always be found near the top of the CIS goaltending statistics last season. Finishing the 2015-16 season with a 10-0-1 undefeated record, Bush led all Canada West goalies in wins, fewest losses, goals-against average, shutouts, and fewest goals against. The rookie backstopped UBC to a Canada West gold medal and was named a First-Team Team All-Star before posting three consecutive shutouts en route to a bronze at the CIS Championship, leading the tournament in saves (16) and goals-against average.
Academically, Bush finished with a 4.22 GPA on the 4.33 scale, while serving as a prominent figure in the community. The history major spent his free time as an instructor at UBC soccer camps, as a coach with Vancouver United, as well as a research assistant with the Institute of Canadian and Aboriginal Studies in Ottawa.
“From the day I started speaking to Chad about coming to UBC I could sense his drive and focus to succeed on the field and in the classroom,” Thunderbirds men’s soccer head coach Mike Mosher. “Chad has been hugely impressive with everything he does: his play and accolades on the pitch last year speaks for itself and he has been extremely diligent, organized and successful with his studies. As well, he has also found time to make a positive impact within the local youth soccer community working and coaching at both our summer soccer camps and with the local Vancouver United FC youth soccer club. He is a great role model and student-athlete on many fronts.”
AUS: Elenor Henry, Mount Allison (soccer) / Geoff Schemitsch, Acadia (hockey)
RSEQ: Gabrielle Lapointe, Laval (soccer) / François Jarry, McGill (cross country/track & field)
OUA: Cindy Nelles, McMaster (rugby) / Colin Behenna, Waterloo (hockey)
CWUAA: Rebecca Terejko, UBC (swimming) / Chad Bush, UBC (soccer)
AUS: Katie Ross, Acadia (soccer / basketball) / Cole Grbavac, StFX (hockey)
RSEQ: Katia Forcier, Montreal (volleyball) / François Bourque, McGill (basketball)
OUA: Sasha Gollish, Toronto (track & field) / Austin Kennedy, Windsor (football)
CWUAA: Sarah Wierks, Fraser Valley (basketball) / Andrew Buckley, Calgary (football)
AUS: Michelle Pryde, Acadia (soccer) / Adrian Robertson, UNB (hockey)
RSEQ: Mariam Sylla, McGill (basketball) / Cédric McNicoll, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Caroline Ehrhardt, Western (track & field) / Tyson Hinz, Carleton (basketball)
CWUAA: Brittany Habing, Manitoba (volleyball) / Jordan Baker, Alberta (basketball)
AUS: Monica MacDonald, UNB (swimming) / Travis Gibbons, Acadia (hockey)
RSEQ: Émilie Chamard, Montreal (soccer) / Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, McGill (football)
OUA: Alicia Brown, Toronto (track & field) / Steven Takahashi, Western (wrestling)
CWUAA: Jaki Ellis, Alberta (volleyball) / Paul Clerc, UBC (soccer)
AUS: Miranda McMillan, Dalhousie (hockey) / Nathan Musoke, Dalhousie (track & field)
RSEQ: Marie-Pier Pinault-Reid, Laval (rugby) / Marc-André Dorion, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Nicole Sassine, Windsor (track & field) / Darragh McGee, Toronto (soccer)
CWUAA: Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary (hockey) / Kyle Ross, Saskatchewan (hockey)
AUS: Heather Ambery, UNB (soccer) / Daniel You, Dalhousie (volleyball)
RSEQ: Alexandra Lojen, Montreal (volleyball) / Marc-André Dorion, McGill (hockey)
OUA: Erika Reiser, Windsor (track & field) / Shujon Mazumber, Toronto (wrestling)
CWUAA: Hayley Wickenheiser, Calgary (hockey) / Darren Mazzei, Victoria (cross country – T&F)
AUS: Alex Legge, Dalhousie (basketball) / Jacob Kilpatrick, UNB (volleyball)
QSSF: Marie-Michelle Genois, Laval (basketball) / Steven Bielby, McGill (swimming)
OUA: Megan Brown, Toronto (cross country – T&F) / Dillon Heap, Wilfrid Laurier (football)
CWUAA: Jennifer Hinze, UBC (volleyball) / Thomas Hall, Manitoba (football)
AUS: Isabelle Miles, UNB (soccer) / Christopher Morrison, Saint Mary’s (hockey)
QSSF: Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux, Laval (swimming) / Emmanuel André-Morin, Montreal (volleyball)
OUA: Noelle Montcalm, Windsor (track & field) / Keith Beavers, Waterloo (swimming)
CWUAA: Kayla Dykstra, Victoria (basketball) / Kyle Ross, Regina (hockey)
AUS: Justine McMillan, Acadia (cross country) / Niklas Rademacher, Dalhousie (volleyball)
QSSF: Jennifer Thomson, McGill (volleyball) / Tyler Marghetis, Concordia (wrestling)
OUA: Brae Anne McArthur, Guelph (track & field) / Brad Rootes, Brock (basketball)
CWUAA: Adrianne Vangool, Saskatchewan (track & field) / Benjamin Schellenberg, Winnipeg (volleyball)
AUS: Katie Hollinshead, Dalhousie (soccer) / Colin Sinclair, UNB (hockey)
QSSF: Audrey Lacroix, Montreal (swimming) / David Foley, Sherbrooke (track & field)
OUA: Jackie Malette, Windsor (cross country – T&F) / Justin Hall, Queen’s (cross country – T&F)
CWUAA: Katie Davidson, Manitoba (volleyball) / Jay Langager, Lethbridge (hockey)
AUS: Christine Terese Chislom, StFX (cross country) / Jeff Weiler, Dalhousie (volleyball)
QSSF: Marylène Laplante, Laval (volleyball) / Nicolas Murray, Laval (swimming)
OUA: Jackie Malette, Windsor (cross country – T&F) / Joel Scherban, Lakehead (hockey)
CWUAA: Kristen Hagg, Alberta (hockey) / Chris Meehan, Trinity Western (volleyball)
AUS: Hilary Burn, Dalhousie (cross country – T&F) / Tyler Dyck, StFX (hockey)
QSSF: Danielle Day, McGill (soccer) / Tyler Marghetis, Concordia (wrestling)
OUA: Allison Oosterhuis, Western Ontario (soccer) / Ian MacLeod, Toronto (swimming)
CWUAA: Danielle Bourgeois, Alberta (hockey) / Paul Deniset, Manitoba (hockey)
AUS: Natalie Oake, St. Thomas (hockey) / Daniel Hudgin, Moncton (hockey)
QSSF: Carolyn McCabe, McGill (swimming) / Simon Therrien, UQTR (soccer)
OUA: Lulu Bursztyn, McMaster (wrestling) / Sagar Desai, Western Ontario (basketball)
CWUAA: Danielle Bourgeois, Alberta (hockey) / Adam Ens, Saskatchewan (volleyball)
AUS: Marieke Gardner, Dalhousie (soccer) / Kjetil Vaage, UNB (soccer)
QSSF: Marie-Hélène Giasson, Laval (swimming) / Alexandre Pichette, McGill (swimming)
OUA: Alison Mills, McMaster (volleyball) / Robert Smart, Carleton (basketball)
CWUAA: Maria Gallo, Alberta (rugby) / Blair St. Martin, Alberta (hockey)
AUS: Andrea Faryniuk, Dalhousie (track & field) / Tim Mullen, Saint Mary’s (soccer)
QSSF: Sarah Ali-Khan, McGill (cross country & T&F) / Strachan Hartley, McGill (football)
OUA: Lauren Fratesi, Ottawa (swimming) / Alexandre Hayes, Ottawa (swimming)
CWUAA: Jacqueline Lavallee, Saskatchewan (basketball) / Jeff Zorn, Alberta (hockey)
AUAA: Kate Ellis, UPEI (basketball) / Steve Gallace, Saint Mary’s (hockey)
QSSF: Catherine Foley, Sherbrooke (track & field) / Strachan Hartley, McGill (football)
OUA: Karina Verdon, Ottawa (hockey) / Andrew Kwiatkowski, Western Ontario (basketball)
GPAC: Brandy West, Regina (hockey) / Joey Mikawoz, Manitoba (football)
CWUAA: Jen Dowdeswell, UBC (field hockey) / Mark Versfeld, UBC (swimming)
AUAA: Kate Ellis, UPEI (basketball) / Aaron Barkhouse, Dalhousie (soccer)
QSSF: Sara Russo-Garrido, Laval (soccer) / Yannick Demers, Montreal (swimming)
OUA: Kristine Spekkens, Queen’s (volleyball) / Alex Hayes, Ottawa (swimming)
GPAC: Erin Soroko, Winnipeg (basketball) / Shawn Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Kelly Matheson, Calgary (soccer) / Spencer Holt, Lethbridge (basketball)
AUAA: Jolene Bourgeois, UNB (field hockey) / Jan Trojanowski, Acadia (basketball)
QSSF: Stephanie Welsh, McGill (track & field) / David Dufresne, UQTR (soccer)
OUA: Nathalie Côté, Ottawa (cross country – T&F) / Bob McGill, Queen’s (cross country – T&F)
GPAC: Nadia Melon, Manitoba (volleyball) / Shawn Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Jessica Mills, UBC (basketball) / Curtis Myden, Calgary (swimming)
AUAA: Tracy McGee, UPEI (field hockey) / Peter Benoite, Memorial (basketball)
QSSF: Wendy Whelan, McGill (volleyball) / Alexandre Émond, Montreal (volleyball)
OUA: Rebecca Chambers, Toronto (track & field) / Tim Cowan, McMaster (swimming)
GPAC: Kathy Hrehirchuk, Manitoba (volleyball) / Darreb Peters, Regina (track & field)
CWUAA: Sarah Joly, Alberta (soccer) / Mike Dalziel, UBC (volleyball)
AUAA: Rachelle Beaton, Dalhousie (track & field) / Chris Diamond, UPEI (soccer)
QSSF: Andrea Bacsfalusi, McGill (swimming) / Pierre Hudon, Laval (football)
OWIAA / OUAA: Laurie Halfpenny, Guelph (soccer) / Russell Jones, Toronto (swimming)
GPAC: Amanda Mlodzinski, Manitoba (swimming) / Phil Peters, Winnipeg (volleyball)
CWUAA: Sarah Joly, Alberta (soccer) / Mike Sieben, Alberta (volleyball)
AUAA: Carla Edwards, Mount Allison (volleyball) / Chris Diamond, UPEI (soccer)
QSSF: Anna Leong, McGill (swimming) / Alex Hutchinson, McGill (track & field)
OWIAA / OUAA: Vicki White, Ottawa (soccer) / David Kantor, Queen’s (volleyball)
GPAC: Jackie Honey, Manitoba (track & field) / Mel McManus, Manitoba (track & field)
CWUAA: Liz Smith, Alberta (soccer) / John McArthur, UBC (swimming)
AUAA: Jill Lawless, Acadia (volleyball) / Vojtech Kucera, St. Thomas (hockey)
QSSF: Caroline Vachon, Laval (track & field) / David O’Hara, McGill (cross country)
OWIAA / OUAA: Karen Jackson, York (basketball) / David Kantor, Queen’s (volleyball)
GPAC: Renelda Friessen, Manitoba (volleyball) / Wayne Weathers, Manitoba (football & wrestling)
CWUAA: Adair Duncan, UBC (basketball) / Todd Langley, Victoria (basketball)
AUAA: Kathy McNally, UPEI (field hockey) / Ron Whelan, StFX (soccer)
QSSF: Julia Maughan, McGill (soccer) / Jason Della Rocca, Concordia (wrestling)
OWIAA / OUAA: Karen Jackson, York (basketball) / Craig Donaldson, Western Ontario (hockey)
GPAC: Sandra Carroll, Winnipeg (basketball) / Scott Koskie, Manitoba (volleyball)
CWUAA: Erika Forster, UBC (track & field) / Curtis Myden, Calgary (swimming)