NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Six seniors and one team were honored by the Yale Athletics Department with awards at the annual senior student-athlete reception Saturday afternoon at the Lanman Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The men's fencing team earned the Brodhead Award for highest team grade point average. Emily Barnes (Louisville, Colo.) of the women's cross country and track & field teams and Jackson Stallings (Moore, Okla.) of the football team were the recipients of the Ford Student-Athlete Community Outreach Award. Barnes and Frederick Muth (Los Angeles, Calif.) of the men's fencing team were the recipients of the Kiphuth Student-Athlete Distinction Award. Mackenzie Franklin (Austin, Texas) of the women's swimming & diving team and Denzell Jobson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) of the men's track & field team were the recipients of the Meyer Humanitarian Award. Robin Molen-Grigull (Sydney, Australia) of the heavyweight crew team was the recipient of the Amanda Walton Award.
The Brodhead Award is named in honor of Richard H. Brodhead '68, Ph.D. '72, who served as Dean of Yale College from 1993 through 2004 and was on the faculty of the department of English for more than 30 years. The men's fencing team won this award for the fourth year in a row. The team also was one of 14 Yale teams to receive NCAA Public Recognition Awards for posting Academic Progress Rate scores that were among the top 10 percent nationally in their sport. Among the fencing team's individual academic honors, senior Reed Srere (Washington, D.C.), a history major, was an Academic All-Ivy League selection.
The Bulldogs also had a successful season of competition. Three team members qualified for the NCAA National Championship, where the men's and women's teams combined to finish 12th.
The Ford Award that Barnes and Stallings won is given annually to one female and one male student-athlete who have demonstrated commitment to strengthening the relationship between Yale Athletics and the New Haven community. It is named in honor of Thomas W. Ford '42, who endowed the Yale Athletics Community Outreach Program in 1996.
The Kiphuth Award that Barnes and Muth won is given to the male and female student-athletes who rank highest in scholarship and have earned two varsity awards. It is named in honor of DeLaney Kiphuth '41, M.A. '47, who served as Director of Athletics from 1954 through 1976.
Barnes, an environmental engineering major with a 3.92 GPA, has been extensively involved in environmental issues. She has worked as an undergraduate researcher with the Gentner Research Group for air quality science and engineering at Yale. Her project included work on emissions of petroleum-derived pesticides, their secondary organic aerosol formation potential, and impacts on air quality. She is a member of the Yale chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.
Barnes has served as a field intern with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, which protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado's 54 14,000-foot peaks -- the "Fourteeners" -- through active stewardship and public education. In the summer of 2015 she served as a water engineering intern at Wright Water Engineers in Denver, reviewing and synthesizing scientific literature, licensing documentation, and best management practices reports to inform and support expert witness testimonials given by senior company representatives.
A distance runner, Barnes is a member of Berkeley College and graduated from Fairview High School.
Muth, a classics major, had a 3.97 GPA and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He has been involved with Quizbowl, tournaments in which teams compete head-to-head to answer questions from all areas of knowledge including history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, sports and popular culture. He also has written for Helicon, Yale's undergraduate journal of classics.
An epeeist, Muth is a member of Branford College and graduated from Loyola High School.
Stallings, a tight end, has been active in a wide variety of community service initiatives throughout his time at Yale. He has served as president of the Yale Student Athlete College Council, overseeing a 400% growth in the organization while managing student-athlete events and working on NCAA legislation.
Stallings has also served on the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Drive committee, helping plan the Yale Athletics Department's annual drives in memory of Yale women's ice hockey player Mandi Schwartz '10 (1988-2011) and her battle with cancer. In the past four years, the drives added a total of more than 2,600 potential marrow donors to the Be The Match Registry®. Since 2009, Yale's drives have helped locate at least 30 donor matches for patients with life-threatening illnesses.
Stallings has also been Yale's head team ambassador with Team IMPACT. Through that organization, in 2014 the football team "adopted" then-six-year-old Dante Chiappetta, a native of North Haven, Conn., who had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and cortical visual impairment. Stallings organizes team activities to support Dante and his family.
Stallings was selected as the Ivy League's representative at the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum in March 2015, working with fellow Division I athletes on ways to lead and review new NCAA legislation. Stallings was also selected by the Dean of Yale College as a Yale Civic Leader, and was one of four Yale students selected to help Yale revise its financial aid policy as a member of the Provost and Dean's Financial Aid Revision Committee.
A political science major, Stallings is a member of Berkeley College and graduated from Southmoore High School.
The Meyer Award that Franklin and Jobson won is named in honor of Molly Meyer, a nurse practitioner at Yale University Health Services who has been addressing the health needs of student-athletes at Yale since 1975. The award is given each year to a varsity athlete in the senior class "whose character exemplifies selfless devotion along with compassion and concern for their team and the community at Yale and beyond."
For the past three years Franklin has organized Swim New Haven, which provides swim lessons and water safety instruction to children in New Haven. In 2016 the Yale Swimming and Diving Association, which spearheads the initiative, earned the Association of Yale Alumni Leadership Award for Outstanding Collaboration. Franklin's work with Swim New Haven includes reaching out to local organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven and St. Martin de Porres Academy to find dozens of students. Traditionally 15-20 Yale alums return to help teach these youngsters alongside current men's and women's teams members. The event has been part of the Yale Day of Service, when alumni across the world participate in a variety of service opportunities. USA Swimming has donated items such as goggles, bag tags and temporary tattoos.
Franklin, who helped the Bulldogs win the 2017 Ivy League Championship, is a molecular, cellular and developmental biology major in Branford College. She is a graduate of Westlake High School.
Jobson has served in multiple roles on campus, including work as a member of the executive committee for Dwight Hall, Yale's Center for Public Service and Social Justice. As a junior, he was the president of the Black Men's Union at Yale. As a senior, he was a freshman counselor for his residential college, Jonathan Edwards. He also has served as a Yale Student Ambassador, visiting high schools in his hometown of Brooklyn to speak to prospective Yale students. Back home, he has tutored at the Boys' Club of New York and worked as a mentor with Inspiring Young Minds.
A sprinter, Jobson has been praised for his depth of character, serving as an inspiration to the team with his presence and work ethic even though injuries frequently kept him from competing. He is a political science major and a graduate of St. Paul's School.
The Walton Award is presented to an outstanding athlete who has excelled on the field of play and who has shown spirit and courage in transcending unforeseen challenges. It is named after Amanda Walton '02. Walton, a field hockey and lacrosse player at Yale, was involved in an automobile accident after her sophomore year. She overcame a coma and numerous injuries through hard work and determination, eventually returning to the Yale sideline as an assistant coach. In 2003 she received the NCAA Inspiration Award.
Molen-Grigull was temporarily paralyzed by a fall while skiing in January 2016. The impact broke several vertebrae in his back, and medical experts said he would never compete again. But the fall did not sever his spinal cord completely, and he was eventually able to regain the use of some muscles in his legs.
After being stabilized at a hospital in Norway, Molen-Grigull was flown back to the United States to begin rehabilitation at Gaylord Hospital near New Haven. He remained enrolled at Yale, and was soon back studying as his friends delivered textbooks and materials to his hospital bed. He also spent hours a day teaching his legs to walk again. Within just two months he was out of the hospital and able to walk, albeit slowly, without a walking aid. He then returned to crew practice in August of 2016, and has rowed in the fourth varsity boat this spring. Earlier this month he helped the Bulldogs win their third straight Ivy League title.
An economics and mathematics major in Saybrook College, Molen-Grigull is a graduate of Pittwater House.
At Saturday's ceremony the Bulldogs also recognized all the seniors that participated in Yale's Kiphuth Leadership Academy, a program that is designed to foster leadership skills in Yale's student-athletes.
A crowd of several hundred was on hand for the event, including senior student-athletes and their families along with coaches and athletic department administrators. Tess McEvoy (Bethesda, Md.) of the women's lacrosse team and Richard Slenker (Pound Ridge, N.Y.) of the Ivy League champion baseball team spoke on behalf of the class to summarize their experience at Yale.
Report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity