Somerset, NJ -- Five highly-achieving Northeast Conference student-athletes graduated with a 3.98 grade-point average this past May.
As a result, Fairleigh Dickinson’s Kristina Neri (soccer) and Sacred Heart’s Abigail Hood (golf) are co-recipients of the NEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award while Wagner’s Charlton Boyd (tennis), Sacred Heart’s Joseph Choiniere (lacrosse) and St. Francis Brooklyn’s Marcus DaSilva (swimming) share the male honor.
In its 12th year, the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, which is sponsored by the league’s Faculty Athletic Representatives, goes to the male and female student-athletes who have exhausted their athletic eligibility, graduated and compiled the highest grade point average in the Conference at the conclusion of the academic calendar.
“What an outstanding achievement by this group of student-athletes,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris. “In addition to ability, it takes a great deal of commitment to attain such a high grade-point average while also meeting the demands of Division I athletics. These men and women are extremely deserving of this recognition.”
Becoming the first Seahawk to earn the NEC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor, Boyd adds another line to a remarkable resume that features all-conference athletic accolades along with the 2017-18 NEC Men’s Student-Athlete of the Year award. The four-time NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll member graduated as the winningest player in Wagner men’s tennis history. He closed out his collegiate career on the court by earning a spot on the 2018 NEC All-Tournament Team while helping the Seahawks advance to the conference final for the first time ever. Boyd, who belongs to the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society (History) and the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society (Political Science), earned a trio of prestigious academic awards from Wagner College this spring. He secured the Phyllis Andors Award (outstanding achievement in government and politics), the Barna Csuros Memorial Award (accomplished student pursuing law school) and the Dr. Donald W. Spiro Award for Outstanding Academic and Co-Curricular Achievement.
Choiniere, who earned his way onto the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the fourth year in a row, is Sacred Heart’s first-ever recipient of the NEC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. The Finance major doubled as a men’s lacrosse midfielder, making 43 career appearances for the Pioneers over four season. Choiniere played in every game on SHU’s 2018 schedule, causing seven turnovers and collecting 13 groundballs for the NEC semifinalists.
Following in the footsteps of four former Terriers, DaSilva staked his claim on the NEC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. The Economics major served in multiple leadership roles during his time in Brooklyn Heights. DaSilva captained the men’s swimming team while also holding office as President of the St. Francis College Finance Club. The Brazilian-born swimmer, who completed an internship with JP Morgan Chase, broke program records in three different individual events -- 500 free, 1000 free and 1650 free.
Hood’s collegiate career yielded three all-NEC second team selections, a conference team championship and bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Education. The senior finished fourth overall on the individual leader board at the 2018 NEC Women’s Golf Championship, helping the Pioneers to a runner-up finish in the team standings. Hood, a key contributor to SHU’s NEC Championship run in 2017, never took lower than 10th place at the conference title meet. The four-time NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection won SHU’s John Croffy Award for highest graduating GPA of any student-athlete in the senior class.
Neri, a Biology major, appeared in 48 women’s soccer matches for the Knights after beginning her collegiate career at Saint Peter’s. Following her move from Jersey City to Hackensack, the native Californian assumed a starting role on FDU’s back line during the 2015 campaign. In 2016, Neri earned a spot on the All-NEC Second Team for her contributions to a FDU defensive unit that limited opponents to five goals over eight conference contests. This past fall, the defender scored five goals in 11 appearances. She earned NEC Prime Performer status for Week 11 of the 2017 season after scoring the eventual game-winners in back-to-back league victories. A three-time NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient, Neri’s studies also included a minor in Forensic Psychology.
NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year History
Year Men Women
2017-18 Charlton Boyd, Wagner Abigail Hood, Sacred Heart
Joseph Choiniere, Sacred Heart Kristina Neri, Fairleigh Dickinson
Marcus DaSliva, St. Francis Brooklyn
2016-17 Joseph Paparelli, Bryant Taylor Allison, Saint Francis U
Sarah Bonson, Mount St. Mary’s
Nicole Dean, Central Connecticut
Lea Lieb, Sacred Heart
Avika Sagwal, Wagner
2015-16 Washi Gervais, Saint Francis U Dragana Dzigurski, St. Francis Brooklyn
Haley Fournier, Mount St. Mary’s
Sarah Ross, Saint Francis U
Brittany Sarza, Bryant
2014-15 David Lonnberg, St. Francis Brooklyn Katie Fox, St. Francis Brooklyn
2013-14 Travis Denny, Robert Morris Ellen Huffman, Wagner
2012-13 Mark Quaranta, Mount St. Mary’s Una Japundza, Robert Morris
Carly Thibault, Monmouth
2011-12 Michael Foster, Mount St. Mary’s Evgeniya Tyrtova, Fairleigh Dickinson
2010-11 Sean O’Reilly, Saint Francis U Ali Kliment, Monmouth
2009-10 Filip Kisdobranski, St. Francis Brooklyn Maggie O’Connell Dubois, Mount St. Mary’s
2008-09 Benjamin Evenden, Monmouth Kathleen Henry, Sacred Heart
Tara Maxwell, Robert Morris
Erin Reifsteck, Saint Francis U
2007-08 Ian Butcher, Saint Francis U Katja Bavendam, St. Francis Brooklyn
2006-07 Moran Stern, St. Francis Brooklyn Lisa Jaszka, Robert Morris
Andrija Vrdoljak, St. Francis Brooklyn