Somerset, NJ -- Wagner women’s basketball and softball player Joy Gallagher (Hazleton, PA/Hazleton) is the recipient of the 2006 Valley National Bank NEC Student-Athlete of the Year award as voted on by the members of the Northeast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). The award is based on a combination of academics, athletics, community service and a personal statement by each of the nominees.
Also nominated for the award were Central Connecticut State’s Lindsey Snyder (swimming), Fairleigh Dickinson’s Jocelyn Davis (bowling), Long Island’s Amber Wirth (basketball), Mount St. Mary’s Mandy Jenkins (track and field), Robert Morris’ Megan Bell (volleyball), Sacred Heart’s Amanda Pape (basketball) and St. Francis (PA)’s Marc Anthony Honoré (volleyball).
“Joy is a remarkable student-athlete in every sense of the word,” said Walt Hameline, Wagner Director of Athletics. “She has been and will continue to be a great ambassador for not only our athletic department, but for the institution as a whole.”
In May, Gallagher became the first Wagner student-athlete to be awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She was one of just six Division I women’s basketball players to earn the award joining student-athletes from such renowned institutions such as Stanford, Florida and Kent State.
In only her first season as a member of the softball team, Gallagher’s stellar season culminated with her selection as an ESPN The Magazine Second Team Academic All-America. In leading the Seahawks to a school-record 35 wins and a berth in the NEC Tournament, the shortstop ranked in the top-10 in the conference in triples (5, first), slugging percentage (.590, fifth), RBI (33, fifth), home runs (7, tenth) and batting average (.333, tenth). She compiled an NEC-high 21-game hitting streak, recorded 14 multi-hit games and was awarded second team all-NEC honors at year’s end.
“Having seen Joy develop in our athletic program over the past four years, she is more than deserving of every accolade she has received,” said Glen Payne, Wagner softball coach. “Her determination is immeasurable and I believe she has the will to accomplish and succeed in anything she sets out to achieve.”
Gallagher was also a four-year letterwinner and two-year captain in women’s basketball. In her senior season, she ranked tenth in the conference in scoring (13.8 ppg), finished second in made three pointers (2.0/game) and was chosen to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District team. The 5’9” guard closed out her career with a Wagner record 240 three-pointers and her 1,158 points is 14th most in school history. As a sophomore in 2003-04, Gallagher set the school single-game three-point record (11) against Boston University, leaving her one shy of the NCAA mark. She also led the NCAA ranks with 3.5 made threes per game while breaking the Seahawks’ single-season mark with 99 trifectas.
“Joy had an amazing career at Wagner,” remarked Gela Mikalauskas, Wagner women’s basketball coach. “She deserves all the recognition she gets and will continue to do great things in the future.”
Outside of athletics, Gallagher has served as the Wagner SAAC President the past two years.
The Hazleton, PA native graduated in May with a 3.88 grade point average majoring in Chemistry. Gallagher will return to Wagner next year to work toward her Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). She has one season of eligibility remaining in softball.