NEC Announces 2017-18 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll - Northeast Conference Skip To Main Content


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NEC Announces 2017-18 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll


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Somerset, NJ -- The Northeast Conference (NEC) today honored an accomplished group of student-athletes with the announcement of its 2017-18 Winter Scholar-Athlete award winners, presented by Certified Financial Services.

Central Connecticut and Fairleigh Dickinson earned two awards apiece, with one each going to student-athletes from Bryant, Sacred Heart, Saint Francis U and Wagner.

All scholar-athlete award winners must have earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.

Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC announced its Winter Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 600 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade point average, a 11.3 percent increase from 2016-17. There were also 186 student-athletes named to the Winter Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. The Commissioner’s Honor Roll figure represents a whopping 32.9 percent increase from a year ago.

Central Connecticut senior Austin Nehls (Tucson, AZ/Cheshire Academy) claimed the men’s basketball scholar-athlete award. The sharpshooting guard hit 67 three-pointers on the year to rank eighth in the NEC with 2.1 per game. He started all 32 games for the Blue Devils and averaged 9.7 ppg and 3.9 rpg to finish fourth on the team in both categories. Nehls cracked the NEC career top-50 and ranks sixth on the CCSU all-time list with 206 trifectas. He also became the 37th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. On track to graduate in just three years, Nehls was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District I first team for the second straight year and is a four-time member of the NEC Commissioner’s and Academic Honor Roll. The Finance major from Tucson, AZ posted a 4.0 grade point average this past fall and is a 3.94 student during his time at Central.


Wagner graduate student Sierra Clark (Hughesville, MD/Archbishop Spaulding) earned women’s basketball scholar-athlete accolades. A transfer from Adelphi, Clark made an immediate impact on Grymes Hill and was tabbed to the All-NEC first team at year’s end after ranking second in the league with 18.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. The 6-foot forward also finished first on the circuit with 16 double-doubles and 2.3 blocks per outing. Her 68 rejections marked the second-highest single-season total in Wagner history. Clark was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District I first team in February. After graduating with a 3.65 grade point average, she posted a perfect 4.0 GPA during the fall semester as she pursues her master’s degree in Higher Education Leadership Organization.

Fairleigh Dickinson senior Karsyn Lukosius (Brick, NJ/Brick Township) claimed women’s bowling co-scholar-athlete of the year accolades. Lukosius became FDU’s seventh NEC Bowler of the Year honoree and was recently named an NTCA All-American, landing a spot on the second team. She posted the highest frame average (20.20) and ranked third in filled frame percentage (.863) during NEC play, and threw 82 strikes in 182 attempts (.451). For the season, Lukosius ranks sixth nationally in overall frame average (20.699). Lukosius was a three-time NEC Bowler of the Week and was named the Jersey Jamboree MVP back in November. A Sports Administration major, Lukosius maintains a 3.50 grade point average. The Brick, NJ product has earned NEC Academic Honor Roll status in each of the last three years.


Sacred Heart senior Amanda Nardiello (Brick, NJ/Brick Township) took home co-scholar-athlete honors in women’s bowling. Nardiello earned second team NTCA All-America honors this past week following a stellar campaign that saw her earn first team All-NEC plaudits. She helped lead the Pioneers to the conference regular season title and a runner-up finish at the NEC Championship, and was a three-time NEC Bowler of the Week. Nardiello ranked second in league play in both filled frames (.864) and overall frame average (20.15). On a national basis, the 2016-17 NEC Bowler of the Year ranks fifth in filled frames (.882) and tenth in overall average (20.59) for the 2017-18 season. Nardiello, who hails from Brick, NJ, was also named the MVP of the PVAM Invitational. She ends her career as a three-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll. Nardiello, who majors in Media Arts, carries a 3.57 grade point average.


Saint Francis U senior Bryce England (Williamsburg, PA/Williamsburg) repeated as the men’s indoor track and field honoree and is now a five-time NEC scholar-athlete award recipient (two apiece in cross country and indoor track and field, and one in outdoor track and field). England was a double winner in the 3,000 and 5,000 meter events at the NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, and also anchored SFU’s winning distance medley relay team to collect Most Valuable Performer and Outstanding Track Performer (Distance) honors. He crossed the tape in 14:38.79 to win the 5,000 by nearly four seconds and coasted to a six second win in the 3,000, finishing in 8:25.33. England, who hails from Williamsburg, PA, is a four-time member of the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll and has compiled a 3.97 grade point average while double majoring in Biology and Spanish.


Fairleigh Dickinson senior Mae Thompson (Esher, England/Hinchely Wood School) earned the women’s indoor track and field scholar-athlete award. Thompson broke her own meet record in winning the 800 meters in 2:11.35 at the NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships held in Staten Island back in February. It marked the third 800 meter title in her career and helped her earn a share of the Outstanding Track Performer (Distance) award. She also finished second in the mile in a school record time of 4:58.49 and anchored FDU to a runner-up showing in the 4x400 meter relay. Thompson’s 800 meter and mile results were both ECAC qualifying times. The Esher, England native has now been named to the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll lists in each of here four years at FDU. Thompson carries a 3.94 grade point average and is a Humanities major.


Central Connecticut senior Maddy Garber (Milford, MA/Milford) collected women’s swimming and diving co-scholar-athlete honors. Garber repeated as the NEC Outstanding Swimmer of the Meet at the conference championships this past February in East Meadow, NY. She won the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.66 and delivered a dominant performance in capturing the 200 breaststroke with an NCAA B-cut time of 2:15.42. The Milford, MA product also helped the Blue Devils to runner-up finishes in the 200 and 400 medley relays. Garber wrapped her storied CCSU career as the NEC record holder in the 100 and 200 breaststroke events. She won the conference title in the 200 breaststroke in each of her four years, and was a three-time winner in the 100 breaststroke. Garber, a three-time selection to the NEC Academic Honor Roll, has posted a 3.49 grade point average during her time in New Britain. She is a Graphic/Information Design major.

Bryant junior Jillian Rice (Trumbull, CT/Saint Joseph) was named the co-recipient of the women’s swimming and diving scholar-athlete award. Rice won two individual and four relay gold medals at the NEC Swimming & Diving Championships to spark the Bulldogs to their first conference title this past February. She touched first in the 100 (50.07) and 200 yard (1:49.36) events, and finished third in the 50 free (23.27). Rice also anchored Bryant’s winning 200, 400 and 800 freestyle relay teams and the first place 200 medley relay quartet. The two-time NEC Swimmer of the Week is an Applied Psychology major who hails from Trumbull, CT. She has been named to the NEC Academic Honor Roll in each of her three years in Smithfield and carries a 3.55 grade point average.
2017-18 Northeast Conference Winter Scholar-Athletes, Presented by Certified Financial Services
Sport                         Name                  School                  Cl    GPA           Major

Men’s Basketball              Austin Nehls          Central Connecticut     Sr    3.94          Finance
Women’s Basketball            Sierra Clark          Wagner                  Gr    4.00 (grad)   Higher Education Leadership Organization
                                                                                  3.65 (under)
Women’s Bowling               Karsyn Lukosius       Fairleigh Dickinson     Sr    3.50          Sports Administration
                              Amanda Nardiello      Sacred Heart            Sr    3.57          Media Arts
Men’s Indoor T&F              Bryce England         Saint Francis U         Sr    3.97          Biology & Spanish
Women’s Indoor T&F            Mae Thompson          Fairleigh Dickinson     Sr    3.94          Humanities
Women’s Swimming & Diving     Maddy Garber          Central Connecticut     Sr    3.49          Graphic/Information Design
                              Jillian Rice          Bryant                  Jr    3.55          Applied Psychology

About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 37th year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30).  Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 22 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website ( and digital network (, or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, all @NECsports.