March 6, 2012

IRVING, Texas -- Five University of Oklahoma student-athletes have earned the Big 12’s second annual Dr. Gerald Lage award, the Conference’s highest academic honor.

Suzy Boulavsky, a public relations major who played four years on the OU volleyball team; Ivy Brown, a member of the OU rowing team who is majoring in health and exercise sciences; Natalie Crain, health and exercise sciences, and Molly Ferguson, human resources management, both of the Sooner cross country and track team, and Kelly Short, a senior health and exercise sciences major, were announced today as award winners by Conference officials on the eve of the Phillips 66 Big 12 Basketball Championships. Short played as a freshman on the Sooner golf team in 2008-09 but her career was ended by an injury.

"We appreciate the commitment the Big 12 Conference has in recognizing outstanding student-athletes and are proud to have had five outstanding Sooners selected for this Gerald Lage Award, the highest academic honor a Big 12 student-athlete can receive,” said Oklahoma Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Director of Athletics Joe Castiglione. “Maintaining a cumulative 3.80 grade point average for what is essentially the majority of your academic career is an outstanding accomplishment and we salute Suzy, Ivy, Natalie, Molly and Kelly for this accomplishment.”

To qualify for the award, student-athletes must have lettered at least once in their career while maintaining residence at their institution for at least one academic year. The honoree, which can only be recognized once, must have 100 hours of earned credit with a cumulative grade point average of 3.80 at the time of the nomination.

In its second year, the award honors the memory of Lage, the long-time faculty athletics representative for OSU to the NCAA/Big 8/Big 12. He served in that role from 1983 until his death in 2007. A member of the faculty of OSU’s College of Business Administration since 1966, Lage served as chair of the FAR committee for the conference three times.

The 60 award recipients will receive public recognition this week during basketball tournament activities in Kansas City.