From the GAC
Eric Moyer, Associate Commissioner for Communications

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. – A pair of Academic All-Americans, East Central’s Autumn Suydam and Southern Nazarene’s Colin Pasque earned the 2015-16 Great American Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year, the conference office announced on Tuesday.

The league’s faculty athletic representatives or designees voted on the Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards. They could not vote for their own student-athletes.


Suydam, a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-America and a two-time All-Central Region selection, became the second ECU softball player to earn the GAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. She graduated in May 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a 4.00 G.P.A.

She finished her senior season with a .396 batting average, to rank third in the GAC and ranked fourth in the conference with 24 stolen bases, in 24 attempts. She garnered a spot on the All-GAC First Team, her third All-GAC selection. She also landed on the All-Tournament Team.

Away from the classroom and the diamond, Suydam gave her time to the FCA Feed the Families program, the Annual Ada Community Thanksgiving Dinner and the Fall Carnival at Brookdale Home. She served as a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society and as the Secretary of Lambda Alpha Epsilon.

Suydam joined former softball standout Emily Kennemer, who received the honor in the league’s first year. Suydam also matched Kennemer as a First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-America®, the only two First-Team selections in program history.

Other nominees for the 2015-16 GAC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award included Arkansas-Monticello senior Valeria Johnson (Cross Country) Arkansas Tech junior Caroline Fredensborg (Golf), Harding senior Ewa Zaborowska (Cross Country), Henderson State junior Maddie McJunkins (Tennis), Northwestern Oklahoma State senior Kaydee Yukawa (Volleyball), Oklahoma Baptist junior Olivia Charvat (Tennis), Ouachita senior Haley Hatcher (Soccer), Southeastern Oklahoma State senior Jessica Simmons (Softball), Southern Arkansas senior Liz Hudgins (Softball), Southern Nazarene junior Sam Smith (Softball) and Southwestern Oklahoma State senior Kaila Lancaster (Volleyball).

Great American Conference Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Year Scholar-Athlete of the Year School Sport
2015-16 Autumn Suydam East Central Softball
2014-15 Arielle Saunders Harding Basketball
2013-14 Kristen Celsor Harding Basketball
2012-13 Amy Madden Southern Nazarene Softball
2011-12 Emily Kennemer East Central Softball 



Southern Nazarene’s Colin Pasque, an All-American in the pole vault and a First-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American, added to his trophy collection as he received the GAC’s Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor.

Pasque, a junior, owns a 3.96 G.P.A. in biology-chemistry. He qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor and Outdoor National Championships. At the Indoor meet, he finished 10th to garner a Second-Team All-America nod. At the Outdoor Championships, he cleared a personal high at 16-feet, 8-inches, finished seventh and earned First-Team All-America status.

At the Indoor Championships, he earned the NCAA Elite 90 Award, the award presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA participating at the finals of the NCAA’s championships.

Additionally, Pasque served on a mission trip in Saltillo, Mexico where he served on the Medical Team triaging patients and working in pharmacy as well as doing evangelism with the local community of Saltillo. Back in Bethany, he interacted weekly with patients at bedside recovering from long-term illnesses at The Children’s Center.

Pasque became the second Crimson Storm student-athlete to win a Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Former softball All-American Amy Madden received the Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor in 2013.

Other nominees for the 2015-16 GAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award included Arkansas-Monticello senior Hunter Smith (Golf), Arkansas Tech senior Logan Genz (Football), East Central senior Cole Weber (Football), Harding senior David Pencarinha (Track & Field), Henderson State senior Tadarious Hawkins (Baseball), Northwestern Oklahoma State senior Justin Schanbacher (Football), Oklahoma Baptist senior Kimes Gilbert (Football), Ouachita junior Dillon Farrell (Soccer), Southeastern Oklahoma State junior Alberto Blesa (Tennis), Southern Arkansas seniro Jon Miller (Football), Southwestern Oklahoma State junior Cameron Nix (Football).

Great American Conference Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year
Year Scholar-Athlete of the Year School Sport
2015-16 Colin Pasque Southern Nazarene Track & Field
2014-15 Davis Richardson Harding Baseball
2013-14 Kevin Rodgers Henderson State Football
2012-13 Mickey Hammer Southern Arkansas Cross Country
2011-12 Travis Kincheloe Southeastern Oklahoma State Football

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