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Best of the Best

Alexandra Brannick '12 earned 2011-12 Maroon Club Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.

Nov. 18, 2011

EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette College Maroon Club has announced that seniors Alexandra Brannick and Michael Thompson have been named the 2011-12 Maroon Club Scholar-Athletes. The awards are presented annually to one male and one female student-athlete who display exemplary skills in the classroom and on the field of competition. Brannick and Thompson were recognized at tonight's Maroon Club Hall of Fame dinner.

Brannick has been a record-setting performer and an exemplary scholar. A Geology & Environmental Geosciences major and co-captain of the Leopards' swimming and diving team, Brannick boasts a 3.58 cumulative grade-point average and has participated in numerous academic pursuits beyond the classroom during her tenure on College Hill.

Brannick, a Dean's List student, is an active participant in the Excel Scholar program, undertaking three different Excel research projects since 2009. She has traveled to Alaska and the Midwestern United States researching topics including "A Fossil Record of Herbivory Intensity and Diversity from the Paleocene-Eocene Chickaloon Formation, Alaska" and "Sea Surface Temperature and Productivity Changes in South Pacific during the Pilo-Pleistocene Transition."

Brannick received the James L. Dyson Award in geology at Lafayette's Honors Convocation in the spring of 2011. To date, she has been named a College Swimming Coaches Athletic Association Academic All-American and member of the Lafayette College and Patriot League Academic Honor Rolls in every semester in which she was eligible. Athletically, the Leopards' co-captain holds Lafayette records in the 100-meter backstroke (57.08 seconds) and the 200-meter medley relay (1:47.60). She also ranks second in Leopards' history in the 200-meter backstroke (2:06.99). Brannick was selected as the team's Most Valuable Swimmer in 2011 and has been the programs Most Valuable Performer by Class Year in all three of her seasons in the pool.



Since arriving on College Hill in 2008, Brannick has been a Volunteer Coach for the Warren ARC program, mentoring local swimmers with Down syndrome.

Michael Thompson '12 earned 2011-12 Maroon Club Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors.

A Civil & Environmental Engineering major, Michael Thompson has had tremendous success academically and athletically at Lafayette. Thompson owns a cumulative 3.92 grade-point average and has ranked consistently among the best in the Patriot League as a pole vault as a two-year captain of the track and field team.

A Dean's List student, Thompson is a member of Tau Beta Pi - the Engineering National Honor Society - and has consistently been named to the Lafayette College and Patriot League Academic Honor Rolls. As an Excel Scholar since 2009, Thompson has participated in a project creating a graphical screening method for the rapid assessment of water quality in low conductivity streams based on hardness and specific conductance parameters. He presented his research at the 2010 World Environmental & Water Resources Congress in Providence, R.I.

Thompson has won both a 2011 Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and a 2010 USEPA Greater Research Opportunities Fellowship. His fellowship entailed working with the Environmental Protection Agency on a multi-year project that will examine the effects of global climate change on coastal wetlands.

As an athlete, Thompson has scored in the pole vault at five of the six Patriot League Championships in which has competed. He earned Second Team All-Patriot League laurels at the 2010 outdoor championships after a second-place performance. His personal-best marks rank fourth (outdoor) and seventh (indoor) on Lafayette's all-time lists.

In 2009 and 2010, Thompson was a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders, traveling to Honduras and collaborating with community partners on the design and implementation of potable water and sanitation systems in rural communities.

In addition to tonight's presentation of the scholar-athlete awards, the Maroon Club inducted five new members to the Hall of Fame: Stefan Ciosici '00, Doug Elgin '73, Bob Kessler '60, Jen Rothrock '97 and the 1980 National Champion Women's Lacrosse team.