RICHARDSON, Texas –– Graduating student-athletes from
each of the 16 American Southwest Conference member institutions have been
named as recipients of the 2011-12 ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor Award on
their respective campuses, the ASC office announced on Wednesday.
For UT Tyler, men's soccer player Victor Almendariz and women's basketball player Melissa Thomas received the honor. The two were previously selected as UT Tyler's Athletes of the Year.
The ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor Award is presented
to one male and one female member of the graduating class who has compiled the
most outstanding record in academics, athletics and leadership over their
collegiate career. The award is presented annually by the Faculty Athletics
Representative at each conference member institution.
Almendariz, a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, concluded his career as a Patriot by helping
lead the UT Tyler men’s soccer team to the national quarterfinals. A
two-time First Team All-American Southwest Conference honoree,
Almendariz has also been selected as a member of the All-West Region Team. For the
2012 season, he was named to the First Team All-America. He is a finance major.
An Lake Travis native who has earned her degree in accounting and is completing an MBA, Thomas twice overcame serious injuries and surgery during her career to grab the UT Tyler records for most
points, three-pointers made and games started. She served as team
captain her junior and senior years. As a graduate student, Thomas continued playing for the Patriots while working
full-time as an accountant.
Both UT Tyler student-athletes were selected to the ASC All-Academic Team multiple years.
Recipients of the ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor
Award winners represent nine different conference sports and include
individuals who graduated with academic honors or hold admissions to
graduate-level programs; are members of academic honor societies and campus
organizations; competed on national, conference or division title teams; earned
ASC All-Academic, Distinguished Scholar-Athlete, All-Conference or All-Division
honors; and who served as volunteers, tutors and teachers within their campus,
community and church groups.