The Crimson Tide held its annual Academic Achievement banquet at Bryant-Denny Stadium in The Zone, honoring the Alabama student-athletes who stand atop the academic honor roll and who dedicate hours to the service of others.
Women's golf and the men's swimming and diving teams were honored as the squads with the highest team grade point average. The golfers posted a team GPA of 3.41 while the swimmers and divers, winning the award for the third year in a row, posted a 3.10 GPA.
The evening culminated with the presentation of the Paul W. Bryant Student-Athlete Awards. Created by the Tuscaloosa County Chapter of the University of Alabama Alumni Association in 1985, the award brings public recognition to the outstanding achievements of Crimson Tide student-athletes in the classroom, in their athletic endeavors and in the community.
Volleyball senior Rachel Green was the women's winner while baseball's Emeel Salem was the men's honoree.
Green, who is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering, earned Academic All-Southeastern Conference honors and served on UA's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Among the team's all-time leaders in blocks, she served as captain of this year's NCAA tournament squad.
Salem, a double major in marketing and Spanish, is the 2007 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, earning the 2007 Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship in the process. The All-American also earned the Sullivan Award, given annually to UA's top male student.
In the area of community service, the golf and basketball teams shared top honors on the men's side while soccer earned the women's award. Men's golf worked extensively with youngsters in the Tuscaloosa community while basketball visited the DCH Pediatric Ward and were regular speakers in local schools. Soccer student-athletes worked extensively at their adopt-a-school, Arcadia Elementary School, as well as hosting clinics at the YMCA.
Six student-athletes were honored for their work in the community –Salem (baseball), Kate Mastin (women's basketball), Tim Castille (football), Karissa Tuthill (women's swimming and diving) and Aymara Albury (women's track and field). Those student-athletes accumulated close to 1,500 hours of outreach during their respective careers.
The night also honored the numerous student-athletes who were named to campus and national honor societies this year and those honored as members of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.