BABSON PARK, Mass. -- The NCAA has announced the 30 semifinalists for its 2011 Woman of the Year Award, and recent Babson College field hockey graduate Colleen Kelly (Milton, Mass.) was among those selected out of 142 conference nominees. The final 30 consist of 10 semifinalists from each division, and from each of those groups three individuals will be picked to comprised the nine finalists for the award.
Now in its 21st year, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves in a number of different areas during their collegiate careers, including academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership. A total of 471 women were nominated for the award this year, and from that group 142 conference nominees were selected. That number has now been reduced to 30 semifinalists, including Kelly.
Selected by the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) as the league’s official Woman of the Year nomination, Kelly enjoyed an amazing all-around career as a member of the Babson community and the field hockey program. Prior to graduating Magna Cum Laude this past May with a degree in Finance and Legal Studies and as a member of the Honors Program, Kelly served as field hockey team captain for two years. She was a three-time All-Conference and All-Region selection and was a First Team All-America honoree and the NFHCA New England East Player of the Year as a senior. Along the way, she led the Beavers to their first-ever conference championship and their second NCAA Tournament appearance this past fall.
Kelly's accomplishments extend well beyond the field of play. She was a three-time NFHCA National All-Academic selection, a leading member of the Babson Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and she completed the Babson Women's Leadership Program during her undergraduate tenure. In addition, she served as Vice President of the Babson-Olin Catholic Association, an Assistant to the Dean of Undergraduate Admission, a substitute teacher at St. John the Evangelist School, and she was involved in the Habitat for Humanity, Futures Olympic Development, and Cradles to Crayons programs. Kelly has even donated her hair on numerous occasions for the Locks of Love program, which makes wigs for cancer patients.
"I am deeply humbled and flattered to be considered as one of the Top 30 candidates for NCAA Woman of the Year," Kelly says. "This is truly an honor beyond any of my wildest dreams. Certainly there is no way I could have reached this point without my support system at home and at Babson. Not only did my teammates and coaches challenge me to develop as a player but my professors and fellow students pushed me to grow as a person over the past four years. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been surrounded by such wonderful people in a nurturing environment for this extended period of time."
Kelly was particularly magnificent on the field in her senior season, recording 13 goals and tying for Babson's single-season record with 17 assists for a total of 43 points from the midfield. She finished her illustrious career as the program's all-time leader with 42 assists while also ranking fifth all-time with 36 goals and fourth with 114 total points. As a result, she was named Babson's Athlete of the Class at its 2011 Senior Athletics Awards Banquet this past May.
Kelly is currently working for Anheuser-Busch InBev as a Global Management Trainee. The AB InBev Global Management Trainee Program is a 10-month intensive management training curriculum. Global Management Trainees are immersed in various areas of the company during the program, learning about the Supply and Commercial organizations from the ground up through a variety of hands-on assignments. Over the next nine months, she will be exposed to upper level management and various functions of the company as she works on a variety of projects. At the conclusion of the program in May 2012, Kelly will be placed in a management position at the company.
Along with the other 29 semifinalists, Kelly will be honored at the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year awards dinner at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis on Sunday, October 16. As part of that event, she will also participate in a community engagement activity on Saturday, October 15.
To view the official NCAA Woman of the Year press release, visit the NCAA website.