Each year the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) presents the Southwestern Athletics Pirate Anchor Award to one male and female athlete who best display the traits that embody the spirit of the Southwestern community as decided by a student vote. Each year the SAAC nominates students according to community involvement, scholastic excellence, athletic and school spirit, and the endorsement of the athletic department.
This year included: Nick Parker from the tennis team, Ben Sloan from cross country, Kevin O’Neil and Eryn Snyder from the men’s and women’s soccer team, Jessie Carrier from the swimming team and Natasha Azizi of the basketball team. All are very accomplished athletes and active members of the community and their respective departments.
Nick Parker is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa National Honor Society and the Phi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honor Society as well as a Presidential Scholar and recipient of the Mellon Grant for academic research in the spring of 2008. Even as a double major in political science and economics, he finds time to work as part of student congress, the University Council of Discipline, as chairman of the youth advisory committee and as KA president. He has also been a swim coach and has worked as an organizer for Habitat for Humanity and Planned Parenthood.
Currently serving as Chaplain for the KYX Christian Fraternity and treasurer of the Methodist Student Movement, Ben Sloan is also captain of Southwestern’s Cross Country team and member of Pi Mu Epsilon National Math Honors Society, Phi Beta Kappa National Honors Society, and Alpha Chi National Honors Society and was awarded the Norman W. Spellman Award in Religious Studies. A religion major, he has also been a camp counselor, Habitat for Humanity construction volunteer and Member of the St. John UMC Men’s Choir. Off-campus he is a self-employed studio artist with artwork publicly displayed.
A Brown Scholar as well as playing defense for the Pirate Soccer team, Kevin O’Neil was captain of the team for the 2008 season. He is a double major in physics and business and has been named outstanding senior of the year by the physics department. He is also a member of Phi Beta Kappa and three-year ambassador for the SU Admissions Office and Student Foundation member. A member of the PKA fraternity, he served as chapter president for the spring 2008 semester.
Anthropology major, goalkeeper and Captain of the Lady Pirates Soccer Team, Eryn Snyder has also worked with her sorority ZTA on their many breast cancer awareness events where she held several positions over the years including historian, reporter and PR programmer. She has been named MVP all four years has played for the team. She has done volunteer work with destination service as well as work as an intern for ACCION, a micro-lender that helps minority businesses.
Our very own sports photographer Jessie Carrier is also nominated for this award. A major in biology, she has also worked on campus as lifeguard, mentor for Operation Achievement and lab technician for the biology department. Considered a sprint freestyler, she has been the first Southwestern swimmer to go to nationals and holds several records in the team for which she has been co-captain for the past two years. She has volunteered with the Lone Star Circle as well as taught swimming lessons for several schools and YMCAs. Since 2008 she has been shadowing PA’s as she prepares to work in the medical field.
A Ruter scholar, Natasha Azizi is also a member of Alpha Kappa Delta in addition to playing on the women’s basketball team where she was co-captain for two seasons. Majoring in business, she has been a finance teaching assistant on campus and an intern with Green Life Eco-Consulting and Horizon Wind Energy. She has also been an ESL tutor and donation center volunteer at The Caring Place in Georgetown.
From this fine pool of nominees the award went to Eryn Snyder and Kevin O’Neil of the women’s and men’s soccer team. The Megaphone would like to extend their congratulations to these two very deserving winners and wish them and their fellow nominees the best as they get ready to graduate.