June 5, 2013
HOUSTON - For the second straight year the University of Houston women's tennis team earned the NCAA's Public Recognition Award, honoring programs with high Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores, joining 27 other teams in Conference USA.
The honor is based on squads whose multi-year APR scores rank in the top 10 percent of their sports at the Division I level through the 2011-12 academic year.
"I'm extremely proud of our tennis student-athletes for earning this prestigious recognition for the second year in a row," Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades said. "(Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Development) Maria Peden, Coach Patrick Sullivan and their respective staffs have done a phenomenal job as we continue to improve the academic culture and recruit high quality student-athletes at the University of Houston."
"The women's tennis program at the University of Houston is a great example of the hard work and dedication our student-athletes devote to the classroom," Peden said. "This is a great honor and Patrick Sullivan deserves credit for making it a priority to continue the excellent tradition this program has in the classroom, as well as (Academic Advisor) Dr. Helen Gore-Laird for her tremendous work with these student-athletes."
The APR provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester or quarter by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete. The APR includes eligibility, retention and graduation in the calculation and provides a clear picture of the academic culture in each sport.
The academic honor is the latest in a long line for the Cougars, as the team recently posted its highest-ever cumulative GPA (3.41) following a spring semester, and Celia Fraser was one of just five student-athletes to earn C-USA All-Academic Team accolades as the junior holds a 3.91 GPA in finance.
"We owe a big thanks to Maria Peden and her crew at the Academic Center for Excellence, especially our team academic advisor Helen Gore-Laird," Sullivan said. "They take a lot of pride in getting our student-athletes from freshman orientation to graduation and give them outstanding support every step of the way. Our team will be excited because they know this means they will be honored on the field during a football game, which they really enjoyed last fall. The fact that we will be recognized for this academic `championship' in the same way that we would if we won a conference championship tells you everything you need to know about the value our leadership places on academics."