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Sunday, Feb. 5, 2006

Karsmarski, Orme, Tignonsini recognized for academics and overall contributions

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Seniors Lindsey Karsmarski (MERIDEN), Jenn Orme (CENTEREACH, NY) and Laura Tignonsini (VERNON) have been recognized as 2006 recipients of the Holly E. Zimmerman Memorial Award.

Karsmarski is a four-year basketball letterwinner, Orme recently concluded a four-year career in the women’s soccer program and Tignonsini has earned nine letters as a member of the cross-country and indoor and outdoor track and field programs.

The award is named in memory of Holly E. Zimmerman, who passed away in 1993. A former  Andover, Conn. resident, Zimmerman attended Eastern between 1989 and 1993. 

The award has been presented since 1994 to a total of 20 individuals. A nominee must be a female junior or senior athlete or athletic trainer with an overall 2.70 GPA who is majoring in either Physical Education or Sport and Leisure Management. The nominee must have made a significant contribution to Eastern athletics and must possess the qualities of “loyalty, thoughtfulness and academic determination, as well as being thought of as honest, humble and commited to helping others.”

The Zimmerman committee is chaired by Eastern Head Athletic Trainer Dr. David Yeo and is comprised of eight additional individuals, among them Jackie Collins, a junior at Eastern and the niece of the late Holly Zimmerman.

“Holly lived and loved in a very special and previous way, and we fondly recall the positive impact she had on all who knew her, noted Yeo. “Our three recipients this year are very deserving of this honor. They are very special people who possess Holly’s qualities of loyalty, thoughtfulness and academic determination.”

Lindsey Karsmarski has a 2.98 GPA as a Sport and Leisure Management and is studying for a career in Physical Therapy. She is a  2005/06 team co-captain who ranks fourth all-time at Eastern in three-point field goals and currently leads the Little East Conference in three-point field goals per game. As a freshman, she was a member of a team which reached the NCAA Division III national championship game.

“Lindsey is one of Eastern’s best and brightest who has proven to be a leader within her team and community,” praised Eastern head women’s basketball coach Denise Bierly. “She is a dynamic and intelligent person who works extremely hard at everything that she does. She is a very well-rounded individual who spreads her positive attitude and zest for learning to others around her.”

Jenn Orme  was a four-year letterwinner in soccer who is a Physical Education major with a 2.86 GPA and is pursuing a teaching and coaching career. As a senior last fall, she was a first-team All-New England pick, second-team All-Little East Conference pick, conference tournament MVP, led the conference in scoring, and was named to the New England Senior All-Star Game. She finished third all-time at Eastern in career points.

“Jenn embodies what a complete student-athlete is all about,” noted Eastern head women’s soccer coach Chris D’Ambrosio. “She has been a great leader by example for her peers, especially our younger players. Jenn has been a great and loyal teammate who is trustworthy, honest and caring.”

Laura Tignonsini is a four-year member and three-year letterwinner in the cross-country program who is lettering for the fourth season in the indoor track and field program and is a three-year letterwinner in the outdoor track and field program. She is a Physical Education major with an overall 3.41 GPA who is planning on a teaching career. She has received an ECSU/E-Club Scholar-Athlete Award in both seasons of eligibility.

“Laura is an outstanding example of dedication and leadership to the cross country and track and field programs,” praised Frank Poulin, who has coached Tignonsini in both sports throughout her college career. “Whether she is competing herself or cheering for her teammates, her presence is always felt in practice and competition. Academically, she has also shown herself to be a superb example of a well-rounded and dedicated person,” added Poulin. “In addition, she has been willing to give of herself as a volunteer for many worthwhile causes both inside and outside the university setting.”

“Laura  works harder than any student that I know,” said Dr. Nanette Tummers, a member of the Eastern faculty who has helped mentor Tignonsini the past three years. “She is an exceptional student whose work ethic, attitude and perseverance will take her far in her future endeavors.”

The program record-holder in the pole vault both indoor and outdoor, Tignonsini has competed in 11 different events in her track and field career. She is ten-time All-New England Alliance and All-Little East Conference selection in three different events. In addition to holding the pole vault record, she is a member of the sprint medley relay team which holds the Eastern outdoor record.

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