Seniors Brittany Garnelis of Ellington and Julie Pietrycha of Newington, and junior Stephanie Johnson of Plantsville, have been named as 2012-13 recipients of the Holly E. Zimmerman Memorial Award. The awards were presented between games of a Jan. 26 women's and men's basketball doubleheader at Francis E. Geissler Gymnasium.
This year's recipients bring to 34 the number of individuals recognized with the award, which is named in memory of the late Holly Zimmerman, an Andover native who attended Eastern between 1989 and 1993. She was a Health and Physical Education (HPE) major, basketball player, and student athletic trainer who passed away in 1993.
"This year's winners are very deserving recipients of this award," said Eastern softball coach Diana Pepin, who was a close friend of Zimmerman when they were both undergraduates. "They are respected by the entire Eastern community for their commitment to their academics and their unselfishness and loyalty. There were many qualified candidates for this award. The task of choosing the winners was difficult, but the committee felt that these three individuals stood apart."
Garnelis is a Sport and Leisure Management (SLM) major with a concentration in Sport Management and a minor in coaching. She is a member of the competitive cheerleading squad and will be heading to Daytona, FL, in April to compete in the nationals. She is a member of the SLM/HPE Club; a student athletic trainer; has a 3.61 overall GPA; was selected for the Excellence Expo and Exercise Science College Bowl; and is a recipient of the Connecticut Recreation & Parks Association Scholarship.
Johnson is majoring in SLM with concentrations in Exercise Science and Sport Performance. She is an outfielder and third-year member of the softball program and also is a student-assistant in the athletic training room. Johnson is planning on attending graduate school and pursuing a doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Pietrycha recently wound up a four-year career with the Eastern swimming program, serving as a team captain this year and as the program's only four-year letterwinner. She is a Sport and Leisure Management major with a concentration in Exercise Science and minor in Business, and has an overall 2.83 GPA. With plans to pursue an advanced career following graduation, Pietrycha is currently interning at ProCare Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine in Willimantic.
(by Jennifer Catone, Sports Information Office)