EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -Two of the most prestigious awards given annually by the University of Evansville Athletic Department have been announced as Phil Dzienciol was named the recipient of the Ralph H. Coleman Award and Rachel Tam earned the Lois D. Patton Award.
Both awards are given to the top senior male and female student-athlete at UE each season. The award is based 50% on academic achievement, 25% athletic success and 25% service to the community. Purple Aces coaches and staff vote for the recipients.
Competing on the UE cross country and track and field teams, Phil Dzienciol exemplified what a true Ace is on the course and in the classroom. The Actuarial Science major recorded a 3.86 GPA. After serving as an actuarial intern with Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Chicago in the summer of 2019, Dzienciol used the experience to begin his career in Louisville as an Actuarial Consulting Analyst following graduation.
Dzienciol was active in the community, assisting with timing of local track meets while volunteering time at Angel Mounds for high school and middle school cross country meets. He also helped in the setup of the Veteran’s Day Parade on Franklin Street in Evansville. Dzienciol was a consistent top five runner on the cross country squad, improving each season while posting his 8K PR of 27:31 at the Fast Cats Classic last fall. On the track side, he led the team with the fastest 800M time at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championship.
“It takes special character to be a student-athlete. A student-athlete has to be academically, community service, service to others, among other things. One of the biggest things is that it takes time,” Aces head cross country and track and field coach Don Walters exclaimed. “Philip checks all of the boxes. He does an outstanding job – and more. I am so proud to know and coach Philip; I am proud of him for earning the Ralph H. Coleman Award as the top senior student-athlete at UE.”
One of the top players in Aces volleyball history – Rachel Tam led by an example in all facets of her career. The Hong Kong native finished her academic career with a 3.80 GPA while earning a degree in Exercise Science. She was rewarded with a spot on the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team as a junior and senior. Tam graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned Dean’s List recognition in each of her final five semesters. She volunteered time with several local organizations including the Evansville United Volleyball Academy.
Tam wrapped up her UE career with 1,469 kills, a tally that puts her third in the record books. On September 17, 2019, Tam recorded 39 kills in a victory over Tennessee Tech inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse. It was the best performance in program history while ranking second all-time in the conference record books, just one behind the top mark. She capped off her career with a spot on the 2019 MVC All-Tournament Team.
“Rachel Tam came to UE and changed our whole program; she was our leader on and off the court. Without saying a word, she led our team by being the first one in the gym and the last one to leave,” UE head volleyball coach Fernando Morales said. “She worked hard on and off the court. As player, her numbers speak for themselves, but she was so much more than that, she was our leader, our energy and pushed the girls around her to be better. I am proud of her for winning this award.”
Courtesy: UE Athletics