Mattia Earns NCAA Division II Degree Completion Award
Published date: June 24, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. The NCAA Division II Degree-Completion Award Committee announced on June 8, 2014 that Virginia State University’s Softball pitcher Jessica Mattia earned an NCAA Division II Degree Completion Award for the 2014-15 school year. The Division II Degree Completion Award program provides financial assistance to deserving student-athletes with the completion of their first baccalaureate degree.
Since the NCAA established the Division II Degree-Completion Award program in 2001, nearly $4 million has been given to nearly 1,000 deserving student-athletes. Of those student-athletes who have received the award since its inception, 94 percent have earned their undergraduate degree using this program.
“It is a great honor for Jessica to receive this award,” said Head Softball Coach LaTasha Branch. “She exemplifies leadership on the field and in the classroom.”
Mattia, an Accokeek, MD native, has earned several high honors during her softball and academic career at VSU. Since 2010, Mattia has been a Presidential Scholar at VSU, continuously receiving high marks for her Grade Point Average On the field, Mattia was named to the CIAA All-Conference First Team in 2012, 2013, and again in 2014. This past season Mattia was named the 2014 CIAA Softball Player of the Year; CIAA Pitcher of the Week; VSU’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year and VSU’s Softball MVP. This season, Mattia pitched 133.1 innings and had 130 strikeouts, 14 wins, 5 losses, 1 save and 3.71 eras.
Mattia extended her learning outside of the classroom and the field; she also reached out to the community. She participated in the Walk against Hunger, Breast Cancer Walk, read to students at Ettrick Elementary, contributed to Thanksgiving baskets for a family less fortunate and contributed to bicycles for a male and female student at Ettrick Elementary.
Candidates for the degree-completion award are student-athletes who have exhausted their athletics eligibility and have received athletics financial aid. In addition, applicants must be within 32 semester or 48 quarter hours of completion of their first undergraduate degree at the completion of the spring term.
Recipients are selected on the basis of several factors, with emphasis being on academic performance, athletic accomplishments and a personal essay.
Other factors considered are financial circumstances and involvement in campus and community activities.