June 8, 2010
Center Valley, PA. - The Patriot League has selected two males and one female as its Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2009-2010 academic year. Colgate University's Susan Fortkiewicz (Cross Country/Track) and Bucknell University's John Collett and Ryan Klipstein (Men's Lacrosse) were chosen in a vote by the League's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to take home the honors.
The Patriot League Sportsmanship Awards are in their fifth year after being created to honor student-athletes that uphold the principles on which the League was founded - fairness, equality and excellence in academics and athletics. The awards are open to all Patriot League student-athletes and each of the eight Patriot League institutions is eligible to nominate a male and female for the award.
Fortkiewicz displayed each of the merits for this award in her everyday life. She was a role model who always set a positive example for her peers, leading with care and compassion for others. A consistent top finisher for the Raiders, Fortkiewicz proudly served as co-captain for the Women's Cross Country and Track and Field Teams. She was named to the 2009 Patriot League Women's Cross Country Academic Honor Roll, posting a 3.67 GPA. Fortkiewicz is also a two-time recipient of the Don Dunn Award for her demonstration of exceptional dedication and persistence throughout the season.
Fortkiewicz was just as helpful in her off the field activities, as she was the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) at Colgate University. As president, she led the "Adopt-A-Classroom" initiative. Throughout this event, Fortkiewicz organized all Colgate athletes to attend a class at the local elementary and high school to speak on topics like bullying, sportsmanship, and integrity. This event was largely successful due to the time commitment and passion she put into it. As a result of all that she has done for the Colgate University athletics department, she was the recipient of this year's "Huther Award." This award is given to a student-athlete who adds to the education of others by effort, dedication and example. Fortkiewicz also served as a member of the senior class gift committee.
Collett and Klipstein are two Patriot League student-athletes who epitomize the meaning of sportsmanship. Collett, a two-year starter, proved once again to be a vital cog in one of the nation's top defenses. Klipstein, a First-Team All-Patriot League selection in 2010, led the Bison in goals this season with 34. While their on-field production has been impressive, it has been their off-field behavior that is bringing the Patriot League closer together.
This past season Collett and Klipstein developed a program called "A Bison Never Forgets," which aims to collect donations to send supplies and support to former college lacrosse players who are now serving in the armed forces overseas. For Collett the inspiration for the program came from watching his brother Mike, a 2009 graduate of the Naval Academy and former lacrosse player for the Midshipmen. At every home game, Collett and Klipstein arranged for a table to be set up to collect donations in which all donors receive a "Bison Never Forgets" wristband. They also accepted donations through the mail, with proceeds going to the assembly of care packages that are then sent to troops overseas. Collett and Klipstein have reached out to other lacrosse programs in the Patriot League and other varsity sports programs at Bucknell, encouraging them to contribute.
This achievement for Collett and Klipstein marks the first time the Patriot League Male Sportsmanship Award will be given to multiple student-athletes.
Collett, Klipstein and Fortkiewicz will now be forwarded on to the NCAA to be considered for the national sportsmanship honor.