PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
University of Notre Dame tennis player Tyler Davis and Rutgers University tennis player Amy Zhang have been chosen as the first winners of the American Eagle Outfitters Michael Tranghese Postgraduate Leadership Award, as chosen by the BIG EAST Conference Academic Affairs Committee.
The awards are given to one male and one female student-athlete from a BIG EAST-sponsored sport who have been admitted to a degree-granting or professional program for the following year and who have demonstrated leadership through excellence in academic credentials, athletic performance and depth of commitment to service within the institution or the community.
Davis and Zhang will each receive a $5,000 scholarship, which may be applied to postgraduate study.
A senior from Nashville, Tenn., Davis has a 3.93 grade-point average as a science-business major. He is the first tennis player in Notre Dame history to serve as a two-time captain and will finish his career having played in every team match during his four years. He helped the Irish to the 2008 BIG EAST title and has been a member of three NCAA Championship-qualifying teams.
Davis is one of six Notre Dame student-athletes to be presented with the 2010 Leader of Distinction Award and he was a participant in the 2009-10 Rosenthal Leadership Academy. He serves as a research assistant in the College of Science biology department and served an internship at the Vanderbilt Bone and Joint Clinic. He is a three-year member of Notre Dame's Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
A senior from Plano, Texas, Zhang holds a 3.96 GPA in Rutgers' computer science honors program. She is a two-time All-BIG EAST selection who is serving as the Scarlet Knights' captain this season. She was ranked as high as No. 79 nationally in doubles last season and was chosen as the 2010 Woman of the Year by the New Jersey Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women.
Zhang is a member of the executive board of Rutgers' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was the Scarlet Knights' representative to the 2009 NCAA Student-Athlete Development Conference. She is the recipient of a Presidential Scholarship from the university and has served as a peer mentor and computer science tutor in the School of Arts & Sciences honors program. She is one of 90 recipients worldwide to be named a Gates Cambridge Scholar.
The award is named for Michael Tranghese, the BIG EAST's first full-time employee who served as commissioner of the conference from 1990 to 2009.
The American Eagle Outfitters Michael Tranghese Postgraduate Leadership award is one of a number of scholarships presented by the BIG EAST Conference and American Eagle Outfitters during the 2010-11 academic year. In addition to this award, 32 student-athletes (one male and one female from each of the BIG EAST's 16 member institutions) have been named as the winners of the American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Institutional Scholar-Athlete Scholarships. The conference also names male and female American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Basketball Scholar-Athletes of the Year and an American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.