Villanova's Brian Karalunas Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Villanova University men's lacrosse standout Brian Karalunas has been chosen as the 2010-11 American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The selection was made by the Conference's Academic Affairs Committee. A senior from Dewitt, N.Y., Karalunas will receive a $4,000 scholarship, which may be applied to graduate or professional studies. The Conference also announced the male winners of the 2010-11 American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Institutional Scholar-Athlete Scholarships. Each institutional winner receives $2,000 toward graduate studies. Karalunas is Villanova's fifth Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year selection and is the first men's lacrosse player from any school to win the award. Karalunas is regarded as one of the nation's top longstick midfielders. He was the 2010 BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year and an All-BIG EAST First Team selection. Karalunas registered 55 ground balls and had 55 caused turnovers in 2010, finishing as the national leader with an average of 3.47 caused turnovers per game. A two-time United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association honorable mention all-America selection, he was selected by the Long Island Lizards with the 35th overall selection in the 2011 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft. Karalunas was chosen as the 2009 Colonial Athletic Association Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-CAA First Team selection that season. Karalunas, who holds a 3.93 grade-point average as an honors major with an emphasis in philosophy, is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the Interdisciplinary Honors Program at Villanova. He was chosen as the BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winner in men's lacrosse last season. Karalunas' community service efforts include founding the Graterford Maximum Security Prison Restorative Justice Program, an inmate educational program exploring alternatives to the retributive justice system with an emphasis on forgiveness, victim-offender relations and community building. He is a Special Olympics Volunteer and a deacon with the Onondaga Valley Presbyterian Church. The American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is one of a number of scholarships presented by the BIG EAST Conference and American Eagle Outfitters during the 2010-11 academic year. Thirty-two student-athletes (one male and one female from each of the BIG EAST's 16 member institutions) will be 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.