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Saints Athletics Highlights—Summer 2017

SHU Student-Athletes Excel in the Classroom

April Watson
April Watson

Siena Heights student-athletes earned a 3.09 GPA in the fall 2016 semester. Leading the way was the women’s golf team with a 3.61 GPA, followed by the softball team (3.57). Every women’s team earned a 3.0 or higher, with an aggregate GPA of 3.33 on the women’s side. The men’s teams were led by the men’s soccer team with a 3.42 GPA. The men’s aggregate GPA was a 2.91.


Women: The Saints (24-10) fell to No. 11 Morningside (Iowa) 90-73 in the opening round of the NAIA National Tournament in Sioux City, Iowa. SHU also dropped a 77-39 decision to No. 7 Davenport in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference tournament championship. Senior April Watson was named a first team NAIA All-American, the first player in program history to earn the honor. The forward/center averaged 19.4 points, 11.3 rebounds and two blocks a game this season. Watson finished eighth all-time in scoring with 1,073 points in just two seasons with the program. She also finished first in scoring average (16.8) and sixth all-time with 661 total rebounds. Watson also holds the single-season rebounding record with 383, set this season. She also completed her career with a SHU record 129 career blocks. Watson was also named to the All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference first team and also garnered a spot on the all-defensive team. Senior guard Jaaliyah Arrington earned a spot on the All-WHAC second team, as well as on the all-academic team. Demi Russell was named to the conference’s all-freshman team, with Avery Chezem the team’s Champions of Character recipient. The Saints, who appeared in the national tournament for the fourth time, finished 23rd in the final NAIA Top 25 poll.

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From the Heights—Fall 2016 Campus News

SHU and Chinese Institute Collaborate on Business Degree Partnership

Siena Heights University and the Shijiazhuang Vocational Technology Institute of China recently announced a business administration bachelor’s degree articulation agreement in August 2016. SVTI marketing and planning majors will have the opportunity to attend Siena Heights during their final year of study. Under the agreement, SVTI students will complete the first three years of coursework in the marketing and planning major at Shijiazhuang, then can attend SHU and take courses in SHU’s business administration program to complete their major. Students will also take English language courses and live on campus during their time in the U.S.

Environmental Science Students Conduct Research in Florida

In April 2016, Siena Heights Environmental Science majors/minors traveled to Florida’s Ponce Inlet and the Indian River Lagoon, the most bio-diverse estuary in North America covering two climate zones and 156 miles from Ponce Inlet to Jupiter Inlet. Students researched current environmental issues impacting a particular local habitat or species. They then toured or caught these species (live catch and release). Subsequent research involved tours of local conservation/preservation sites developed to protect these same habitats or species.

Reuss-McCann on Panel at BGSU

Professor of Sport Management Dr. Peggy Reuss-McCann was a panelist at the Social Justice through Sport and Exercise Psychology symposium April 1-2 at Bowling Green St. University. She
participated in a discussion on community engagement and social justice.

Siena Heights Hosts Inclusion Event May 20, 2016

Siena Heights hosted the American College Personnel Association’s Equity and Inclusion Summit May 20. SHU Director of Diversity and Inclusion Sharese Mathis co-chaired the event, which had a theme of “Practicing Authenticity, Integrity and Self-Care as Students and Educators.” The objective was to bring graduate students, student affairs practitioners and faculty together to discuss the challenges in student affairs, equity and inclusion and social justice work.

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Something to Prove

Renshaw Sets NAIA Weight Throw Record in Winning National Title

Kasey Renshaw’s initial motivation to throw a shot put was a milkshake from her eight grade gym teacher. Now, as a senior at Siena Heights University, the motivation is a little bigger: winning national championships.

“I was in gym class in eighth grade and my teacher, who also working with the track team here, said, ‘Hey, Kasey, if you can throw this shotput in the air this high, I will buy you a milkshake,’” she said. “That was the first time I ever touched a shot put, but I got the milkshake. After that they pretty much started recruiting me to Siena.”

While Renshaw was not as highly recruited as current NCAA Division I athletes out of high school, she’s proved to be one of the top indoor weight throwers in the country. Among all NCAA and NAIA divisions, Renshaw is one of the best throwers in the nation. Her 70-foot, 10-inch performance at the Indiana University Relays, where she placed first in a meet full of Division I athletes, proves it.

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