Saint Mary's Duncan Earns 2018 Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar Athlete Award

Saint Mary's Duncan Earns 2018 Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar Athlete Award

Freeland, Mich. -- Saint Mary's College's Makenzie Duncan has been named the recipient of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's 2018 Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar-Athlete Award.

"It is an honor to recognize Makenzie Duncan as the Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Scholar-Athlete Award recipient for 2018," said Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Commissioner Penny Allen-Cook. "This year's nominations truly embodied what it means to be an MIAA student-athlete, and Makenzie emerged as the top candidate. Not only were Makenzie's academic successes second-to-none, but her overall character and athletic achievement demonstrate the spirit of the Kovalchik Award." 

The Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes graduating female seniors who have excelled in academics and athletics, as well as displayed outstanding leadership in their respective communities. The award honors former MIAA Commissioner Sheila Wallace Kovalchik, who served the conference as commissioner from 1991 to 2002.

Duncan becomes the third student-athlete from Saint Mary's College and first since 2010 to earn the Kovalchik Award.

Academically, Duncan was named a co-valedictorian of the 2018 Saint Mary's College graduating class with an unblemished 4.00 grade-point average in her pursuit of a degree in Integrative Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Duncan became Saint Mary's first-ever Academic All-American of the Year in 2018 with her selection as the top student-athlete in NCAA Division III in softball. The eight-time Dean's List honoree was also a member of both the TriBeta Biological Honor Society and the Kappa Gamma Pi Honor Society, was a published author in the field of chemistry, and was a research participant with a collaborative effort with Auburn University resulting in a published article in Frontiers of Microbiology in May, 2018.

On the softball field, Duncan was a four-year starter and an All-MIAA selection in 2018 after earning second-team All-MIAA recognition in 2017. Duncan was a key factor in aiding the Belles to their first-ever NCAA Division III Softball Tournament appearance this past spring during a season that included the 218 MIAA Championship and a 36-7 record overall. Duncan was a second-team All-Region selection by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association to cap her 2018 senior campaign. For her career, Duncan is the Saint Mary's record holder for both season and career marks in RBI and triples.

Duncan's work in the community included serving as the social media chair for Belles Against Violence and was a coordinating member of Saint Mary's softball's Team IMPACT program. Duncan also worked as a Teaching Assistant in both Saint Mary's Math and Biology departments.

Duncan is currently enrolled in the physician assistant program at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois.


Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar-Athlete Award winners


Anne (Annie) VanderLaan, Calvin


Karen Hall, Alma


Julia Adams, Saint Mary's


Christine Hendricks, Calvin


Lisa Winkle, Calvin


Sarah Wittingen, Calvin


Nora Kuiper, Hope


Ashley Peterson, Saint Mary's


Melissa Oosterhouse, Calvin


Rebecca Kamp, Calvin


Carissa Verkaik, Calvin


Nicole Michmerhuizen, Calvin


Jenna Grasmeyer, Hope


Maggie Kamp, Calvin


Erin Herrmann, Hope


Makenzie Duncan, Saint Mary's