BLACKSBURG – Virginia Tech women’s basketball player Aisha Sheppard and male football student-athlete Kahlil Dover were announced as the recipients of the 2021 Skelton Award for Academic Excellence in Track and Field on Wednesday.

Their academic successes, along with their success on the pitch / field and in the community, led to receiving the award – the highest designation bestowed by the Tech Athletics Department.

The Skelton Prize is named after Dr Bill and Peggy Skelton. The late Dr. Skelton served in the Corps of Cadets and graduated from Virginia Tech in 1940. He then worked as the dean of the Virginia Cooperative Extension division at Tech. The late Peggy Skelton was a faculty member and director of the Co-operative Extension Family Resource Program at the College of Home Economics at Virginia Tech. Both were founding members of the Ut Prosim Society and its President’s Circle and have partnered for over 100 years to support the university in various capacities.

The award is presented annually to a junior, senior or fifth year student-athlete who has competed in intercollegiate athletics for at least two seasons at Tech and who has an overall grade point average of 3.40 or higher. Each recipient receives a scholarship of $ 5,000.

“Bill and Peggy Skelton grew up on rural farms, learning early on the value of strong work efforts, high ethical standards, a sense of community and service to others,” John Skelton and Jean Skelton, children of Dr. Bill Skelton and Peggy Skelton’s stepchildren, said in a joint statement. “They appreciated the opportunities that presented themselves in life and at Virginia Tech and wanted to ‘follow through’. It was their hope, just like ours, that the Skelton Prize will recognize the hard work, effort and commitment of our Hokie student-athletes and inspire them to advance the spirit of our university motto, Ut Prosim [‘That I May Serve’]. “

Sheppard, a senior from Alexandria, Va., Led the Virginia Tech women’s basketball team to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2006. All-ACC first-team selection won AP honors All-America. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in audiovisual journalism and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural and life sciences.

Dover, a junior from Reston, Va., Has played 15 games this season for the Hokies. He’s scored twice, including a total in a 1-1 draw at Virginia on October 14. Dover, a 6-3 forward, assisted Tech in his fifth straight appearance at the NCAA tournament this spring.

Dover is pursuing a business degree with the intention of working in homeland security.

Kahlil Dover_2021 Skelton Prize
For the second year in a row, Virginia Tech’s AD Honors Celebration has been recognized in a virtual format via social media in light of the global pandemic.

Department officials named Regan Westwood and Ryan Kros as Virginia Tech recipients of the 2020-2021 CCA Female Athlete of the Year and CCA Male Athlete of the Year . Westwood, a senior from Potomac, Md., Is a double major in Smart Sustainable Cities, and Environmental Policy and Planning. Kros is a senior from Fairfax, Va., Specializing in building construction.

Westwood ACC Fellow-Athlete of the Year_2021
ACC Kros_2021 Fellow-Athlete of the Year
The department also recognized student-athletes who scored a 4.0 GPA in the 2020 calendar year. This group includes Cate Stone (women’s cross country), Jessica Spicer (women’s golf), Sarah Spicer (women’s golf) , Kayleigh Addington (softball), Matt Zambetti (men’s football), Caroline Cipolla (women’s football), Keith Myburgh (men’s swimming). and diving), Julia Smith (women’s swimming and diving), Joelle Vereb (women’s swimming and diving), Regan Westwood (women’s swimming and diving), Lauren Berman (women’s athletics), Emma Thor (women’s athletics), Erika Cheng (women’s tennis) ), Nika Kozar (women’s tennis), Soney Carey (cheerleading), Danielle Lombardozzi (cheerleading), Kelsey Smith (cheerleading), April Soedel (manager), Georgia Brandt (sports medicine), Elizabeth Canfield (sports medicine), Brenna Kiel (sports medicine), Kaitlyn Pollock (sports medicine), Zoe Rose (sports medicine), Jenna Ruby (sports medicine) and Thomas Sherrier (sports medicine).

Finally, the department recognized its All-Academic 2020 team, which includes the top academic student-athlete in their sport. The roster for this all-academic team includes Jonathan Kabongo (men’s basketball), Nick Holesa (baseball), Cayla King (women’s basketball), Tyler Leeser (men’s cross-country), Connor Johnson Jr. (men’s golf), Paige Petty (women’s) ) lacrosse), Joe Badalamenti (men’s athletics), Ryan Kros (men’s tennis), Kaity Smith (volleyball), Caden Darber (wrestling), Stan Smeltzer (wrestling), Riley Rosenberger (HighTechs), Caitlyn Hutcheson (HighTechs), Senah Stephens (HighTechs), Raheem Blackshear (football) and Maggie Menoni (HokieVision).



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