Kent, OH

Kent State Athletics announces this year's Department Award Winners

Paul Krasinic
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KENT, OH — Kent State’s University’s Kent State Athletics has announced the 2020-21 recipients of the department’s top honors.

The Judith K. Devine Excellence in Leadership Award is given to a senior student-athlete who demonstrates leadership in all aspects of her life, including team, department, collegial unit, and community. This year's recipient for this award is Gymnast Nasha Manitkul-Davis.

She was a gym team leader who was actively involved in creating a more diverse and inclusive student-athlete experience at Kent State and beyond. Manitkul-Davis served as President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee this past year after serving on the committee for four years.

For the past four years, she has served as the Golden Flashes' female representative on the Mid-American Conference Council of Student-Athletes. Manitkul-Davis was a member of the department's first Game Changers cohort last fall, which strives to develop stronger working connections among student-athletes by intentionally engaging in communication across differences.

Abby Fletcher, a gymnast, was honored with the Janet Bachna Award, which honors a graduating female student-athlete who exemplifies the most remarkable combination of leadership, positive image, athletic ability, and academic accomplishment.

She was a three-apparatus performer and team captain who won the floor exercise individual title at each of the three MAC Championships she competed in throughout her career. This past season, Fletcher has voted MAC Senior Gymnast of the Year and was chosen to the All-MAC Second Team.

Ben Carew, a baseball student-athlete, received the Merle Wagoner Award, which honors a graduating male student-athlete with the most extraordinary combination of leadership, positive image, athletic talent, and academic success.

He was named to the All-MAC First Team twice and finished his career with a 0,352 batting average, which ranks in the top ten in program history. Carew was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-District player and an anAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete. He earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's degree in business administration.

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