WESTFIELD, Mass. – Westfield State University senior field hockey forward Brittany Bowes (Leicester, Mass.) and senior men's ice hockey defenseman Marcus Payne (Fogo Island, Newfoundland) were recently named as the 2018-19 senior scholar-athlete winners at the Owls Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's Senior and Awards banquet.
The senior scholar-athlete awards are given to the male and female senior athletes who have compiled the highest grade point average in their four years of competition at Westfield State University.
For Bowes, it was one of multiple awards the senior has earned this season for academics. Dating back to late September of last year, Bowes was named a National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Four-Year Scholar of Distinction, received the Westfield State University Class of 1983 Scholarship and Westfield State Foundation Scholarship, received the Sports Medicine Honors Award (four the fourth time) for highest GPA in her class, and was presented a Westfield State Excellence Award for her Sports Medicine Honors.
"Academically, she had an extremely high college GPA, how do you keep track of all the awards that come with that?" joked Westfield State field hockey coach Jessica Bergen.
Bowes' hard work and dedication in the classroom also translated onto the playing field.
"As much as she works hard in the classroom, she has showed us so much improvement on the field…she made some big changes and was leading us in scoring at one point during this year, she's just a fantastic person with a great work ethic," Bergen exclaimed.
Bowes went from playing in three games her freshman year to becoming a senior captain, starting 18 of 19 games and tacking on five goals and two assists her final season.
"Westfield has allowed me to grow both academically and athletically, which both have high value in my life and ultimately defines what it means to be a scholar-athlete. It is all about being a competitor inside and outside the classroom, if you bring your passion to both there is only room for success," said Bowes.
Bowes will graduate this May, majoring in Movement Science.
As for Payne, along with the male senior scholar-athlete, he has been a part of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Conference's All-Academic team every year he has been at Westfield State University and was recognized at the annual athletic director's 3.0 reception for achieving a perfect 4.0 in the fall semester.
"Marcus has been a model student-athlete since he stepped on campus," expressed Westfield State University hockey coach Bob Miele. "He is unbelievably driven both in the classroom and on the ice. He has a very bright future ahead of him."
On the ice, Payne was a shut-down defenseman on the penalty kill for the Owls, always playing physical and displaying his hard work ethic.
"Balancing academics, athletics, research, and extracurricular activities at Westfield State University has developed skills in discipline, perseverance, and time-management that will be beneficial for my future aspirations," said Payne.
Payne has been involved with cancer research projects at Westfield State University during the past few years. The research would prove as stepping stones for his doctoral ambitions, as it was recently presented in a student research symposium at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst.
"Being a doctor is my passion, that's what I want to do," Payne said intently.
He aspires to attend Memorial University of Newfoundland to complete his Master's Thesis in research in Biochemistry after graduation. Upon completion, Payne looks to head off to medical school and pursue a Doctorate's degree and furthermore a PhD to practice his research.