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Yale Honors Seven Seniors and One Team at Senior Student-Athlete Reception

A crowd of several hundred attended the annual Senior Student-Athlete Reception Saturday afternoon.
A crowd of several hundred attended the annual Senior Student-Athlete Reception Saturday afternoon.

Brodhead, Ford, Kiphuth and Meyer Award Winners Announced

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Seven seniors and one team were honored by the Yale Athletics Department with awards at the annual senior student-athlete reception Saturday afternoon at the Lanman Center in Payne Whitney Gymnasium. The men’s fencing team earned the Brodhead Award for highest team grade point average. Paige Decker (New Preston, Conn.) of the women’s ice hockey team, Jane Kozey (Ansonia, Conn.) of the women’s crew team and Beau Palin (Oconomowoc, Wisc.) of the football team were the recipients of the Ford Student-Athlete Community Outreach Award. Tucker Kocher (San Francisco, Calif.) of the men’s soccer team and Brenda Seah (Singapore) of the women’s fencing team were the recipients of the Kiphuth Student-Athlete Distinction Award. Pat Killian (Nashville, Tenn.) of the men’s swimming and diving team and Kallie Parchman (Baltimore, Md.) of the women’s lacrosse team were the recipients of the Meyer Humanitarian Award.

The Brodhead Award is named in honor of Richard H. Brodhead '68, Ph.D. '72, who served as Dean of Yale College from 1993 through 2004 and was on the faculty of the department of English for more than 30 years. The men’s fencing team won the award with a 3.73 cumulative grade point average through the fall of 2013. The team had an Academic All-Ivy League selection in senior captain Cornelius Saunders (Rye, N.Y.), a global affairs/economics major. Saunders was one of 10 team members who qualified for NCAA Regionals. Two Bulldogs went on to compete at the NCAA National Championship, where the men’s and women’s teams combined to finish 12th.

The Ford Award, given annually to the male and female student-athletes who have demonstrated their commitment to strengthening the relationship between Yale Athletics and the New Haven community, is named in honor of Thomas W. Ford '42, who endowed the Yale Athletics Community Outreach Program in the fall of 1996.

Decker was chair of the Yale Athletics Student-Athlete Community Outreach Committee. In that role she was involved in a number of initiatives, including helping to organize two annual youth days where Yale student-athletes welcomed dozens of local youngsters to the campus to learn sports skills and watch Yale games. She also helped organize the weekly Bulldog Buddies reading program (in which Yale student-athletes visit a local school to help children with homework and to play sports) and the annual holiday gift giving drive (in which Yale teams volunteer to purchase holiday gifts for needy local families). This year the gift giving program achieved 100% participation from Yale’s varsity teams.

Decker, a forward who played in 88 games for her career, was also involved in a number of initiatives with her women’s ice hockey teammates. She helped organize the team’s annual “White Out for Mandi” fundraiser game for the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, the charity named in memory of former women’s ice hockey player Mandi Schwartz ’10 (1988-2011). Decker also helped organize the annual Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive at Yale. To date, Yale’s drives have registered more than 4,500 potential marrow donors from the local community and located at least 23 donor matches for patients with life-threatening illnesses.

Decker and her teammates also took part in the “Yale Bulldog PAWS (Pediatric Alliance With Student-athletes)” program, which pairs Yale athletic teams with pediatric patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital to serve as a support group. The Yale women’s ice hockey team “adopted” a local girl named Giana Cardonita, who was recovering from surgery for a brain tumor. Giana has been a part of the team for four years now.

Decker is an American studies major in Trumbull College. Prior to Yale she attended Westminster School.

Kozey learned how to row through Yale’s Community Rowing Program, which began in 1999. She stayed with Yale Community Rowing through middle and high school, and has coached with the program since 2011. She helped to organize this past summer’s partnership with Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy. All told, she has coached more than 500 local youths through the program.

Kozey, who rowed in Yale’s third varsity eight for wins in the Connell Cup and the Cayuga Cup earlier this spring, is a Russian and East European studies major in Trumbull College. Prior to Yale she attended New Haven Academy.

Palin has served as an assistant director of the Warrior-Scholar Project, a two-week “academic boot camp” hosted at America’s top universities to help veterans transition from the military to college. In that role he was involved in operations management, development of academic programs and fundraising. He has also assisted with the promotion of the Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive -- including co-filming, editing and producing a video to help register 843 people at the 2013 drive.

Palin has volunteered for Squash Haven, a Yale program that provides individually directed academic enrichment and squash instruction to New Haven public school students in fifth grade through high school, and for Eli’s Friends in the Pediatric Primary Care Clinic of Yale-New Haven Hospital with the “Reach out and Read Program”.

Palin, elected captain of the football team by his teammates, was honored multiple times this season for his work on the field, in the classroom and in the community. An honorable mention All-Ivy League selection, Palin started every game the last two years after making the switch from tight end to defensive end. He made the Football Championship Subdivision Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team and was also selected to the National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society, comprised of college football players from all divisions who maintained a cumulative 3.2 GPA or better throughout their college careers.  He received Yale’s Gregory Dubinetz Memorial Trophy, given to the lineman who best exemplifies the spirit of Greg Dubinetz as a player and person.

Palin is an ecology and evolutionary biology major in Jonathan Edwards College. Prior to Yale he attended University School of Milwaukee. His older brother, Drew Palin ’06, also played football for Yale.

The Kiphuth Award that Kocher and Seah won is given to the male and female student-athletes who rank highest in scholarship and have earned two varsity awards. It is named in honor of DeLaney Kiphuth '41, M.A. '47, who served as Director of Athletics from 1954 through 1976.

Kocher, an economics major in Silliman College, had a 4.00 GPA and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. A defender, he appeared in 31 career games, including starting a career-high 12 games in 2011 before missing most of the past two seasons following an injury. This season he received the Jack Marshall Award, awarded by the Yale Soccer Association to the member of the team who demonstrated the qualities of team spirit, loyalty to his fellow players and dedication to the game.

Prior to Yale Kocher attended University High School.

Seah, a linguistics major and member of Jonathan Edwards College, had a 3.98 GPA and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. During her career she fenced epee and saber for the Bulldogs, including a pair of appearances at the NCAA Northeast Regionals.  This past season she received the team’s Corey Friedlander Award for serving as the manager of the Yale women's fencing team. She was also a member of the epee squad that claimed fifth place at the U.S. Collegiate Squad Championships.

Prior to Yale Seah attended Hwa Chong Institution.

The Meyer Award that Killian and Parchman won is named in honor of Molly Meyer, a nurse practitioner at Yale University Health Services who has been addressing the health needs of student-athletes at Yale since 1975. The award is given each year to a varsity athlete in the senior class "whose character exemplifies selfless devotion along with compassion and concern for their team and the community at Yale and beyond."

Killian -- whose sister, Anne Killian ’11, captained the Yale women’s swimming and diving team and won the Ford Award and the Meyer Award in 2011 -- spent Saturday mornings teaching swimming lessons to children from the New Haven community as part of Yale Swim New Haven, a program his sister co-founded when she was an undergraduate. Known for his work ethic, he spent every summer in New Haven and committed himself to improving his own times with an eye towards helping the team as a whole. He swam a season-best time of 21.50 in the 50-yard freestyle at the Ivy League Championships.

This year Killian earned the men’s swimming and diving team’s Phil Moriarty Prize, given for dedication and personal achievement. That was the second team award Killian earned in his career; in 2012-13 he received Yale’s MacLeish Memorial Swimming Trophy for efforts and high ideals in sportsmanship and loyalty.

A linguistics major, Killian is in Pierson College. He is a graduate of Montgomery Bell Academy.

Parchman was a volunteer with the Warrior-Scholar Project, serving as director of outreach. In her role, she helped establish relationships with partner organizations. During the past three years, she helped recruit military veterans for the workshop and personally raised more than $3,000 for the workshop. Parchman also worked at ReadySetLaunch, mentoring a disadvantaged high school student. She helped the student earn multiple scholarships and gain acceptance to his first choice of colleges (The College of Charleston). Parchman is also a leader with Athletes in Action, a Christian fellowship group for student-athletes on the Yale campus. She helps lead group meetings and leads a weekly bible study. Additionally, she serves as a Morse College Sophomore Counselor, advising sophomores in her residential college.

Parchman appeared in 51 games for her career, including 41 starts. A psychology and economics major, she earned a spot on the IWLCA Division I Academic Honor Roll last year. Prior to Yale she attended Roland Park Country School.

At Saturday’s ceremony the Bulldogs also recognized all of the seniors that had participated in Yale’s Kiphuth Leadership Academy, a program that is designed to foster leadership skills in Yale’s student-athletes. A crowd of several hundred was on hand for the event, including senior student-athletes and their families along with coaches and athletic department administrators. Women’s basketball player Zenab Keita addressed the crowd to sum up the experience of her class.