Moore and Viana Earn Academic Recognition
May 6, 2008
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina University celebrated the scholastic achievements of its student-athletes Saturday morning with the annual Breakfast of Champions program in the Murphy Center's Harvey Hall.
During the event, which is sponsored by PCS Phosphate, women's soccer player Nicole Moore was named Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete while tennis standout Henrique Viana received Outstanding Male Scholar-Athlete honors.
"Playing [soccer] has shown me what it takes to succeed at the highest level, whether it is in sports, academics, or any other realm," said Moore, a junior defender/midfielder for the Pirates. "I have learned the amount of sacrifice it takes to be the best and how to balance the responsibility of leading a group of people while being true to myself by maintaining my own personal goals and morals."
Moore, who received a pair of prestigious scholar-athlete awards as an ECU freshman, is an exercise/physiology major with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average with plans to attend medical school.
She is also a tireless volunteer, having served as a tutor for her fellow athletes and students at Belvoir Elementary School. Other organizations that have benefited from her volunteer efforts include Pitt County Memorial Hospital, the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina and the Boys and Girls Club of Pitt County.
A native of Brazil, Viana bounced back from off-season shoulder surgery to rank second among all ECU singles players in 2008 while earning All-Conference USA (Second Team) honors. The two-time team captain also co-owns the Pirates' top singles record against Conference USA opponents.
In the classroom, Viana, a communications major, has maintained a 3.87 grade point average. He has received numerous honors for academic achievement, including Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society membership.
After graduating this month, Viana plans to pursue a graduate degree in international public relations before seeking a career with the United Nations.
"When I signed my letter-of-intent to represent the tennis team at East Carolina University, I thought I was going to continue to play tennis, acquire a degree and move back home," Viana said. "However, today I realize that I did a lot more than that .... Being a student-athlete has led me to find another side of me - a leader."
Viana's community service includes volunteering as an interpreter in the public schools and work with Habitat for Humanity, the United Way and the Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina.
Several special awards were presented during Saturday's program. The Kristi Overton Female Scholar-Athlete Award was presented to golfer Amber Littman while softball's Erin St. Ledger received the Walter and Marie Williams "Spirit of the East" Post-Eligibility Scholarship Award. The Pat Draughon Post-Graduate Scholarship Award went to basketball's Taylor Gagnon, and tennis player Hannah Priest received the Pirate Service and Leadership Post-Graduate Scholarship Award.
During the Breakfast of Champions event, 17 ECU student-athletes were named to the PCS Phosphates All-Academic Team for 2008. Joining Gagnon, Moore, Priest and Viana on the team were: Nicholas Boerio (Men's Cross Country), Tayleigh Davis (Women's Cross Country), Jheri Godfrey (Women's Track), Melanie Granville (Women's Golf), Geoff Handsfield (Men's Swimming), Gabriela Husarova (Women's Basketball), Jessica Johnson (Softball), Anthony Reale (Men's Golf), David Rucker (Men's Track), Drew Schieber (Baseball), Joe Sloan (Football), Kelly Swain (Women's Swimming) and Kelley Wernert (Volleyball).