CHESTERTOWN, Md. — Six of Washington College's top varsity student-athletes will be initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society - the nation's oldest and most widely-known Academic Honor Society tomorrow night.
The six WC varsity student-athletes to be initiated are: lacrosse player Anna Inserra (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollows Hills West), swimmer Jason Mercando (Pennsburg, Pa./Upper Perkiomen), field hockey player Jenn Miller (Westminster, Md./North Carroll), rower and swimmer Maddie Morrissette (Arlington, Mass./Arlington), lacrosse player Cara Pascarella (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollows Hills East), and volleyball player Audrey Utchen (San Ramon, Calif./Monte Vista). All six are academically considered seniors at WC, though Miller enrolled early at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy last year while still complete her degree from the College.
Inserra was named the 2016 Centennial Conference Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year for all sports after securing the same honor for women's lacrosse. A team captain, she was named to the 2016 All-Centennial Conference second team and the 2016 Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll. She was also named her team's Most Valuable Player last season. She is majoring in Chemistry.
Mercando qualified for the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll each of the past two seasons and is in line for that honor a third time this winter. One of the men's swim team's top sprinters, he won a bronze medal in the 400 freestyle relay at the 2016 Centennial Conference Championships. He is majoring in Biology with a concentration in Biochemistry.
Miller had an impressive field hockey career for the Shorewomen before moving on to pharmacy school. She was a team captain and was among the team's top scorers her final two seasons. She was a three-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Scholar of Distinction, a three-time member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad, and a three-time qualifier for the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll. She is completing her degree in Biology from the College.
Morrissette is a two-sport student-athlete who was named the NCAA Elite 89 Award Winner for Division III Rowing in 2015. A team captain, she has competed at three NCAA Division III Rowing Championships and is a two-time All Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC) selection and 2016 Team MVP. She is also a two-time Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) National Scholar-Athlete and a two-time Academic All-MARC qualifier. In swimming, she is line for her third time on the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll and was named to the 2014 Centennial Conference All-Sportsmanship Team. She was the female winner of the College's Elizabeth "Bo" Blanchard Memorial Sportsmanship Award last spring and is majoring in Biology.
Pascarella is a team captain and two-time Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll qualifier. She is a mainstay in the women's lacrosse team's starting line-up for the third straight season. She is majoring in Economics.
Utchen was a volleyball team captain who finished her collegiate career as the school's all-time leader in digs with exactly 1,600. She qualified for the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll three times and was named to a pair of All-Tournament teams. A Business Management major, she is also the current President of the College's Student Government Association.
This year's six new initiated student-athletes will bring the total number of Washington College varsity student-athletes initiated into Phi Beta Kappa to 53 since the first initiation class in 2007.
About 10% of the nation's colleges and universities have chapters of Phi Beta Kappa. At those schools, roughly 10% of seniors are initiated, meaning only roughly 1% of the nation's collegiate seniors are initiated each year.