POSTED: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 2:24pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 3:49pm
A record 38 past and present UTEP student-athletes will earn their degrees from the university on Saturday.
Leading the way is the Miner football program with 14 graduates. Nine graduates hail from track & field, five from men’s basketball, two each from women’s golf, softball and soccer, and one each from women’s basketball, men’s golf, women’s rifle and women’s tennis.
The list includes six student-athletes who will carry eligibility into the 2011-12 athletic year – football’s Russell Carr, Julio Lopez, Paul Santillan, Mike Scott and Jeremy Springer, and track & field’s Suji Adeniyan.
Headlining the list of football graduates is Donald Buckram, the school’s no. 7 all-time leading rusher with 2,417 yards. Buckram set a UTEP single-season record by running for 1,594 yards on his way to earning first team All-Conference USA honors in 2009.
Christian Polk and Jeremy Williams, who both had double-figure scoring averages for a UTEP basketball team that racked up 25 wins this season, will be graduating as well. Also picking up a diploma will be Greg Foster, who enjoyed a lengthy NBA career (1990-2003) after playing two seasons with the Miners (1988-90). Foster returned to El Paso to complete his degree work and spent the last year working with the UTEP team as an undergraduate student assistant.
Melissa Desilets and Tameka Sumter were both major contributors to the Miner soccer program in recent years. Desilets, the recipient of the Golden Miner Award at this year’s “Dinner With the Miners” banquet, ranks third in school history for minutes played (6,752), fifth for games started (77) and tied for sixth for games played (82). Sumter, a two-time first team All-Conference USA selection, ranks second in school history in points (98) and goals (43), and tied for second in game-winning goals (10).
Track and field’s list of graduates includes All-Americans Nicodemus Ng’etich (2008 cross country) and Shalaiyah Sommerville (2008 outdoor). Ng’etich was a five-time conference champion.
Rifle’s Josie Burzynski advanced to the NCAA Championships as an individual in 2009. She was ranked 18th in the country in air rifle that year.
A full list of UTEP’s May 2011 graduating student-athletes follows.
May 2011 UTEP Graduating Student-Athletes
Geoff Amato Criminal Justice
Donald Buckram Communication
Russell Carr Criminal Justice
Austin Contreras History
Tanner Cullumber Multidisciplinary Studies
Evan Davis Communication
Blake DuBose Multidisciplinary Studies
Lance Evbuomwan Multidisciplinary Studies
Wiston Jeune Multidisciplinary Studies
Julio Lopez History
Anthony McNac Multidisciplinary Studies
Paul Santillan International Business
Mike Scott Accounting
Jeremy Springer Management
Claude Britten Multidisciplinary Studies
Greg Foster Multidisciplinary Studies
Eric Munoz Management
Christian Polk Multidisciplinary Studies
Jeremy Williams Multidisciplinary Studies
Sviatlana Trukshanina International Business
Melissa Desilets Chemistry
Tameka Sumter Health Promotion
Men’s Track & Field
Suji Adeniyan Geology
Ronalds Arajs Multidisciplinary Studies
Aggrey Chirchir Marketing
Hans Eriksson Kinesiology
Justin Kepple Psychology
Nicodemus Ng’etich Finance
Women’s Track & Field
Jepchirchir Kigen Biology
Chasity Ross Multidisciplinary Studies
Shalaiyah Sommerville Psychology
Ashley Ellis Education
Becky Smith Kinesiology
David Murray Finance
Deborah Martinez Economics/Finance
Liz Sobczak Management
Marina De Luca International Business/Marketing
Josie Burzynski Multidisciplinary Studies