Cali Roper was awarded the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award by Rice Athletics during the annual “Night of the Owls” awards ceremony in Tudor Fieldhouse. In addition Roper has recently received a $7,500 scholarship from the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee due to her academic and athletic excellence as a Rice student.
The Joyce Pounds Hardy Award is presented annually to the Owls' top overall female student-athlete “for her efforts in sports, in the classroom and in the community.” During her time at Rice, Roper won a total of nine Conference USA Championships in distance events. She won three consecutive titles individual in the 10,000 meters and lead Rice to a Conference USA title in 2015 and 2016 in Cross Country. She was a leader and top performer for the Rice Women’s Track & Field Team and Rice Women’s Cross Country Team.
“Ever since my freshman year when I was sitting at Night of the Owl, I remember watching athletes receive the Joyce Pounds Hardy Award,” Roper said. “When my name was called this year, I was in awe. To receive this type of recognition was a dream in itself. I am so grateful and will forever cherish the award”.
In addition to her athletic success Roper has been highly successful in the classroom. While at Rice University, Roper studied Sport Management and currently holds a 3.75 GPA. She has been awarded a $7,500 scholarship from the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee, which can be used towards any part-time or full-time study at a university or professional school. Roper speaks very highly of her education at Rice and the excellent professors she had.
“I had some of the most incredible professors that believed in me which made me believe in myself,” Roper said. “Professor Stallings and Coach Jim Bevan both told me that with the dedication, drive, and determination I held, I could do whatever I set my mind to. I would never have had this guidance anywhere else”.
Roper will graduate in May 2017 with a degree in Sport Management. She plans to attend graduate school in the fall of 2017, at the University of Houston, in her pursuit of a career helping individuals overcome issues related to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. She continues to run and appreciates everything that Rice University allowed her to accomplish athletically and in the classroom.
Carson Crain is a junior from Houston, Texas, and is double-majoring in Sport Medicine and Sport Management.