Student and Academic Life

14 Wildcats Inducted Into Frank G. Ham Society of Character

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Feb. 18, 2019) — Fourteen University of Kentucky student-athletes were recently inducted into the Frank G. Ham Society of Character with a ceremony at Rupp Arena.   The Society of Character annually honors Wildcats who have shown an extraordinary commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. The SOC was founded during the 1998-99 school year and is named for Ham, a longtime UK administrator.   This year's induction class is listed below:   Abbey Cheek, Softball

Cheek is just six home runs away from tying the all-time UK record for home runs. She was Southeaster Conference All-Freshman Team in 2016 and two-time SEC Player of the Week.

Cheek will be graduating with a degree in community and leadership development.

CJ Conrad, Football

A December 2018 graduate with a degree in communication, Conrad is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and Dean’s List (fall 2017).

Conrad helped lead UK to three straight bowl appearances for the first time since 2006-09, and in 2018 helped lead UK to a 10-win season for the first time since 1977. Conrad compiled 1,015 career receiving yards in his four-year career, becoming the 28th player to join the 1,000-yard club. He had 12 career TD catches, the second-most TD receptions by a tight end in UK history.

Conrad was named the winner of the 2018 Pop Warner National College Football Award, which recognizes a college graduating senior who has made a difference on the field, in the classroom and in his community, and serves as a role model to Pop Warner's young student-athletes. He was also named to the 2018 SEC Community Service Team.

Jonny David, Men’s Basketball

David is scheduled to graduate in the spring with a degree in kinesiology. He is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and appeared on the Dean’s List four times, including in each of the last three semesters. 

As a member of UK’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, David played a key role in UK’s relationship with the Special Olympics, including helping to organize fan participation in the Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics of Kentucky.

A four-year member of the UK men’s basketball team, David has played in 29 career games and been a part of three SEC Tournament championship teams and two SEC regular-season title squads.

Morgan Duerr, Rifle

The UK rifle team’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council representative, Duerr took on a leadership role in team’s Special Olympics outreach.

A member of the 2018 NCAA championship team, Duerr is an SEC Honor Roll member majoring in biology.

Very active in community service, Duerr has served as an academic mentor to children and also helped teach children gun safety and proper technique.

Marshall Gei, Baseball

Gei is a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He already earned an undergraduate degree in physics and is working toward his master's degree in medical physics, which includes working at the UK Markey Cancer Center.

Baseball’s Student-Athlete Athletic Council representative, Gei is heavily involved in the baseball program’s community outreach and service projects. 

Gei was named to the 2018 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Team.

After arriving at UK as a bullpen catcher, he has worked his way into a team captain role.

Sarah Loheide, Swimming

A freestyle specialist, Loheide recorded four career-best swims last season: 50 free (23.96), 100 free (51.78), 200 free (1:51.18), 500 free (4:58.14).

Loheide was on the 2017 SEC Academic Honor Roll and plans to apply to medical school this year. She aspires to be a physician. Loheide is research assistant at the College of Public Health.

A member of the Lewis Honors College and a UK Patterson Scholar, Loheide participated in several community service activities, including the Hope Center, Tri for Sight, God’s Pantry and the International Book Project.

Taylor Murray, Women’s Basketball

Murray is having a great season for the Wildcats, averaging 12.5 points per game while leading the team with 83 assists and 72 steals. The strong defensive performance has moved her up the career steal lists, and she currently is sitting at seventh all-time in program history with 256 career takeaways. The senior needs just 16 more steals to enter the program's top 5 all-time in steals.

Murray became the 34th player in program history to reach 1,000 points earlier this season and currently sits at 1,236 career points and ranks 20th all-time. She has 410 career assists which ranks seventh all-time at UK. She is a career 84.0 percent shooter from the free-throw line, which ranks third best in program history behind Maci Morris (.857) and Jenny Pfeiffer (.861).

Captain of the team this season, Murray has been very active in community service during her time at UK volunteering at elementary schools and nursing homes.

Cathryn Papasodora, Rifle

One of the leading shooters on the 2018 NCAA champion team, Papasodora was CRCA All-America in 2017, CRCA Scholastic All-American in 2016, and GARC All-Conference in 2018.

Papasodora is a member of the SEC Honor Roll majoring in integrated strategic communication.

Akvilė Paražinskaitė, Women’s Tennis   

A 2018 SEC Community Service Team member, Paražinskaitė participates in numerous volunteer activities.

Paražinskaitė was on the 2017 SEC Honor Roll and was named a 2016 ITA Scholar Athlete.

Paražinskaitė currently has a UTR ranking of 11 and is 5-1 in singles competition so far this season.

Her career aspiration is to work for an international organization dealing  with matters of foreign policy and diplomacy, while also serving nonprofit non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Sarah Rainwater, Softball

Rainwater hit her first-career home run against University of Illinois on Opening Day of 2019. She has bounced back well from an injury that forced her to miss the second half of last season.

The 2019 team captain was SEC First-Year Honor Roll and SEC Honor Roll member.

Jenny Schaper, Softball

Schaper is in her fourth year as UK’s starting catcher. She had the second-most RBIs in the 2018 season for Kentucky.

Schaper went to Ethiopia on UK Athletics’ annual educational/service trip in the summer of 2018.

She will graduate in May with degrees in communication and psychology.

Evangeline Soucie, Women’s Soccer

Soucie made the 2016 SEC All-Freshman Team and 2016 SEC First-Team Honor Roll. 

She has taken a medical retirement and remained with the team as a student coach.

Soucie  majors in kinesiology.

Jason Spaude, Rifle

A member of UK’s 2018 NCAA championship team, Spaude is captain of the 2019 squad. He was 2017 CRCA All-America, a 2016 CRCA Scholastic All-American as a freshman, and 2018 Honorable Mention All-GARC. 

Spaude is an SEC Honor Roll member majoring in agricultural and medical biotechnology.

McKenzie Watson, Volleyball

A December 2018 graduate with a degree in integrated strategic communication, Watson was a four-time All-SEC Academic Team member and a 2018 SEC Community Service Team member.

The two-time SEC champion advanced to the NCAA Tournament during all four seasons, including an NCAA Regional Finals appearance in 2017.

Watson appeared in more than 120 matches and finished with a career ranking in the top 10 in the rally-scoring era for sets played (410), aces (65) and digs (749).

For the latest on the Kentucky athletics, follow @UKathletics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as on the web at https://UKathletics.com

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