Worcester, Mass. – For the second consecutive season, Clark University volleyball standout Courtney Pharr (Seattle, Wash.) has been named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) first-team academic all-district it was announced on Thursday afternoon.
Along with 53 other student-athletes from Division III – including Springfield's Lauren Holt and Marnae Mawdsley along with MIT's Megan Gebhard and Tori Wutherich as well as WPI's Azita Bakhtyari – Pharr advances to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a 4.00 scale, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at his/her institution and be nominated by their Sports Information Director. Academic All-District teams are comprised of student-athletes who are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada with District I consisting of New England states plus New York.
A biology major on the pre-med track who minors in bioinformatics and computer science, Pharr sports a 3.99 grade point average and has been a key cog in the program's 22-7 season thus far and their second straight New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament semifinal appearance.
Pharr has started all 29 matches this season and is averaging 1.51 kills per set, while ranking fourth in the league in overall service aces (50). Her career total of 164 ranks second on the school's all-time list and she has had at least 40 service aces in three of her four seasons.
A six-time Dean's List First Honors selection, Pharr is a LEEP Scholarship recipient, which is given based on academic merit, service and leadership. Earlier this week, she was one of eight members of this season's team to be named NEWMAC Academic All-Conference – her third such selection.
Earlier this year she received two prestigious academic awards. First she was awarded the David Potter Award for Excellence in Biology, which is given to the senior biology student for outstanding academic achievement. She also grabbed the Kenneth A. Senter Endowed Award, given annually to pre-med students on the basis of high academic standing.
In addition to Pharr's outstanding athletic and academic achievements, she has given countless hours to community service on campus and in the area surrounding the campus. She serves as a member of the University's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and is a member of the University's Athletic Board.
On two occasions, Pharr has spent a portion of her winter break as a member of CAST (Clark Athletics Service-Learning Trip), traveling first to El Cidral, Dominican Republic (2014) and then to Loma Linda, Guatemala (2015) to help use sports as a tool to effect change and participate in meaningful community service.
Her academic pursuits have led her to meaningful real world experiences. In the summer of 2016, Pharr was at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, completing clinical rotations in several different disciplines, including the Psychiatric Emergency Care, Urgent Care and at the Cardiac Catheterization Lab.
In 2015, she was back home in Seattle conducting research at the University of Washington in their Neurological Surgery Summer Student Program with Dr. Nino Ramirez and Dr. Fred Garcia in the Center for Integrative Brain Research at the Seattle Children's Research Institute.
Pharr joins women's soccer star Kara Fisher as two fall student-athletes who have made their way on to the national ballot for their respective sports.
Since the Academic All-America program began back in 1952, Clark has only had three student-athletes achieve that status. Women's swimmer Liz Rosen was a second-team selection in 2011, joining men's soccer's Matthew Maranz (1987, third-team) and women's basketball standout Michele Maxwell (1993, second team).