Photo of winners. From left: Ethan Martin; Madelyn Bullock; and Lucas Huang. Absent: Payton Hooey.

Cheering on our Academic All-Stars

Athletics and Recreation hosted the Academic All-Stars breakfast at Grant Hall on Tuesday, with 443 varsity student-athletes being recognized for having earned a 3.5 grade-point average or higher in the 2022-23 academic year.

Of the 443 varsity student-athletes recognized, 220 came from the Arts and Science, 81 from Smith Engineering, 56 from Smith School of Business, 47 from Health Sciences, 15 from Education, one from Law, and 23 from Graduate Studies. 
At the event Athletics and Recreation also proudly the Nixon Academic Leadership Award to Madelyn Bullock (Cross Country and Distance Track), Ethan Martin (Football), Payton Hooey (Artistic Swimming), and Lucas Huang (Cheerleading).

The Nixon Award is given out to the male and female athletes from both the varsity teams and clubs who have exemplified achievement in academics, community service, and fair play. These awards are named in honour of Gord and Janet Nixon, two extraordinary benefactors to Athletics & Recreation.

Bullock (Life Sciences) was a team captain with Cross Country and Distance Track in 2022-23, as well as a representative on the Varsity Leadership Council (VLC), Student-Athlete Academic Mentor (SAAM), and Gaels tutor.

Bullock also tutored outside of Queen's, and volunteered with Queen's Relay for Life, Martha's Table, and Motion Ball.

"Madelyn has become the epitome of what defines the Women's Cross Country and Distance Track team," head coach Mark Bomba says. "She is one of only a handful of athletes on the current team that was around before I came on board in 2021. During this time, her growth has been in all areas as a person and the culture of the team.

"She epitomizes where our current team has been, is heading, and where it will go in the future."

Martin (Science) served as a Gaels 101 mentor and peer tutor, and served on the Unity Leadership Council.

After volunteering with the Autism Mentorship Program from 2020-22, Martin became president of the program in 2023, pairing children with autism in the Kingston area with student-athlete volunteers to foster relationship building.

Martin helped coach the Queen's Women's Football, volunteered with Gaels Care and Motion Ball, and worked with Q Camps in the summer. Away from Queen's Martin volunteered with Kids Help Phone, Kingston Food Bank, London Health Sciences Center Children's Hospital, Big Brothers and Big Sisters Kingston, and a homeless support group.

"Ethan is a very driven and motivated student-athlete, both on and off the field," says Queen's Football head coach Steve Snyder. "He has an outstanding work ethic that he models for his teammates. Always working to improve on the field and to ensure his academics are at the highest level. He has been able to balance his athletic success with academic excellence throughout his time at Queen's."

Hooey (Arts and Science) has been a member of the Gaels' Cheerleading Team along with Artistic Swimming, and is involved with the Queen's Ladies in Fitness Training Rec Club (QLIFT), serving as co-president in 2023.

Hooey has volunteered as an Orientation Leader, and with Queen's Student Wellness Centre as a student notetaker. Outside of Queen's, Hooey has volunteered with Canadian Blood Services, the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston (SACK), and Crisis Line.

"Payton is an exceptional role model and team player who is always committed to fair play on and off the field," says Queen's Artistic Swimming Club President Elizabeth Hunt. "During her time with the artistic swimming team, Payton's positive attitude, even in the face of adversity, contributed to her team's confidence and ability to thrive in a high-performance environment.

"Payton's ability to successfully balance academic excellence, achievement in sport, and community engagement while maintaining a positive mindset demonstrates that she is an excellent role model both in and out of the pool."

Huang (Health Sciences) was Queen's Cheerleading's Varsity Leadership Council (VLC) representative and a member of Queen's Culture Day Committee.

Huang also worked with Queen's Health Sciences Outreach and Summer Program, mentoring youth in the Kingston area, and was a swim instructor for children with disabilities in the Kingston area with the SWAM program.

"Lucas prioritizes cheerleading while being a part of numerous committees and being a member of the armed forces," says Queen's Cheerleading Head Coach Alyssa Shaver. "He has a lead role on our team, actively assisting coaches in administrative tasks and speaks eloquently and professionally to his teammates and his coaches. He is a role model not only in terms of hitting some of the hardest skills we compete, but also through his leadership motivating the team to strive for excellence and persevere through challenges."

This story originally appeared on the Queen's Gazette.