UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State University Athletic Conference held its annual awards banquet on Monday evening at the Nittany Lion Inn, recognizing four outstanding contributors to PSUAC member campuses and the conference. Penn State Brandywine seniors James Cellucci and Maddie Malfara, along with Penn State Lehigh Valley's Ebony Sanders, were given the John S. Egli award, while Penn State Beaver director of athletics Andy Kirschner received a spot on the Robert Scannell Roll of Honor.
The Egli Award is named in honor of John S. Egli, a former student-athlete, professor and coach who played a significant role in the addition of intercollegiate athletic programs to the commonwealth campuses. The award is given to the conference's top male and female student-athletes each year, with emphasis placed on athletic success, scholarly achievement, and community service.
Cellucci participated in both men's soccer and tennis during his time at Brandywine, capturing three PSUAC Championships and a USCAA National Championship in his four years. He has served as a volunteer coach with local soccer clubs and aided in soccer camp operations in his hometown, all while maintaining a 3.41 grade-point average, earning Dean's List recognition four times.
Malfara was a part of four PSUAC Championship teams, finishing with 110 career hits and picking up All-Conference honors this past spring. She has been an active Lion Ambassador at Brandywine, while also completing and presenting significant amounts of research during her four years. Malfara has also garnered numerous awards for her research, presenting at both campus and international exhibitions. Malfara finishes her time with a 3.84 GPA and routinely assisted in her community's efforts at homeless shelters and 911 call centers and hospitals.
Sanders, a two-sport star at Lehigh Valley, helped her team capture its first-ever PSUAC Women's Basketball Championship in February, earning All-Conference and All-American recognition in the process. Sanders is also an All-Conference volleyball player at Lehigh Valley, previously winning the conference's Newcomer of the Year award. Sanders has routinely assisted in the campus community, working Open House events for athletics, serving youth at basketball clinics in the region, coaching youth volleyball and taking part in her campus' "Week of Giving" over spring break. Sanders, a native of California, was unable to attend the banquet but was able to FaceTime in to view her introduction by Lehigh Valley women's basketball coach Lorie Khalil and provided a recorded speech for the gathering.
The Scannell Award, named for Robert J. Scannell, recognizes an administrator, faculty, staff member or coach who has served commonwealth campus athletic programs with distinction. Kirschner receives the award with 18 years as an athletics administrator and coach at Beaver. Kirschner has won four Coach of the Year awards in softball; been named the USCAA's Garth Pleasant Athletic Director of the Year; and the USCAA's Softball Coach of the Year. In addition, Kirschner has served as the president of the USCAA's Board of Directors and will serve as the president of the PSUAC's Council of Athletic Directors beginning July 1, 2019.