Five seniors comprised the first team, while Kush is one of three juniors on the second team. The chemistry major has the highest GPA of the 30 student-athletes selected to the University and College division teams and is the only College Division student-athlete from District I (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick).
“I’m honored to have Kristen as my advisee and as a member of my research group,” said Christine de Denus, associate professor of chemistry and associate dean of faculty. “I’ve never had such an exceptional student who excels academically, athletically, and musically, and as a community servant. What impresses me the most about Kristen is that she’s always the one giving to others and she never takes her talents for granted. I cannot think of a more deserving student for this honor.”
Kush is a two-time Liberty League All-Academic Team honoree. She’s been named to the Dean’s List four times, is a member of the Laurel Society (William Smith’s junior class honor society), and earned the Chemical Rubber Co. First-Year Chemistry Achievement Award. Kush is a chemistry department teaching fellow and teaching assistant.
“Kristen is probably the most talented student-athlete that I’ve ever had in class,” said Erin Pelky, associate professor of chemistry. “I think her work on the basketball court speaks for itself. She’s the A No. 1 star of the Liberty League. She’s also a superstar in the classroom. She combines a high-level of intelligence with an amazing work ethic. In addition to her academic studies, she does it all for the chemistry department: teaching fellow, laboratory assistant, served on our hiring committee, and a research assistant (and all-around great person).”
On the court, the two-time All-Liberty League selection is second in the conference in scoring (18.9 ppg), third in field goal percentage (.478), and fourth in rebounding (7.8 rpg). Kush has scored 472 points this season, fifth on the William Smith single season list, 21 points behind No. 4 Scott.
Kush has reached double digits in the scoring column in 34 consecutive games, including a career-high 28 points in an 81-76 overtime victory at St. Lawrence. She also collected a career-high 15 rebounds against the Saints during a three-point home loss. Six of William Smith’s nine double-doubles this season belong to Kush.
In her free time, Kush plays the trumpet in the Colleges’ brass ensemble and is an active volunteer at a local church.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at her current institution and be nominated by her sports information director.
Since the program’s inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 15,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
For more information about the Academic All-America® Teams program, visit www.cosida.com.