NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A pair of standout student-athletes have been selected as the Atlantic 10 Conference nominees for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award. Duquesne’s Madelyn Hoying (Grosse Ile, Mich. / Grosse Ile) and Jada Harris of Massachusetts were announced Tuesday as the conference candidates for one of the NCAA’s most impressive honors.
Hoying, a swimming and diving student-athlete, completed her eligibility during the 2019-20 season. Harris, a track & field student-athlete, is in grad school at Massachusetts and has one additional season of eligibility remaining in outdoor track and field. Both were chosen as the league nominees by the Atlantic 10’s Senior Woman Administrators (SWAs) based on their athletic achievements, academic prowess, community involvement and leadership abilities. They were selected from a pool of 15 extraordinary institutional nominees, representing eight different sports and 11 Atlantic 10 institutions.
“Jada and Madelyn have distinguished themselves as students, athletes, leaders and citizens and they truly represent the best among us in the Atlantic 10,” stated Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. “Each year we have outstanding student-athletes that are nominated for this prestigious award. Jada and Madelyn stand out among this impressive group of young women, both with what they have already done on campus and in their communities, and what they plan to do with their futures. I congratulate both as the 2020 A-10 Woman of the Year honorees.”
The NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee will select the top 30 (10 per division), and then will narrow the list to the top nine finalists (three per division) in late September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine. The top 30 honorees will be recognized and the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony this fall. The last Atlantic 10 nominee to be chosen as one of the nine finalists was Heather MacLean, a former Massachusetts track and field and cross country standout who was invited to the final ceremony in 2018.
Hoying not only helped Duquesne Women’s Swimming & Diving to two consecutive Atlantic 10 championship titles, but she did it while double majoring in biomedical engineering and physics and graduating Magna Cum Laude. Add in robust community outreach efforts, which have included the founding of the non-profit FosterRec, which provides access to athletics for foster children and serving as the founder and president of the Duquesne chapter of Medicines Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). She was a peer mentor for Women of Science, helping to address problems and issues for women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. She also was a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, executive board member of the Society of Women Engineers, and was an active member of the student fan section “Red and Blue Crew” at Duquesne.
She will continue her studies in bioastronautics at MIT and Harvard University. Her studies and lab research led her to an internship at NASA’s Langley Research Center and volunteer work at the Virginia Air and Space Center. This experience fueled her desire to become and astronaut. She started and led five teams to address NASA design challenges taking the lead on three published papers and winning several awards for her work. She also used her work to teach STEM at local schools in Pittsburgh. She also interned with the CIA.
Hoying, a Groselle, Mich., native, recorded a dozen personal bests during her senior campaign, setting those marks in the 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke at the 2020 A-10 Swimming and Diving Championship and in the 50-yard freestyle, 50-yard backstroke and 100-yard backstroke at Liberty University’s TYR ’85 Invitational. The two A-10 titles Duquesne won with Hoying’s help were the first two league championships in school history.
About the Atlantic 10 Conference
The Atlantic 10 Conference was founded in 1975 and consists of 14 diverse members across eight states and Washington, D.C. The mission of the Atlantic 10 is to provide an enhanced student-athlete experience through 21 nationally competitive championship sports. The basketball-centric conference is committed to integrity, educational excellence and providing quality equitable championship experiences for its student-athletes, coaches, and support staff. The membership consists of Davidson College, the University of Dayton, Duquesne, University, Fordham University, George Mason University, The George Washington University, La Salle University, the University of Massachusetts, the University of Rhode Island, University of Richmond, St. Bonaventure University, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Louis University and Virginia Commonwealth University. For more information, visit www.atlantic10.com.