April 17, 2013

Three CUA student-athletes honored at Cardinal Leadership Celebration

WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, April 16, Yasmeen Ajdari (women’s lacrosse), Caroline DiBartolomeo (women’s lacrosse) and Laura Kinley (women’s cross country/track and field) were honored by Catholic University at the annual Cardinal Leadership Celebration. Ajdari was named the Mary J. O’Dwyer Flynn Memorial Award winner, DiBartolomeo received the John J. Convey Award and Kinley was honored with the Martha Comiskey Memorial Award.

The Mary J. O’Dwyer Flynn Memorial Award is the highest honor presented to a junior female at Catholic University. Mary J. Flynn served on the 1944 United States Olympic diving and fencing teams. She came to CUA in 1949 to pursue a master’s degree in social work, which she received in 1951. She then became a member of the faculty and taught from 1951 to 1961 and 1971 to 1988.

The award is given to a junior female who has a GPA of at least 3.7, has taken on a prominent leadership role and has exemplified the highest levels of Christianity.

A year after receiving the John J. Covey Award, Yasmeen Ajdari earns her second university award in as many years. She carries an impressive 3.9 grade point average in the classroom as a philosophy and pre-law major.

Ajdari is a member of the Dean’s List, Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society, Undergraduate Fellows Program and was a 2010 recipient of the President’s Leadership award. She is also an administrative assistant in CUA’s philosophy department, a tutor in the Center for Academic Success, and served an internship with Document Systems, Inc., in 2012.

On the field, Ajdari, who has also played soccer while at CUA, has appeared in eight games this season for CUA in goal. She has stopped 23 shots during that time and earned three wins for the Cards. Last season, Ajdari played 374 minutes in goal, stopping 44 shots and earning two wins, while helping to lead CUA to its fifth consecutive Landmark Conference title.

The John J. Convey Award is named for John J. Convey Ph.D., who has served as provost and chief academic officer at CUA for 10 years. An avid supporter of Student Life on campus, he is ever present at university programs and events that foster and celebrate student success.

This award is presented in his honor to a sophomore student who has been active in student life and academic pursuits and has demonstrated leadership potential for his or her future endeavors at CUA.

Caroline DiBartolomeo has been a strong leader for the CUA women’s lacrosse team from the minute she set foot on campus. With nearly half of the Cardinals team in the freshman class this season, her leadership has proven to be even more valuable this season.

When a teammate and close friend was diagnosed with an illness earlier this academic year, DiBartolomeo became one of the driving forces in making sure her teammate was taken care of, while also meeting with other CUA teams to help unite the athletic department in its support. Carrying a grade point average above 3.6, DiBartolomeo is lauded by those around campus for her attitude, work ethic and positivity.

On the field, “DiBart” as she is known to teammates and coaches, scored 14 goals and handed out four assists last season, while helping to lead the Cards to their third NCAA Regional Final in the last five seasons. This year, the sophomore is second on the team with 32 goals and 36 points. She has also scooped up 27 ground balls and won 13 draw controls.

The Martha Comiskey Memorial Award is presented to a student in recognition of a high level of dedication to university activities, an ability and willingness to motivate his or her fellow students, and especially for an unwavering commitment to CUA’s goals.

Martha Comiskey was a very active student in the 1960’s. One of her accomplishments was the creation of the Fine Arts Council, which ultimately became the Program Board. She was socially action-minded, an excellent student and very dedicated to the university.

A captain of the CUA women’s cross country and track and field teams, Laura Kinley helped lead the Cardinals to their first Landmark Conference cross country championship this past fall. A 2012 USTFCCCA Academic All-American, Kinley was also a member of the Landmark champion 4 x 800 relay team at this year’s indoor conference championship.

In addition to her athletic success, Kinley is highly involved in a number of activities on and off campus. Twice, she went on a mission trip to Jamaica with Campus Ministry, serving as a team member in 2011 and team leader in 2012. Kinley is a service leader with the CUA Brookland Outreach program, an executive board member of SAAC, head lector with Catholic University Liturgy, an academic advisor with the first year experience, and a member of the prestigious President’s Society.

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