Cape Breton's Disipio and StFX's Elbourne named Top Academic All-Canadians

Cape Breton's Disipio and StFX's Elbourne named Top Academic All-Canadians

(TORONTO, ONT.) U SPORTS proudly announced Thursday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2018-19 season.

Profiles of the two Atlantic conference representatives of the 2018-19 Top 8 are available below.

For the complete U SPORTS release, please click here

The elite group will be honoured at a later date at Rideau Hall, the official residence of workplace of the Governor General of Canada, in the nation’s capital.

The Governor General’s Academic All-Canadian Commendation was founded by the Right Honourable David Johnston, former Governor General of Canada, who first honoured Canada’s Top 8 student-athletes in 2013.

U SPORTS student-athletes achieve Academic All-Canadian status having maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing for one – or more – of their university’s varsity teams.

Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four U SPORTS conferences are selected annually to make up the Top 8.  

“The list of Academic All-Canadians continues to grow each year,” said Graham Brown, President and CEO of U SPORTS. “The success of the Top 8 is a testament to the dedication of our student-athletes on the field of play, in the classroom and as leaders in their communities across the country.”

As the official supporter of the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians, Sherrard Kuzz LLP will continue to support the travel, accommodation and hospitality of the group in the lead-up to the Commendation at Rideau Hall. All eight student-athletes will also receive a customized ring from Baron, the Exclusive Provider of championship rings and recognition jewelry for U SPORTS.

Ciera Disipio, Soccer, Cape Breton University

Hometown: Ottawa, Ont.
School: Cape Breton University
Faculty: Arts, Social Sciences & Culture
Program: Arts – Community Studies
Sports:  Soccer
Eligibility in 2018-19: 4th

Growing up Ciera Disipio always knew there was no option for her, soccer would ultimately guide her through young adulthood. Thus, naturally, when a calling from Cape Breton University came, she knew it was meant to be and has been very thankful for her time at CBU.

Disipio won the AUS Rookie of the Year in her first season as a Caper in 2015. She is also the first player to win the AUS Player of the Year three consecutive seasons in women’s soccer, capturing the award in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Disipio led the AUS is scoring for the second consecutive season in 2018-19 with 10 goals and 15 points, earning her second of three straight U SPORTS First Team All-Canadian honours. She was also named the 2018 Cape Breton University Athlete of the Year for the second time. During her Capers career, the team has also won four AUS titles, along with U SPORTS silver and bronze medals.

Academically, Disipio has been a Dean’s List student in her Bachelor of Arts Community Studies degree and is a member of the Honour’s Society. A three-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian and an AUS James Bayer Memorial Scholarship nominee on the Sydney, N.S., campus, Disipio was also named a Top 8 Academic All-Canadian for the 2017-18 season.

“Ciera is a model student,” said Professor Bettina Callary. Not only does she submit quality work and get excellent grades, but her attendance in classes, and her participation in group work and discussions adds value to the class and demonstrates critical thinking.”

In the community, the 22-year-old is involved with the Undercurrent Youth Centre, Fanatics in Training, Youth in Motion, Shoot for the Cure and the Student Advisory Council, to name just a few organizations. She is also a volunteer soccer coach with Soccer Cape Breton Under 17 team and in her hometown of Ottawa with the sports camp program called Game On.

“Ciera is a true pleasure to coach. During my association with her, I have come to know her as a fine young lady, who is admired by everyone who knows her,” said Capers head coach Ness Timmons. “Terrific as a player on the field, but her contribution as a team leader stands out even more.  As a team captain, she shows great leadership skills, and is considered a role model for all our players.  She is a confident, caring individual who has great organizational skills and energy. She is an excellent teammate, and is always willing to go the extra mile.  Her honesty, integrity, and unselfishness are second to none.”

Liam Elbourne, Soccer, St. Francis Xavier University

Hometown: Halifax, N.S.
School: St. Francis Xavier University
Faculty: Business Administration
Program: Business / Economics
Sport: Soccer
Eligibility in 2018-19: 5th

A five-year member of the StFX men’s soccer team, Liam Elbourne led the team in scoring his first two seasons and was the captain in his last three years. A starter at midfield, he helped lead the team to an AUS second-place regular season finish in both 2017 and 2018.

A former AUS Rookie of the Year and AUS all-star, Elbourne was honoured as the 2018 AUS men’s soccer community service award winner for his extensive contributions off the field of play. The Halifax, N.S., native became an advocate for the prevention of sexualized violence in the StFX and Antigonish communities, taking a leading role in various workshops, panels and initiatives. Through his involvement as President of the German Society, Liam led the opening of a pair of year-long exhibitions of Indigenous art at the university.

The vice-president of the StFX Economics Society, he partnered with his faculty advisor to attract renowned business leaders to give keynote lectures at the university. He also offers tutoring courses to fellow students and was a teaching assistant. A Leader of Distinction with the StFX Athletics Leadership Academy, Elbourne was the 2018 StFX male community excellence award winner, and was twice honoured with the Athletic Director’s award for academic excellence as the top male academic student-athlete.

In the classroom, to say that the five-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian excelled is an understatement. A business/economics honours student, Elbourne received the 2019 ONEX Corporation gold medal as the top business administration student at StFX University, as well as the Frank H. Sobey Award for excellence in business studies.

“As an undergraduate student, Liam managed to receive more exposure for his published research than most professors would receive over their entire careers,” said Dr. Greg Tkacz, Chair of the StFX Department of Economics, in reference to Elbourne’s work appearing in The Economist, the Smithsonian Magazine and The Telegraph, whose combined print circulation tallies almost four million.

Elbourne’s academic career at StFX culminated with his selection as a prestigious Rhodes Scholar, the oldest and perhaps most prestigious international scholarship program, currently awarded to only 101 students globally. He is now pursuing a Master of Philosophy in Economics degree at the University of Oxford in England.

“In my 15 years at StFX University, Liam Elbourne is arguably the most compelling student-athlete I have had the pleasure of knowing, and his future is incredibly bright,” said StFX Director of Athletics and Recreation Leo MacPherson. “He has all the qualities of a most exceptional U SPORTS student-athlete and is a young man of outstanding intellect, character, leadership and commitment to service.”

Source: U SPORTS Communciations