TORONTO (U SPORTS) – U SPORTS proudly announced Tuesday the student-athletes selected as Top 8 Academic All-Canadians for the 2017-18 season.
The elite group will be honoured on Jan. 29 at Rideau Hall in the nation's capital by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada.
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."
Profiles of the Atlantic conference representatives in the 2017-18 Top 8 are available below.
ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY SPORT (AUS)
Name: Sven Stammberger
Hometown: Halifax, N.S.
School: Dalhousie University
Program: MBA – Corporate Residency
Eligibility in 2017-18: 5th year
A five-year member of the Dalhousie men's basketball team, Sven Stammberger was the Tigers leading scorer last season, averaging 18.4 points per game. The 6-foot-6 forward also led the Tigers in rebounding with an average of 8.2 per game and added 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per contest in the 2017-18 season.
Stammberger was named a U SPORTS Second Team All-Canadian last season, and was an AUS First Team All-Star. He is also a two-time AUS championship tournament all-star and received the R.W. Pugh Fair Play award during the 2016 U SPORTS Men's Basketball Final 8 Championship.
The 2018 U SPORTS Ken Shields Award winner for Men's Basketball Student-Athlete Community Service, Stammberger is heavily involved in the community, volunteering his time with numerous initiatives both on and off the Dalhousie campus, including the Special Tigers program. Currently in its sixth year, the Special Tigers program connects children and teens with cognitive disabilities with Dalhousie student-athletes through sport. Events include basketball, soccer, mini-stick hockey, badminton and more.
Stammberger has also volunteered his time with several Student-Athlete Mental Health Initiative (SAMHI) events, as well as with IWK Activity Days events. He has also been a part of the Best Buddies program – which works with individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities – as well as Tigers basketball camps, working with elementary, junior high and high school students and at Ronald McDonald House.
"To appreciate Sven's work ethic, dedication and self-motivation, one must understand that he came into Dalhousie as a red shirt," says Tigers basketball head coach Rick Plato. "He overcame a broken hand in his first year that forced him to miss the majority of his first varsity season, but over the next four years he was instrumental in three AUS championship titles, three consecutive trips to the U SPORTS national tournament, including two final four appearances and Dalhousie's first-ever men's basketball medal, a bronze in 2016-17. He left Dalhousie and its basketball program a better place than he found it thanks to his work ethic, commitment, determination and humility."
Name: Ciera Disipio
Hometown: Ottawa, Ont.
School: Cape Breton University
Faculty: Arts, Social Sciences & Culture
Program: Bachelor of Arts Community Studies
Sport: Women's Soccer
Eligibility in 2017-18: 3rd year
A native of Ottawa and the youngest of a family of five, Ciera Disipio has modelled herself after her hardworking parents and two talented, athletic sisters. Ciera won the AUS Rookie of the Year in her first season as a CAPER. She has also won back-to-back AUS MVP in women's soccer, led the AUS in scoring and was named a First Team All-Canadian for two consecutive years. She was also named the 2017 Cape Breton University Athlete of the Year. During her time with the CAPERS, the team has won three AUS titles, as well as 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 two-time U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian the last two years and a James Bayer Memorial Scholarship nominee on the Sydney, N.S., campus.
In the community, the 21-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 the Soccer Cape Breton Under 17 team and in her hometown of Ottawa with the Ottawa Fury Minis Program.
"Ciera is a model student. Because she stands out as an exceptional student, I have hired Ciera as a research assistant to help me with my research program and to provide her with further academic training," said Professor Bettina Callary. "Ciera came to me early in her bachelor's degree to inquire about graduate studies, showing her initiative and ability plan for her future well in advance,"
"Ciera is a true pleasure to coach. During my association with her, I have come to know her as an extraordinary young lady, who is admired by everyone who knows her," said Cape Breton women's soccer head coach Ness Timmons. "She is a dedicated and determined individual, with an outstanding work ethic. She is our most valuable team member in many ways. Terrific as a player on the field, but her contribution as a team leader stands out even more. As team captain, she shows great leadership skills, and is considered a role model for all our players. She is an excellent teammate, and is always willing to go the extra mile. Her honesty, integrity, and unselfishness are second to none."
To read profiles of each member of the 2017-18 Top 8, please see the complete U SPORTS release here.