Venturi Awarded Postgraduate NCAA Scholarship

Posted: May 18, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Melissa Venturi
Melissa Venturi
Mason Athletics photo

Senior Melissa Venturi of Mason’s women’s lacrosse team is one of a select group of female student-athletes who will receive an NCAA Women’s Enhancement Program Postgraduate Scholarship for Careers in Athletics. Only 13 student-athletes are awarded the prestigious scholarship each year.

The scholarship program was developed by the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics to increase the number of opportunities available for qualified female candidates interested in pursuing a career in intercollegiate athletics. The NCAA awards scholarships worth $6,000 to female college graduates who will be entering their initial year of postgraduate studies.

“We are very proud of Melissa for achieving this impressive academic honor,” said Mason women’s lacrosse head coach Amy Bokker. “She has proven through her consistent hard work and dedication in the classroom that she is certainly worthy of receiving this award. She will definitely make the most of this scholarship money and use it to help her achieve her academic and professional goals.”

The NCAA considered several factors in making the awards, including the student-athlete’s involvement in extracurricular activities, course work, commitment to pursuing a career in intercollegiate athletics and promise for success in such a career.

Venturi will receive her bachelor’s degree in exercise science at Mason’s Commencement on Saturday and plans to study physical therapy in graduate school. She already has experience in the field through volunteering as a physical therapy technician at Springfield Inova Physical Therapy. A native of Sewell, N.J., Venturi plans to attend graduate school in either New Jersey or Pennsylvania, and lists Drexel, Rutgers and Temple among her possible choices.

Venturi’s performance on the lacrosse field is equally matched through her dedication in the classroom. Since entering Mason as a freshman in 2003, Venturi has earned the Colonial Athletic Association Commissioner’s Academic Award every year, as well as Dean’s List honors at Mason every semester.

In 2006, Venturi was named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Academic Honor Roll. That year, she also was honored with the Aimee Willard Commemorative Award presented at the annual Student-Athlete Awards Banquet. The award was established in 1997 and is presented to the Mason student-athlete who best exemplifies the standards of quality set by Willard: intensity, consistency of purpose, achievement and teamwork.

An attacker, Venturi made her mark on the field as a leader of the women’s lacrosse team. In 2006, her most successful year as a Patriot, Venturi scored 39 goals. Her prolific season helped Mason to one of its finest offensive seasons ever, scoring 184 goals as a team, the second-highest total in school history.

With 90 career goals, Venturi ranks fifth in career goals and her 34 assists tie her for sixth in the Patriots’ career record book. Venturi’s 126 career points ranks seventh and her 70 draw controls ranks eighth all-time in George Mason history.

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