During the Big Ten's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, the conference will be featuring "Medal of Honor Mondays" for 12 consecutive weeks, which will highlight a number of Medal of Honor winners from each school. This week, we feature Penn State University.
Adrian Evans (2014, men's gymnastics)
Evans closed out his collegiate career with a top-20 performance at the 2014 NCAA national championship team finals. During his final campaign in the Blue and White, he recorded four top-10 finishes on the pommel horse, highlighted by a second-place finish against Temple. This season he was also selected as one of nine finalists for the 2014 Nissen-Emery Award. Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate gymnastics, Evans became the 26th Nissen-Emery finalist in Penn State program history. He also was named a recipient of the 2014 Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award, which is presented annually to one Penn State senior male and one senior female student-athlete who have combined successful athletic participation with academic excellence.
In 2013, Evans garnered his second consecutive All-America honor on the pommel horse at the 2013 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships. Outside of the gym, the advertising major and 2014 team captain earned College Gymnastics Association All-America Scholar-Athlete honors the last three consecutive seasons, while also earning a spot on the Academic All-Big Ten team each year.
Emily Giannotti (2014, women's track & field)
Giannotti, who is majoring in rehabilitation and human services, has been a fixture on the Nittany Lion women's track and cross country teams during her career. On the course, this long-distance runner competed in three NCAA Cross Country Championships (2011-13), leading Penn State to a berth in the 2013 Championships. Giannotti also earned All-Region status with a 21st-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional, which the former All-Big Ten member helped the Nittany Lions win. Giannotti helped Penn State capture the Big Ten women's indoor and outdoor track and field championships in 2013-14. On the national scene, the Coudersport, Pa., native qualified for the 2013 NCAA Eastern Preliminary Round in the 10,000 meters and in the steeplechase event in 2012. A graduate student, she placed third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships. She also won the 2014 Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award this year.
John Urschel (2013, football)
Urschel, who claimed the Big Ten Medal of Honor in May of 2013, was a first-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2012, starting all 12 games at right tackle and helping the Nittany Lions lead the Big Ten in total offense during the conference season. The 2013 Campbell Trophy winner and 84th AAU Sullivan Award winner, he earned his bachelor's degree in less than three years on campus. He earned his first master's degree in Math last May and is currently working on his second master's in Math Education. He has taught Integral Vector Calculus and Trigonometry and Analytic Geometry, as well as researched multigrid methods and computational mathematics. He also has had a paper published last spring in the journal, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronom titled "Instabilities of the Sun-Jupiter-Asteroid Three Body Problem".
Joanna Lohman (2005, women's soccer)
Lohman was the first four-time First Team All-Big Ten selection in the school's history and captained the Nittany Lions soccer team in 2002-2003. She was Big Ten Player of the Year in 2003 and led Penn State to their fourth straight conference title. Her 3.98 GPA while studying business earned her four-time Academic All-American honors. After playing professionally, Lohman moved to Spain with her partner and founded the JoLi Academy, a training center for young female soccer players in India and helped launch an organization that encourages schools to create safer spaces for lesbian, gay, transgender, bisexual and questioning athletes called GO! Athletes. As Vice President of Tenant Consulting, LLC, a commercial real estate firm in the Washington, D.C., area, she also helped create the first "carbon neutral calculator" for office buildings, resulting in an invitation to meet former Vice President Al Gore.
John Amaechi (1995, men's basketball)
A 1995 Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, Amaechi scored 1,310 points in three seasons at Penn State, which is the most points scored for a Nittany Lion in less than four seasons. He was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in 1995, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, a two-time Academic All-American and was named the Academic All-American of the Year in 1995. One of just five players to post at least 1,300 points and 700 rebounds at Penn State, Amaechi played five seasons in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz. After his NBA career, Amaechi helped England earn the bronze medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. The Manchester, England, native was the first and only Briton to have his jersey hung in the U.S. Basketball Hall of Fame. Amaechi is currently an organizational consultant, a New York Times best-selling author and a social entrepreneur in America and Europe.
Helen Holloway (1994, women's basketball)
A 1994 recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor, Holloway led Penn State to its first Big Ten Championship during her senior season. She guided the Lady Lions to four NCAA Tournament appearances, tallying 1,022 points and 598 rebounds in her career. Holloway was a two-time All-Big Ten selection and was tabbed the Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Year in 1991. She led her team in scoring during the 1993-94 season and was named to the NCAA Midwest All-Region team in 1994.
Michele Robinson (1992, women's volleyball)
Michele Robinson became the first Penn State female to collect the Big Ten Medal of Honor in 1992. A four-year letterwinner for the Nittany Lions, Robinson's teams compiled a 140-18 (.890) record during her collegiate career, winning conference championships in 1988, 1989 and 1990. She was a two-time Academic all-conference selection. Following her collegiate career, Robinson spent four years in the U.S. Navy, where she competed nationally and internationally on the All-Navy and All-Armed Forces Volleyball Team.