Two USAO athletes earn Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Award

Two USAO athletes earn Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Award


Jordan Danser and Shay Nash recognized as exceptional students

The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma recently awarded Jordan Danser and Shay Nash with the Bill and Pat Smith Scholar-Athlete Award at the university’s all-sports banquet held on April 4.

The award, which is given to two USAO senior athletes — one male and one female — each year, is presented to those students who best embody the concept of a student-athlete and uphold high ideals in scholarship, citizenship and athletic competition.

To qualify, athletes must be a senior expected to graduate within the academic year, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and must have represented the university well in all aspects of student life.

Danser, a senior from Chickasha, was a member of the USAO men’s cross country team. He ran in all six meets this season and was one of five teammates chosen to the Sooner Athletic Conference All-Academic Team.

Danser carries a 4.0 GPA and will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics. He plans on attending graduate school in the future.

“Jordan exemplifies the determination and enthusiasm that make USAO student-athletes so amazing.  He has excelled as a student, athlete and musician during his time at USAO,” said J.C. Sanders, assistant professor of physics and chair of the USAO Division of Science and Physical Education. “Jordan is a model representative for student athletics and USAO’s interdisciplinary and liberal arts mission.”

Nash is a senior from Skiatook and has been a member of the USAO women’s soccer team for three seasons after transferring from Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa. As one of the team’s most consistent players over the last two seasons, she has helped the Drovers to back-to-back Sooner Athletic Conference regular-season championships. This year, Nash and her Drover teammates advanced to the National Association Intercollegiate Athletics National Tournament for only the second time in school history and the first time since 2011.

She has been named by the Sooner Athletic Conference to the All-Academic team and was named to the NAIA Scholar Team earlier this year, an award given annually to the outstanding student-athletes in various sports across the nation.

Nash carries a 3.74 GPA and will graduate this spring with a Bachelor of Science in biology.

“Shay has been a very important member of the soccer team for the past three years. Not only has she been one of the best players on the field for us, she has continued to be a leader in the classroom,” said USAO women’s soccer coach Jimmy Hampton. “She has shown the ability to lead those around her to be better students and athletes. Without her, the team would not have the success on the field, and the example set in the classroom has pushed others to match her excellence.”