Excitement was in the air at Blackman Auditorium on Tuesday as Northeastern’s student-athletes were honored at the fifth annual Howlin ’Huskies Awards.
Featuring a surprise appearance from President Joseph E. Aoun, the ceremony honored student-athletes for their achievements in academics, athletics, and advocacy. Among the winners were two Olympians, the NCAA championships runner-up women’s hockey team, and student advocates from the Northeastern Black Athlete Caucus (NUBAC).
Aoun praised the athletic community for all their work inside the classroom and in their respective sports, as well as their service to the community. “You have engaged, and you have advanced this university,” he said. “You advanced athletics, and I’m really grateful to you.”
Meanwhile, Athletic Director Jim Madigan was excited to honor the student-athletes in-person for the first time since 2019. “It was a great opportunity to celebrate the academic achievements, the athletic accomplishments, and the community engagement from all our student-athletes. , ”He said after the ceremony. “We’ve got a special group of student-athletes, and it’s nice that they represent Northeastern well here, and they’ll continue to represent us as well as alums.”
Hockey was the biggest winner of the night, with five of the top accolades going to the teams and their athletes, including the Women’s Team of the Year Award. One of the top programs in the nation, the Northeastern women’s hockey team has an impressive resume: They’ve won five conference championships in a row, and competed in the NCAA Frozen Four for the second season in a row this year. “When we talk about success, they are at the very top,” said Matt Houde, associate athletic director.
Individually, senior forward Alina Mueller was named Top Female Athlete for her contributions to the team. Mueller is an Olympic bronze medalist who helped Switzerland to a fourth-place finish at this year’s Olympic Games in Beijing. The award wasn’t her first of the night, as she came to the ceremony straight from the Huntington 100, where she was named to the 2022 cohort. “It’s very humbling,” she said. “It means a lot. This school means a lot to me, this place means a lot to me. I know how many hardworking people are in the athletics department, including the student-athletes here. And representing them is a huge honor. ”
Hockey took the Men’s Team of the Year and Top Male Athlete awards as well after they returned to the NCAA tournament for the eighth time this year.
Devon Levi, the sophomore goaltender who competed for Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, won as an individual. But after the ceremony, he was eager to express his gratitude for his teammates. “I wouldn’t be able to do it without my teammates, who helped me a lot this year,” he said. “You know, it’s kind of like a team award, because I wouldn’t be able to be on stage without them.” He even credited them with helping him make it to the Olympics. While he was originally hesitant to go to China in the middle of hockey season, “The boys wanted me to go; they wanted me to chase my dream, and go be an Olympian, ”he said. “It was a much easier decision to make with their support.”
Madigan presented the Gallagher Award and the Rowlands Award, which recognize the top male and female scholar-athletes, respectively, and which Madigan called “two of the most prestigious honors in our department.” Jordan Harris, a men’s hockey player who has played in eight National Hockey League games this year, took the men’s award; field hockey player and 2021 CAA All-Tournament Team member Erin Savage won the women’s award.
On top of athletics and academics, the ceremony also acknowledged student-athletes’ contributions to their communities. The men’s field hockey program won the Community Service Award, and the Social Justice Advocate Award was given to three track and field student-athletes representing the Northeastern Black Athlete Caucus: third-year Kennedee Cox, second-year Savion Thompson, and third-year Michelle Nkoudou.
Created in the wake of the George Floyd murders and the subsequent unrest, NUBAC collaborated with the Northeastern Athletic Department to cancel athletic events on the day of the 2020 presidential election in order to give student-athletes more time to vote.
Lisa Markland, associate athletic director for diversity, equity, and inclusion, was excited to recognize NUBAC for its advocacy. “That award is symbolic of the time that we are in,” she said. “We have our student-athletes who, at this place in their lives, are being a part of the movement. They see that there needs to be change, and so their advocacy is actually driving a lot of things that are happening within athletics. ”
Howlin ‘Huskies Award Winners:
Benjamin Godish – men’s cross country
Erin Murphy – swimming and diving
Women’s soccer at the CAA Semifinals
Baseball’s sweep of NC State
Strength and Conditioning Excellence
Nicholas Pisciotta – men’s track and field
Maureen Murphy – women’s ice hockey
Community Service Award
NESN Broadcast of the Year
Men’s basketball vs. UMass
Peter Roby Future Leader Award
Mayowa Osunsami – men’s track and field
Samantha Shupe – volleyball
Red & Black Dedication Award
Cailin Hart – field hockey
Savion Thompson – men’s track and field
Most Inspirational Award
Kendall Currence – women’s basketball
Academic Team of the Year
Men’s cross country
Swimming and diving
Best Individual Competition
Alexander Korczynski at CAA Championships – men’s cross country
Dominique Biron at the ECAC Championships – women’s track and field
Social Justice Award
Savion Thompson, Kennedee Cox, Michelle Nkoudou – track and field
Academic Rising Star
Anna Bartholet – women’s rowing
Ted Wilson – men’s rowing
Top Athlete Award
Devon Levi – men’s hockey
Alina Mueller – women’s hockey
SASS Scholar-Athlete Award
Bailey Smith – swimming and diving
Benjamin Klingen – men’s soccer
Jordan Harris – men’s hockey
Erin Savage. – field hockey
Team of the Year