PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Former Rhode Island swimmer Beth Brown and 10 current student-athletes were honored at the Rhode Island Statehouse Monday as part of the annual Scholar-Athlete Awards reception.
Held in the House of Representatives House Chamber, the event honored student-athletes from URI, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello hosted the event.
Brown, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management in 1996, is the business manager of White Cross Pharmacy, where she began her career after graduating from URI. She left for a nine-year stint with ADJ Management, where she oversaw 24 Dunkin Donuts locations and 800 employees, before she returned to White Cross in 2008.
In 1993, she received the Citizens Bank Endowed Scholarship in 1993, which was presented to the female student-athlete who demonstrated outstanding role model qualities such as commitment, ethics, loyalty, discipline and leadership. Brown was inducted into the Rhode Island Aquatics Hall of Fame in 2007.
During her career from 1992-96, Brown was URI's Most Outstanding Freshman Female Athlete in 1993, when she was both an ECAC and New England Intercollegiate champion in the 500 freestyle. She also was a New England champion in the 1,650-yard freestyle. She held the program record in both the 500 freestyle and the 1,650 freestyle. Both records stood for nearly two decades.
Voted by teammates as Rhody's Most Outstanding Swimmer by her teammates all four seasons, Brown received the Kay Frommer Award, presented annually to the senior swimmer who accumulated the most points in the New England Championship over a four-year career.
The current Rhode Island student-athletes honored Monday were:
Vitaly Jangols –Baseball
- A native of Tuxedo Park, New York, Jangols has a 3.72 grade-point average in Kinesiology.
- A Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-American in 2017, he also has earned N-E-I-B-A All-New England and Atlantic 10 All-Rookie honors during his career.
- He has been a part of the team's pitching rotation since his arrival on campus, starting 23 of the 36 games in which he has appeared.
Jeff Dowtin – Men's Basketball
- A native of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, Dowtin has a 3.51 grade-point average in Marketing.
- A team captain and three-year starter, Dowtin is a two-time Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference selection.
- He has led Rhode Island to two NCAA Championship appearances, winning the 2017 Atlantic 10 Tournament and the 2018 A-10 regular-season championship.
- A 1,000 point scorer, Dowtin also ranks seventh in team history in assists. He is on pace to join Tyson Wheeler and Silk Owens as the only players in program history with 1,000 and 500 assists.
Laura Perez – Women's Basketball
- A native of Tijuana, Mexico, Laura Perez has a 3.90 grade-point average in Accounting.
- A Dean's List student every semester of her career, Perez has also represented Mexico as part of the country's national team, earning a bronze medal at the FISU Pan-American Games in San Paulo, Brazil in the summer of 2018.
- A team captain, Perez has played in 55 games for Rhode Island despite missing the bulk of her first two seasons with injuries.
Zoe Bryant – Football
- A Pennington, N.J. native, ZO Bryant has a 3.09 grade-point average in Sociology and has been a C-A-A Football Commissioner's Honor Roll selection throughout his career.
- The team's starting running back, Bryant helped the Rams record their first winning season in 17 seasons. The team was ranked as high as No. 15 in the country and received top 25 votes every week of the season.
- Byant led the team with 456 rushing yards and scored three touchdowns in 2018.
Brody King – Golf
- A senior from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Brody King has a 3.15 grade-point average as a double major in Communications and Psychology.
- King place second overall at the 2018 Atlantic 10 Championship, marking the highest finish by a Rhode Island player since 2014.
- King is one of eight golfers in Rhody history to finish either first or second at the Atlantic 10 Championship.
Katie Shattuck – Rowing
- A two-year captain for the rowing team, Katie Shattuck has a 3.45 grade-point average in Psychology.
- Shattuck is a two-time Atlantic 10 First Team All-Conference selection.
- Shattuck has helped the Rams win two Atlantic 10 titles and make two NCAA Championship appearances in the last three seasons. The team is a favorite to win the title again this spring.
Peder Kristiansen – Men's Soccer
- A junior from Lillestrom, Norway, Peder Kristiansen has a 3.86 grade-point average in Finance.
- He is a three-time Atlantic 10 All-Conference selection, a two-time All-Region honoree and a two-time Academic All-Conference pick.
- This season, he started all 20 games while leading Rhode Island to the Atlantic 10 Championship and a spot in the NCAA Championship field.
Erika Yeager – Softball
- A junior from San Jose, California, Erika Yeager has already earned her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and has begun work on her Master's Degree.
- Since her arrival to Rhode Island, Yeager has started 126 consecutive games, which is every possible game of her career.
- Her .983 fielding percentage is the fourth highest in program history, and this season the Rams already have their highest win total since 2012.
Grace Kneller – Swimming & Diving
- A native of Palatine, Illinois, Grace Kneller has a 3.85 grade-point average in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design.
- A Dean's List student every semester of her career, Kneller is part of the school-record holding 200-yard freestyle relay team.
- This season, the Rams had the winningest year in program history. The team had a 9-2 record after starting the season 7-0 for the first time.
Ariel Haber – Women's Tennis
- A four-year starter for the tennis team, Ariel Haber has a 3.95 grade-point average in URI's PharmD program.
- The Wallkill, New York native has been extremely versatile, playing in all six singles and all three doubles spots in the Rhody lineup.
- Her victory at No. 5 singles against Dayton clinched Rhode Island's first-ever victory in Atlantic 10 Championship play when the Rams beat the Flyers in the opening round in 2017.