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Athlete Receives National Honor for Personal, Academic Achievement
Guardian Scholar Tarae Graves receives Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award.

May 18, 2006
By GAIL MATSUNAGA

Scholar and athlete Tarae Graves was recently honored with the Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics.

Graves, a Guardian Scholar, will receive her award — presented to student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate sports — in June at the association's national conference in Pittsburgh.

A criminal justice major, Graves is completing her sophomore year and has been named to the dean's list each semester since entering Cal State Fullerton.

She took up track and field last year — after playing basketball in high school — competing in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. Of the change in sports, she says, "it's going well, but I get frustrated, because I have to learn a lot of stuff."

"Tarae's a great kid and we're really happy she's been honored with this award," says coaching assistant Ron Kamaka, who nominated Graves. "She's a great example of hard work and dedication, and she's a real cheerleader and motivator to her team."

"She's so positive," adds Jenny Vinopal, director of the Guardian Scholars Program. "She's such a good mentor, and really cares about the scholarship."

Asked if participating in sports helps with other aspects of her life, Graves says she believes that it does.

"I know I have things to do, so I can't procrastinate. I know how to keep trying in sports, how you can't give up — it's like life."

For more information on the Guardian Scholars program, visit:
http://www.fullerton.edu/guardianscholars.



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Tarae Graves
Criminal justice major and sprinter Tarae Graves will travel to Pittsburgh to receive the Wilma Rudolph Student Athlete Achievement Award from the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics. The honor is presented to student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate sports.


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