BAY CITY, Mich. – Grand Valley State women’s tennis player Leah Dancz and Hillsdale runner Joshua Mirth have been named the recipients of the 2014-15 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Postgraduate Scholarship. The honor, which awards each recipient $5,000 in aid to the graduate school of their choice, was voted on by the Faculty Athletic Representatives of the GLIAC member institutions.
Dancz helped the Laker women’s tennis team advance to the NCAA Division II Midwest Regional Tournament four consecutive years and place second in the GLIAC Tournament in three of the four years she was a member of the squad. She earned a spot on the All-GLIAC First Team in 2014 and the Second Team in 2011 and 2012. As a senior, Dancz earned the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sportsmanship & Leadership Award and was named the ITA Midwest Region Senior Player of the Year in 2015 and the ITA Midwest Region Rookie of the Year in 2011-12.
A recipient of the Division II Athletics Director’s Association Academic Achievement Award in 2013, Dancz graduated this past spring with a 4.00 cumulative grade point average in Accounting and Finance. She will remain at Grand Valley State University as she obtains her Masters degree in the Science of Accounting in the fall.
Mirth concludes a distinguished career in track and cross country during the 2014-15 academic year. Mirth graduated from Hillsdale with an overall grade point average of 3.85, among the top five overall GPAs of all student-athletes at the college. He majored in math and carried a minor in physics, and scored extremely high on all aspects of the GRE. He scored in the 99th percentile in verbal reasoning, the 88th percentile in quantitative reasoning and the 93rd percentile in analytical writing.
In the summer of 2013, Mirth was stationed at Montana State University, working as a research assistant. During that experience, he developed computer simulations of magnetic reconnection in the solar corona. In the classroom, Mirth earned the Taylor Award, awarded to the graduating mathematics senior with the highest grade point average. He made the Dean’s List in seven different semesters.
Athletically, Mirth was a two-time All-American in cross country (2012, 2014) and won three straight GLIAC indoor championships in the 5000 meter run. He earned his first career indoor track All-American honor in 2015, and is the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Division II outdoor track and field championships in the 10,000 meter run.