LYNDON CENTER, Vt. - Natalia Shams of Swampscott, Mass., a member of the Lyndon softball and women's soccer programs, has been nominated for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award for 2010-11. Shams graduated from Lyndon on Sunday, May 15 with a degree in Global Studies and will attend the Royal Holloway University of London, England in the fall.
"The dedication to continue my education, the confidence to believe that I am capable of success, the perseverance to overcome challenges and to do so with the up-most integrity are all characteristics that have contributed in shaping the person I am today," said Shams in a personal statement released to the NCAA. "As a collegiate student-athlete I have learned the ability to adapt and overcome adversity as well as become a role model with the ability to inspire success. Being part of a team is more than just achieving success on the field.
"My desire to be a positive role model to not only my teammates but to other students enticed my decision to be a Resident Assistant to first year students," she continued. "Lyndon State College has provided a pathway to my future goal of becoming a diplomat. In order to do so one must be able to adapt to not only their environment, but also the culture in which they are seeking to achieve positive relations with. I am the byproduct of many amazing teammates, inspirational mentors, knowledgeable professors and passionate coaches. My array of experiences and overcoming of diversity have allowed me to become the leader I am today and hope to be in the future."
In addition to her Resident Assistant duties, Shams served on Lyndon's NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for three years and served as its secretary from 2010-11. She also served on the campus' Resident Assistant Advisory Board from 2009 to 2011 and was the board's representative for Wheelock Hall.
In her athletic endeavors, Shams captained the Lyndon softball program for two of her four years, played every position at one time or another for the Hornets and was named to the All-North Atlantic Conference team twice. She also competed as a goaltender and forward on the women's soccer team from 2008-2010.
Academically, Shams had a grade-point average of 3.30 (on 4.00 scale) and earned the 2010-11 Lyndon Champions of Character Award in May. The honor is presented to the student-athlete that best exemplifies the values of respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership and sportsmanship. Shams will spend her summer months employed at various Nike Softball Camps throughout eastern Massachusetts before heading to England in September to begin her graduate studies.