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Arthur Flores and Alyssa Diacono were named the 2016 SDSU Student-Athletes of the Year. (Credit: GoAztecs) Arthur Flores and Alyssa Diacono were named the 2016 SDSU Student-Athletes of the Year. (Credit: GoAztecs)
 


SDSU Student-Athletes Honored

Alyssa Diacono and Arthur Flores were honored as the 2016 Student-Athletes of the Year.
By GoAztecs
 

The San Diego State University athletic department honored 329 student-athletes at the 23rd annual Scholar-Athlete Banquet in Montezuma Hall in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. In order to qualify as a scholar-athlete for the semester, a student-athlete must achieve at least a 3.00 cumulative GPA or a 3.20 semester GPA.

Senior water polo star Alyssa Diacono and senior offensive lineman Arthur Flores were honored as the 2016 Student-Athletes of the Year for demonstrating excellence in academics, athletics and leadership while displaying outstanding character.

Diacono, a public health major with a 3.76 cumulative grade point average, is a four-time SDSU scholar-athlete and has earned a spot on the Dean's List each semester. She has also garnered all-academic accolades from the Golden Coast Conference (GCC) on three occasions and has served as a representative on the SDSU Student-Athlete Advisory Council. A two-time honorable mention All-American at the center position, Diacono helped the Aztecs to back-to-back GCC championships and a berth in the 2016 NCAA tournament.

In addition to her accomplishments in the pool and in the classroom, Diacono has been involved in numerous community service and charitable events, including an internship with the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency. She has also served as a site coordinator with the Bone Marrow Donor Drive and has participated in the Junior Seau Foundation's Shop With A Jock program, the Challenged Athletes Foundation, and the Women of Fox Sports Leadership Series.

Flores, who boasts a 3.40 cumulative GPA as a computer science major, has received SDSU scholar-athlete recognition on five occasions and is four-time member of the Dean's List. He is also a two-time Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award recipient and Mountain West Conference scholar-athlete honoree. Flores was recently named to the 2017 NFF Hampshire Honor Society by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame.

A mainstay on the Aztec offensive line, Flores, who started all 28 games over the last two seasons at center for the back-to-back MW football champions, set program records in rushing yards (3,680), rushing touchdowns (34), rushing yards per carry (5.8), points (493) and field goals (21) last year.

Flores, who is currently interning at a local medical device company as a software engineer, has also participated in several community service events, including the San Diego ALS Walk and Shop With A Jock. In addition, he has tutored students in the SDSU computer science department and has served as a youth camp counselor during winter breaks.

The banquet also featured the presentation of the Malik Award, given to the 19 student-athletes with the highest GPAs in a semester. The award is named after James Malik, who was a professor of chemistry for 44 years and a former faculty athletic representative at SDSU.

Recipients of the Malik Award include Haley Brock (rowing), Samantha Camello (softball), Diacono (water polo), Sarah Dorl (lacrosse), Kassidy Ellis (track and field), Flores (football), Ellison Grove (track and field), Cali King (cross country/track and field), Greg Norris (men's soccer), Frankie Orlando (softball), Daria Peck (rowing), Kelbi Redquest (rowing), Natilee Ruiz (swimming and diving), Lily Seynaeve (track and field), Michaela Setiawan (rowing), Sierra Stillwater (rowing), Kambridge Van Der Veur (track and field), Andrea VanderMey (swimming and diving) and Whitney Weisz (swimming and diving).

The men's soccer team captured the athletic department's Team GPA Award for both the spring and fall semesters of 2016. Likewise, the cross country squad received the same honor for spring 2016, while women's golf program earned the distinction for fall 2016.

Additionally, John Gaughen Jr., who works in student testing assessment and research, was presented the Dr. Jim Kitchen Distinguished Service Award.

23rd annual SDSU Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet

Student-Athletes of the Year
Alyssa Diacono (water polo)
Arthur Flores (football)

Malik Award Recipients (highest semester GPAs)
Haley Brock (rowing)
Samantha Camello (softball)
Alyssa Diacono (water polo)
Sarah Dorl (lacrosse)
Kassidy Ellis (track and field)
Arthur Flores (football)
Ellison Grove (track and field)
Cali King (cross country/track and field)
Greg Norris (men's soccer)
Frankie Orlando (softball)
Daria Peck (rowing)
Kelbi Redquest (rowing)
Natilee Ruiz (swimming and diving)
Lily Seynaeve (track and field)
Michaela Setiawan (rowing)
Sierra Stillwater (rowing)
Kambridge Van Der Veur (track and field)
Andrea VanderMey (swimming and diving)
Whitney Weisz (swimming and diving)

Team GPA Award winners

Men's Soccer (spring 2016, fall 2016)
Cross Country (spring 2016)
Women's Golf (fall 2016)

Dr. Jim Kitchen Distinguished Service Award
John Gaughen Jr. (student testing assessment and research)