Story by Thomas Corhern
Cookeville Herald-Citizen Sports
COOKEVILLE — It certainly isn’t easy to balance athletics with academic work, then add in community service in on top of that.
But that is what is expected of Tennessee Tech’s student-athletes as they represent the university.
It is a hard task, and to be able to excel in all three of those shows the dedication and hard work that it takes.
Each year, the university selects a group of nominees for both the Woman and Man of the Year awards, a senior candidate that exemplifies the best of the best among the university’s student-athletes.
This week, Tech announced its selection for the Woman of the Year and the winner certainly proved herself on the field, in the classroom and in the community.
In fact, Katie Phillips’ resume is fairly long reading material in itself.
As a four-year member of the Tech women’s soccer program, the Cincinnati native has been a visible presence on the campus as well as in the community.
The nominees Phillip beat out had equally impressive backgrounds. Also nominated for the award were cross-country runner Yeshi Dohrmann, softball’s Hannah Eldridge, Madison Keyes from volleyball, Brooklyn Kimball from track and field, basketball’s Candace Parson and Courtney Smith from volleyball.
“Honestly, I was just honored to be nominated,” Phillips said. “Looking at the other finalists, there’s a really good group of girls up for the award. Winning it is just an awesome feeling. I couldn’t really believe it.”
Phillips was a three-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, a student-athlete tutor and honors program peer mentor. She assisted Tech professors Andy Smith (English), Lanise Rosemond (exercise science) and Michael Phillips (exercise science), and she earned spots on the Dean’s Honor Roll and Athletic Director’s Honor Roll during all of her semesters at the university, as well as appearing on the Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll for all four years.
She ended her undergraduate career with a degree in exercise and physical wellness with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy, compiling a grade point average of 3.874.
“As I grew, I really started to understand that we are students first,” Phillips said. “As a freshman, I was just so excited about getting to play soccer, then I learned to realize that we are here for school. We definitely are student-athletes. Our future relies on the education we got from Tech. The more I have matured, the more I have realized that.”