skip navigation

Gallaudet earns eight Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Awards

A group photo of Gallaudet's eight honorees receiving the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award presented by Diverse Education. GU coach Byron Moore is on the far right with the group.

FAIRFAX, Va. – Diverse: Issues in Higher Education announced the 2019 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Awards and Gallaudet University had eight recipients. This is the 27th anniversary of the awards that began in 1992.

Gallaudet's honorees include; senior Neha Balachandran (women's soccer), sophomore Sharon Castillo (women's soccer), sophomore Juan Cornejo (men's cross country, track & field), sophomore Carina Dominguez Can (women's track & field), sophomore Taylor Nguyen (women's cross country, track & field), junior Noah Valencia (men's basketball), freshman Maydee Vande Hey (women's cross country) and sophomore Jessalyn Wortham (women's cross country). Gallaudet's honorees hail from eight different states and represent six of the 14 sports offered.

The Bison have two repeat honorees in; Balanchandran and Valencia. Balanchandran becomes the second Gallaudet recipient to earn this award three times in their career as she joins Darriyan Thomas.

Gallaudet athletics recognized this year's honorees at the annual athletics banquet on May 7. Byron Moore, men's and women's cross country and track & field coach, presented each recipient with their certificate and a copy of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education's April 2019 magazine, that includes this year's Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Award honorees.

The Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports-Scholar Awards honor undergraduate students who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. Inspired by tennis legend Arthur Ashe, Jr.'s commitment to education as well as his love for the game of tennis, U.S. colleges and universities are invited to participate in this annual awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability and academic performance, Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars demonstrate a commitment to community service and student leadership.

To be included, minority students need to compete in an intercollegiate sport; maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.2; and be active on their campuses or in their communities. Over 1,000 outstanding minority student-athletes were nominated by their respective college or university Sports Information Office to receive Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar honors. The NCAA Office of Inclusion has partnered with Diverse to support this standout class of scholar-athletes.

Gallaudet now has 36 honorees in the past six years and in program history.

Gallaudet Breakdown
2019:   8
2018: 14
2017: 11
2016:   2
2014:   1

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education is the nation’s only news magazine dedicated exclusively to diversity issues in higher education. Visit for more information.

Also see:

2019 Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Honorees from Gallaudet

Name   Year   Sport(s)   Hometown  
Neha Balachandran   Sr.   Women's Soccer   Centerville, Ohio  
Sharon Castillo   So.   Women's Soccer   Dallas, Texas  
Juan Cornejo   So.   Men's Cross Country, Track & Field   Hamburg, N.J.  
Carina Dominguez Can   So.   Women's Track & Field   Hillsboro, Ore.  
Taylor Nguyen   So.   Women's Cross Country, Track & Field   Ballwin, Mo.  
Noah Valencia   Jr.   Men's Basketball   Riverside, Calif.  
Maydee Vande Hey   Fr.   Women's Cross Country   Delavan, Wis.  
Jessalyn Wortham   So.   Women's Cross Country   Chandler, Ariz.