CIS announces 2008-09 Desjardins Top Eight Academic All-Canadians

CIS announces 2008-09 Desjardins Top Eight Academic All-Canadians

OTTAWA (CIS) – Canadian Interuniversity Sport proudly announced Monday the student-athletes honoured as Desjardins Top Eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2008-09 season.

Every year, a growing number of CIS student-athletes are recognized as Academic All-Canadians, having maintained a grade point average (GPA) of 80 percent or better over the academic year while competing for one - or more - of their university’s varsity teams.

In 2008-09, a record 2,256 students achieved the prestigious status. The previous mark of 2,126 dated back to the 2005-06 academic year.

Four CIS schools had over 100 Academic All-Canadians last year including Laval (141), McGill (131), Alberta (111) and Western Ontario (101). Queen’s, which has reached the century mark four times since the Academic All-Canadian program was launched in 1990-91, had 99.

Among these outstanding individuals, one female and one male student-athlete from each of the four CIS regional associations are selected annually as Desjardins Top Eight Academic All-Canadians.

The recipients for 2008-09 include UNB soccer player and biochemistry student Isabelle Miles of Fredericton, as well as Saint Mary’s hockey player and criminology student Christopher Morrison of Cambridge, Ont., representing Atlantic University Sport (AUS).

Representing the Quebec Student Sports Federation (QSSF) are Laval swimmer and masters in orthophony student Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux of Lévis, Que., and Montreal volleyball player and administration student Emmanuel André-Morin of Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac, Que.

The recipients from Ontario University Athletics (OUA) are Windsor track and field athlete and nursing student Noelle Montcalm of Windsor, Ont., as well as Waterloo swimmer and masters in applied health sciences student Keith Beavers of Orangeville, Ont.

Victoria basketball player and kinesiology student Kayla Dykstra of Calgary is representing the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA), along with Regina hockey player and business administration student Kyle Ross of Regina.

“This was a record-breaking year in terms of the number of student-athletes who achieved 80 percent. This reflects not only the hard work of the students themselves, but also the commitment of coaches and athletic departments to ensure success in the classroom and playing field,” said CIS chief executive officer, Marg McGregor.

“This year’s Top Eight recipients have accomplished great things and symbolize the many outstanding student-athletes, coaches and universities across Canada. I look forward to hearing great things about them in the years to come as they graduate and become leaders in our communities.”

Following is a profile on each 2008-09 CIS Desjardins Top Eight Academic All-Canadian recipient.


Name: Isabelle Miles
Hometown: Fredericton, N.B.
University: New Brunswick (UNB)
Program: Science (biochemistry)
Sport: Soccer

Isabelle Miles was a team captain for three of her four seasons with UNB’s soccer squad. The talented midfielder was the team’s rookie of the year in 2005 and MVP in 2008, was an AUS all-star on two occasions (2006, 2008), and led the Varsity Reds to an AUS championship berth in 2006.

In the classroom, Miles earned CIS Academic All-Canadian status each of her four years at UNB maintaining a perfect 4.3 grade point average (A+) in the 149 credit hours she passed in biochemistry. A multiple academic awards winner since 2005, she was the recipient of the 2009 James Bayer Memorial Scholarship for excellence in academics, athletics, leadership, sportsmanship and citizenship, the most prestigious award offered annually by Atlantic University Sport. She graduated last spring and is currently attending medical school at the University of Ottawa.

Over the years, Miles has been very involved in the Fredericton community and on the UNB campus as a soccer coach and manager, through the Read with the Reds program and her work at the Fredericton Community Kitchen, and as a team representative on the Varsity Reds Athletic Council.

Name: Christopher Morrison
Hometown: Cambridge, Ont.
University: Saint Mary’s
Program: Arts (Honours criminology), minor in psychology
Sport: Hockey

Chris Morrison has been an assistant captain for the Huskies the last two seasons. Under his leadership, the Huskies have won 40 of 56 regular season games over that period and reached the AUS final twice, capturing the conference title and advancing to the CIS University Cup tournament in 2008-09. During his time at Saint Mary’s, Morrison has logged more ice time than any other player and has been voted as the team’s Unsung Hero, best defensive defenceman and most dedicated player.

When it comes to his studies, Morrison has earned Academic All-Canadian status each of the past three years and has a 4.05 cumulative GPA in 96 credit hours. He has received numerous academic scholarships from Saint Mary’s, including the Alumni Leadership Award, the Mike Kelly Memorial Scholarship, as well as Academic Achievement Awards two consecutive years.

When he is not in the classroom or competing on the ice, Morrison is part of the SMU Pals Program, which gives underprivileged kids the experience of playing hockey and learning to skate. He is also active in encouraging the importance of literacy to public school children. During the summer months, he helps with the Meals on Wheels program for senior citizens and coaches youth soccer.


Name: Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux
Hometown: Lévis, Que.
University: Laval
Program: Psychology (masters in orthophony)
Sport: swimming

In her third season with the Rouge et Or swim team in 2008-09, Paméla Filiatrault-Veilleux claimed an impressive six gold medals at the QSSF championships, earning a spot on the all-conference team. At the CIS championships, the 22-year-old added three medals, including individual wins in the 200-metre freestyle and in the 100 butterfly as well as bronze in the 4x100 free relay. In July, she represented Canada at the Summer Universiade in Belgrade, Serbia.

In the classroom, the psychology student maintained a 4.20 GPA on a scale of 4.33 during the fall semester and a 4.07 average in the winter to finish her undergraduate degree with an overall GPA of 4.09.

Name: Emmanuel André-Morin
Hometown: Vaudreuil-sur-le-Lac, Que.
University: Montreal
Program: HEC (administration – public accounting)
Sport: Volleyball

Emmanuel André-Morin is the leader of the Carabins men’s volleyball team. The Quebec conference MVP each of the past two campaigns, he had been named QSSF and CIS rookie of the year back in 2006-07. A first-team QSSF all-star each of his three university seasons, he received the same honour at the national level in both 2007-08 and 2008-09.

André-Morin also excels in the classroom. He is a three-time Academic All-Canadian in three years with the Carabins and maintained an impressive 4.1 GPA on a scale of 4.3 while completing 90 credit hours in public accounting at HEC Montreal. He was the Carabins student-athlete of the year in both 2007-08 and 2008-09 and last year was the QSSF nominee for the Dale Iwanoczko award presented to the CIS men’s volleyball player who best combines athletics, academics and community involvement.

In the community, André-Morin is involved with youth volleyball through numerous clinics and school visits. Last year, he also volunteered with HEC Montreal’s tax services, a program which helps students gain experience by filling tax forms for the underprivileged.


Name: Noelle Montcalm
Hometown: Windsor, Ont.
University: Windsor
Program: Nursing
Sport: Track and field

An All-Canadian each of her three years at Windsor, Noelle Montcalm had a spectacular season in 2008-09 winning three gold medals at the OUA championships and adding four medals, including gold in the 4x200-metre relay, at the CIS championships. She earned over a quarter of the team’s points at the CIS meet to help the Lancers capture the women’s team title.

Montcalm is also a very strong student in Windsor’s Faculty of Nursing program. She holds an 11.5 GPA and captured the prestigious DeMarco Award as the Lancers top female academic student-athlete in 2008-09.

Name: Keith Beavers
Hometown: Orangeville, Ont.
University: Waterloo
Program: Masters applied health sciences (kinesiology, cardiovascular physiology)
Sport: Swimming

Two-time Olympian (2008, 2004) Keith Beavers made the transition from international competition to the varsity ranks with a huge splash in 2008-09. At the OUA championships, he claimed three gold medals and two silvers, including individual wins in the 200-metre breaststroke and 200 medley. At the CIS championships, he captured gold in the 200 IM and set school records in each of his six swims. In July, the 2008 Olympic finalist represented Canada at the Summer Universiade in Belgrade, Serbia, where he claimed silver in the 200 IM and bronze with the 4x200 freestyle relay.

While re-writing the Warriors records book, Beavers was completing his three-year Masters program in applied health sciences and finished with an outstanding 91.5% average. He has received a number of academic awards and scholarships including the Applied Health Sciences Dean’s Entrance Scholarship on three occasions, the 2006-2007 Graduate Studies Endowment Fund (Department of Kinesiology), the President’s Graduate Scholarship Top Up Award, and the CIHR Sir Frederick Banting & Dr. Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship.

Away from the classroom, Beavers has been a tireless promoter of swimming at numerous public speaking events, worked with a variety of different local community clubs by visiting their programs, swimming with their groups, offering coaching tips to kids and speaking at club banquets all over the province of Ontario. He has also been a guest coach at many Swim Ontario camps.


Name: Kayla Dykstra
Hometown: Calgary, Alta.
University: Victoria
Program: Education (kinesiology)
Sport: Basketball

Kayla Dykstra received the Nan Copp award as CIS women’s basketball most valuable player in 2008-09, becoming the first UVic player to claim the trophy in over two decades. The 6-foot-2 forward led the nation in field goal percentage (68.7%), finished second in scoring (18.6 points per game) and was third in rebounding (11.2 per game), all tops in the ultra-competitive Canada West. Her performance landed her a spot on Team Canada’s entry in the 2009 FISU Summer Universiade in Belgrade, Serbia.

In the classroom, Dykstra has earned CIS Academic All-Canadian status in each of the past three years while studying in UVic’s demanding kinesiology program. In 2008-09, she had an 8.05 GPA on a 9.0 scale. Her cumulative GPA is 7.14.

Away from the court, Dykstra, a Calgary native who spent her entire childhood riding horses, volunteers with the Victoria Riding for the Disabled Association, assisting those with physical, mental or emotional challenges climb into the saddle in an effort to help them regain their mobility and their confidence. She volunteers every Thursday morning, four hours a week.

Name: Kyle Ross
Hometown: Regina, Sask.
University: Regina
Program: Business administration
Sport: Hockey

Kyle Ross was named a Canada West second-team all-star in 2008-09 after leading the Cougars with 21 points in 26 conference games. Last February, the 5-foot-11, 189-pound forward represented Canada at the Winter Universiade in Harbin, China, where he was one of the team’s most prolific players tallying four goals and eight points the help the national entry claim a silver medal.

Ross, who transferred to the University of Saskatchewan this year to pursue a law degree, was an Academic All-Canadian in both of his seasons at the U of R, holding a cumulative GPA of well over 90 percent in business administration. In his final year at Regina, he was awarded Canada West Hockey’s Dr. Randy Gregg Award as the conference’s top student-athlete and received the University of Regina Continuing Excellence Scholarship, an award given to the top-ranked student in each faculty.

In the community, Ross made several visits to Regina-area elementary schools, where he spoke to students and took part in floor hockey games.


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