Rowan's Henderson receives ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award

Rowan's Henderson receives ECAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award

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Former Rowan University field hockey captain Karlee Henderson has been recognized as one of the nation's top scholar-athletes.

Henderson, who graduated in May with degrees in biological sciences and biochemistry and is now a first-year medical student at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, received the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.

The presentation was made at the league’s annual awards lunch last month at the ECAC Convention, Conference and Trade Show in Danbury, Conn.

This year, the ECAC honored 33 student-athletes, administrators, institutions and officials.  The Scholar-Athlete Awards recognize the outstanding academic and athletic achievements of student-athletes from ECAC member schools.  One male and one female from Division I, II and III are chosen based on extraordinary achievements in academics, athletics and community service.

 A midfielder, Henderson played in 71 career games and totaled 30 points.  She scored 11 goals and had eight assists.  Her senior year, she was a team captain and co-chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).  During the season, she was chosen the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Defensive Player of the Week one time.  Henderson was named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Team.  She was also a team captain her junior year.

Henderson was selected to the 2015 CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America Women’s At-Large third team and the All-District II At-Large team.  She received NJAC All-Academic honors.  Henderson was a Rowan Scholar-Athlete all four years.

She earned Gladiator by SGI/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Scholars of Distinction twice.  Henderson was a member of the NFHCA Collegiate National Academic Squad four straight seasons. 

In May, Henderson graduated summa cum laude with a near-perfect 3.99 grade point average. She received the Dr. Mary A. Rice Scholar-Athlete Award and the Bole Humanitarian Award.

Chosen for an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for the fall of 2015, Henderson is in the fourth class at CMSRU and plans to be a pediatric specialist.  At Rowan, she was involved with Colleges Against Cancer and the entertainment committee for Relay for Life, which benefits the American Cancer Society.

Six years ago, Henderson and her sister, Kelsea founded PICU-ups, a program that provides care packages to children in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of  Philadelphia.  The first PICU-ups were a kit with nail polish and lotions for girls, but they expanded the idea to care packages for kids of all genders and ages in the PICU.  Her mom came up with the name, PICU-ups.  It combines the acronym for the PICU with the phrase "pick-me-ups" to explain the purpose.  Henderson got Rowan’s SAAC involved with PICU-ups and provided more than 300 care packages. 

Their work was the result of the Hendersons' own experiences with childhood cancer. In 2006, Kelsea was diagnosed with a malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor. She was 13 and Karlee was 10.  Through operations, chemotherapy, radiation treatments and setbacks, Karlee was there to provide her sister with love and support.  Today, remarkably, Kelsea is nine years cancer-free and is a second-year medical student at Creighton University in Nebraska.