2000-2001 CUNYAC Scholar Athletes of the Year
Marisa Duke - Borough Of Manhattan Community College
Marisa's arrival at Borough of Manhattan Community College in 1999 coincided
with the Women's Volleyball team's arrival at the National level. The past two
seasons with the 5'8 middle hitter from the island of Tobago on the court, the
Panthers have won the CUNYAC Tournament.
After winning the Region XV Championship this year, head
coach Olga Lorenzo's team finished 7th in the NJCAA Division III Championships. Over
the past two seasons, the squad has compiled a 54-6 record. Now making her home
in Brooklyn, 31-year old Marisa sports a 3.61 GPA, majoring in Liberal Arts
(specializing in hospitality management).
Individually, she was ranked in the top ten in three categories this year
and was named as an All-Star by Region XV both years. Upon graduation, Marisa
hopes to continue her collegiate career at a Division I or II institution and flourish
on the court and off at the next level.
Mukhtar Conry - Kingsborough Community College
On the basketball court, you'll never see the flash and dash from
Mukhtar, but more times than not he plays an integral role in his team's victory.
After being one of the top rookies in CUNYAC in 1999-2000 at CCNY, he
followed his coach and mentor, Dan Nigro to Kingsborough to lead the basketball
"He's one of the finest student-athletes that I've ever been involved
with at any level. Without a doubt, Mukhtar will be successful at anything
he chooses to do academically or athletically in the future."
With Mukhtar leading the way, the Wave won the 2001 CUNYAC Championship
with only one returning player from the previous year's squad. In his
two collegiate seasons, this 6'3 engineering student has averaged 13 points,
5 rebounds and 3 assists.
Mukhtar is an active member of KCC Honors program and the Muslim Student
Association. Next season he plans on continuing his two passions, basketball
and engineering, at a technological college.
Jana Makajeva - Lehman College
Born in the former Soviet Republic of Estonia, Jana lived for two years in
Tacoma, Washington before coming to the Bronx in 1997. Upon her enrollment at
Lehman College, she joined the fledgling swim team and immediately became the
team's captain, top swimmer and was named Team Most Valuable Athlete three of her
Jana holds four individual school records and two relay records for the
Lightning, despite never swimming competitively before. Academically, the 5'9" 23-year
old has a 3.82 GPA majoring in Economics with a specialization in Business Management
and a minor in Computer Information Systems and Italian.
This year, Jana joined the
Track & Field and made the smooth transition to middle distance runner. She also works
as a lifeguard at Lehman and has been a volunteer coach with the APEX Swim Club and LC's
Continuing Education Program. She plans to attend graduate school and major in
International Public Affairs.
Arnold Zelaya - Baruch College
Arnold has been the motivational leader on and off the field for the Baruch
men's soccer team the last two seasons. Born in Honduras, Arnold lives in Ozone
Park, Queens from where he makes the long commute on the 'A' train to Manhattan
to go to school. He is majoring in Finance and plays soccer, while maintaining an
astounding 3.98 GPA.
In his career, he scored three goals and dished out nine assists playing
as a defensive midfielder. "Sure everyone wants to score, but in order to be an
effective leader, you need to sacrifice for the team," said Zelaya.
After his graduation later this month, Arnold plans to move to Chicago to
take a position with a pharmaceutical manufacturer for what he calls "an opportunity
that I can't pass up at this time in my life."
In his free time, he has volunteered for many organizations; namely
the Feed the Homeless Program, for New York Cares Day and has even tried his
hand at tutoring elementary school children.