PITTSBURGH, Pa. – 2015 Bethany College graduates, softball’s Jessica Kusnierz (New Castle, Pa./Shenango) and football’s Brooks Kursey (Martinsburg, W. Va./Hedgesville) were recently honored as part of the second annual Presidents’ Athletic Conference’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year Banquet on Tuesday evening.
The evening of celebration was held at the LeMont Restaurant in Pittsburgh’s historic Mount Washington neighborhood. The event, which was started in 2014, was created to help recognize the conference’s top student-athletes for their athletic achievements, excellence in the classroom and outstanding community service.
One of the top students representing Bethany's Physical Education department, Kusnierz was named to the Dean's List five times and earned Presidents' List honors twice. She was also named to the PAC Academic Honor Roll after each of her four seasons with the Bison softball program. A Kalon Scholar, she recently received the S. Elizabeth Reed Award, presented to the senior female Physical Education major displaying outstanding scholarship and athletic participation during her four years at the College. Jessica is also a member of the Gamma Sigma Kappa, Phi Delta Psi and Pi Gamma Mu honorary fraternities.
Following the 2015 season she was named a finalist for the Derek Hoffman Memorial Award, which is presented annually to the female student-athlete who embodies the spirit and character of Bethany athletics. She was a three-time All-PAC selection, earning an Honorable Mention selection in 2013 before claiming back-to-back Second Team honors in 2014 and 2015. A four-year starter, she finished her career with a .302 batting average and ranks fourth and sixth, respectively, on Bethany's all-time runs scored (115) and doubles (34) lists. Jessica also set the school's single-season runs scored record, crossing the plate 45 times during the 2015 season.
Kursey was named to Bethany's Presidents' List after each of his eight semesters and earned PAC Academic Honor Roll distinction on four occasions. Following his senior year, he was honored with the Frank Alfred Chapman Memorial Award, presented to the College's outstanding History student. He was also honored with the Exceptional Secondary Education Award as well as being named a Bethany Football Scholar-Athlete Award winner. Brooks is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Gamma Mu and Kappa Delta Pi honoraries.
As a member of the Bison football program, he appeared in 29 games during his four-year career, finishing with 45.5 tackles. A special teams starter, he appeared in all 11 games as a senior, tallying a career-high 24 tackles and one fumble recovery. Working with the College's Education department, Brooks participated in three College-hosted "Fun Days" for local middle schoolers and assisted with the science fair at Woodsdale Elementary School this spring.
Kusnierz and Kursey were two of the 22 conference athletes who were recognized from all around the PAC. A full list of all of the conference honorees can be seen here.