Feature Stories

In the L.E.A.D.

Twenty-five University of Georgia student-athletes were inducted into Georgia’s Student-Athlete Leadership Academy in October.

This marks the eighth year of the Leadership Education and Development, or L.E.A.D., since the inaugural class in 2010. Among the prestigious group of past inductees are six-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer Allison Schmitt and CBS Sports analyst Aaron Murray. The new student-athletes join 29 other current members who have previously been inducted into the academy.

Inductees are chosen based on academic and athletic success, leadership, campus and community service involvement, and recommendations of head coaches and academic counselors.

“The Leadership Academy provides an outstanding opportunity for a select group of our student-athletes to further their leadership journey,” said J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “These students are highly motivated and engaged in the total collegiate experience, and we are proud to have them represent UGA and the Athletic Association.”

Along with encouraging leadership development and providing resources to compete for awards and scholarships, the student-athletes will have a chance to meet with local, state and industry leaders. It is one of the program's goals to have the student-athletes visit a company where superb leadership has had a visible impact on the organization and/or surrounding community.

Additionally, these student-athletes will be provided with resources to be competitive for conference and national awards and postgraduate scholarships, such as the NCAA Top VIII award, NCAA Woman of the Year award, and the SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship. L.E.A.D. participants will also have the opportunity to compete for a highly coveted graduate assistantship position within the UGA Athletic Association.

The 2017–18 Class of L.E.A.D. inductees are:

  • Blake Atmore, Swimming & Diving
  • Vivi Babalis, Gymnastics
  • Rodrigo Blankenship, Football
  • Gracie Cherrey, Gymnastics
  • Michael Curry, Baseball
  • Cortni Emanuel, Softball
  • Mackenzie Engram, Basketball
  • Tatiana Gusin, Track & Field
  • Kyndall Harper, Equestrian
  • Jillian Hollis, Golf
  • Aliyah Johnson, Track & Field
  • Kimberlee John-Williams, Swimming & Diving
  • Bryan Kamau, Track & Field/CC
  • Joshua Kenway, Swimming & Diving
  • Megan Kingsley, Swimming & Diving
  • Emma Mandarino, Equestrian
  • Nick Moore, Football
  • Connor O'Neill, Basketball
  • Alex Pallo, Soccer
  • Jonathan Pelham, Track & Field/CC
  • Karl Saluri, Track & Field
  • Roquan Smith, Football
  • Bailey Tardy, Golf
  • Steven Van Tiflin, Football
  • Charlie Woerner, Football
Published Sunday,