KANSAS CITY, Mo. –The National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) announced today its 2016 Rising Star and Commitment Award recipients. Mount Holyoke College senior Julia Bell was named one of just three award winners across the nation and the only current student-athlete winner across all divisions.
Bell, a native of Longmeadow, Mass., joins NCAA Postgraduate Intern, TaRonda Randall, and Oregon State graduate student Tayla Woods as this year's honorees for the Rising Star Award. The award is presented to undergraduate or graduate students, interns or volunteers who aspire to a career in intercollegiate athletics. The award recognizes involvement and leadership roles on a campus, in a conference office or organization and in the community.
A four-year member of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams at Mount Holyoke, Bell is currently completing her Bachelors in Psychology, minoring in Education Studies with a focus on Sports Pedagogy. She plans to earn her Masters in Sports Management. For the past three years, she has served as the sports information student assistant at Mount Holyoke, managing several responsibilities including providing in game statistics and maintaining current website content.
As a member of the field hockey team, Bell played in 66 total contests, including 36 starts. She posted 24 goals with seven assists for 55 points. In addition to seven game-winning tallies, Bell recorded 101 shots with 69 going on goal. Her efforts helped the Lyons to four straight New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) postseason berths, as well as three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. The Lyons advanced to the conference championship game in each of the last three seasons, winning the program's third title this past season in a 2-1 shootout victory over Wellesley College.
In addition to her efforts on the field, Bell also helped the Lyons field hockey team succeed in the classroom as the squad earned National Field Hockey Coaches Associataion (NFHCA) Academic Team honors over each of the last four years. Individually, she was named to the NFHCA Academic Squad in each of the last two seasons.
As a member of the lacrosse team, the former Wilbraham & Monson standout has continued to climb the program record books. The four-year standout and captain this season, became just the second player in program history to record 200 career goals on April 16. She is also second all-time in career points.
Through 58 games played, including 57 starts, Bell has recorded 208 goals with 74 assists for 282 points. She has posted 97 ground balls, 148 draw controls and 63 caused turnovers, going 33-68 on the free position. Bell has also recorded 394 shots, 322 on goal.
Currently, Bell ranks third in the NEWMAC in both goals and points. A three-time All-Conference selection, including twice on the First Team, she is a two-time Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association All-Region selection and was the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year in 2013.
In addition to her work in sports information, Bell has spent the past year serving as the student liaison for the Intro to Sport Pedagogy class at Mount Holyoke, which worked each week throughout the semester at a local elementary school. She also served an internship in the Athletic Department, working on several critical projects.
Bell was nominated by the chair of physical education and director of athletics at Mount Holyoke College, Lori Hendricks, who stated: "I have no doubt that she will continue to grow as a professional within college athletics." When referring to Bell's desire to one day serve as an Athletic Director Hendricks said, "Her professional trajectory is aimed in that direction."
Award recipients will also receive scholarships to attend the 2016 NACWAA National Convention, October 9-11 in Kansas City, Mo. The National Convention is the premier conference for women working in intercollegiate athletics, offering unparalleled leadership and professional development, industry training and networking opportunities.