Indianapolis, Ind. - July 14, 2020 - Recent graduate Hannah LeBlanc (Portland, Ore.) of the rowing team was tabbed as Mount Holyoke College's nominee for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
LeBlanc, who was named Mount Holyoke College's Laurie Priest Alumnae Association Scholar-Athlete Award winner following her career with the Lyons, was one of a record 605 female college athletes nominated for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.
"I am proud to have Hannah representing Mount Holyoke College as our nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award," said Chair of Physical Education and Director of Athletics, Lori Hendricks '92. "Her work ethic, community engagement, leadership, and academic and athletic success hit on each of the criteria for this prestigious award."
Rooted in Title IX, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers. The nominees represent all three NCAA divisions, including 259 nominees from Division I, 126 from Division II and 220 from Division III.
Finishing undergraduate studies with a grade-point average of 3.99 while majoring in Biochemistry with a minor in Philosophy, LeBlanc was a Second Team All-Conference honoree following the 2019 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Championship. LeBlanc was also named to the Seven Sisters All-Regatta team during the 2017-18 season. Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LeBlanc and the Mount Holyoke College rowing team's 2020 season was cancelled.
"Hannah has been a stalwart leader for our program over her four years at Mount Holyoke College," said head rowing coach Seth Hussey. Hannah's dedication and work ethic stand apart from what is typical from a collegiate athlete. I am proud to have been a small part of her journey and wish her all the best in her future endeavors."
LeBlanc was an instrumental part of the Lyons' building success over the last few years, and was part of the Mount Holyoke College rowing team that took 24th at the Head of the Charles Regatta in 2017. Three years later, LeBlanc helped lead her team to a 14th-place finish in 2019, the highest the program has seen since 2011.
Within the Mount Holyoke College rowing program, LeBlanc earned the Holly Metcalf Award in both 2019 and 2020. The Holly Metcalf Award is annually given for outstanding dedication to the pursuit of excellence in rowing.
The Portland, Ore. native's skill set was not only displayed as a rower, as LeBlanc was also a dedicated student during her time at Mount Holyoke College. LeBlanc graduated from the College Summa cum laude and earned membership into Phi Beta Kappa, which shows commitment to the liberal arts and sciences, and to freedom of inquiry and expression. Each year, about one college senior in 100, nationwide, is invited to join Phi Beta Kappa.
Along with earning the aforementioned Laurie Priest Alumnae Association Scholar-Athlete Award at Mount Holyoke College, LeBlanc was also the recipient of the Gertrude "Bobby" Lerch Award for Excellence in Biochemistry. The three-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree also garnered the Bernice Maclean Biology Award in 2017 and 2019. Other honors that LeBlanc collected in 2019 included the Chemistry Department Teaching Assistant Award, the Louisa Stone Stevenson Prize, the Paul H. D'Amour Founder's Fellowship for Academic Excellence, the Andy Grove Scholarship and the Sarah Williston Scholar Prize.
From rowing associations, LeBlanc was selected to the National Invitational Rowing Championship All-Academic Team and received the New England Rowing Championship All-Scholar Award in both 2018 and 2019.
Outside of her responsibilities as a Mount Holyoke College rowing student-athlete, LeBlanc was very involved on campus as well, as she was an undergraduate researcher in the Mount Holyoke College Department of Chemistry and a Student Health Aide in the Mount Holyoke College Health Center from 2017-2020. She was also a Biochemistry 1-on-1 Peer Tutor and Teachers Assistant during the 2019-20 academic year, and an Organic Chemistry Laboratory Teachers Assistant in 2018-19.
From 2017-2020 LeBlanc also ran a weekly 1-2 hour radio show on WMHC 91.5 FM, the College's radio station.
LeBlanc is among 10 nominees from the NEWMAC for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Conference offices will be selecting up to two nominees from their pool. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees, 10 from each division.