Greenwood, Ind. - May 6, 2020 - Former Mount Holyoke College volleyball standout Michelle Johannes '93, has been selected to be inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame, announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) late last week. Johannes, who currently works as a physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory, will be honored at the 2021 CoSIDA Convention, hosted in Orlando, Fla. from June 13-16, 2021.
Johannes is the first-ever Mount Holyoke College student-athlete inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame. She is also the first-ever inductee to represent one of the Seven Sisters institutions.
Created in 1988, the Academic All-America® Hall of Fame recognizes former Academic All-Americas who received a college degree at least 10 years ago, have achieved lifetime success in their professional careers, and are committed to philanthropic causes. The 2020 CoSIDA Convention, where Johannes was to be honored, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the association decided to recognize its 2020 Class in person at the 2021 Convention.
Johannes will be inducted with Stacey Dales, regarded as one of the most decorated basketball players in Big 12 Conference and University of Oklahoma history, Alex Smith, a collegiate quarterback sensation who was a Heisman Trophy finalist at the University of Utah and Bruce Furniss, a 10-time world record-setting swimmer and 19-time American record holder who won two Olympic gold and two World Championship gold medals in his illustrious swimming career at the University of Southern California.
Johannes is a noted and award-winning computational physicist in the Materials Science and Technology Division at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) and has been for the past 17 years. During her time as a student-athlete at Mount Holyoke College, Johannes was a three-time Academic All-America scholar-athlete and three-time all-conference volleyball star in the New England Women's 8 Conference. She was also the conference's player of the year in 1992.
The Phi Beta Kappa graduate also earned All-New England volleyball honors. She graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke in 1993 with a degree in physics. She earned a master's degree in physics from the University of California Davis in 1999 and a doctorate in computational physics from UC Davis in 2003. She has attained several fellowships and been awarded the Alan Berman Research Publication award five times.
From Michelle Johannes '93
"There is no way to overstate the pride and gratitude I feel in receiving this award. I am absolutely humbled by my fellow 2020 inductees and their astonishing athletic and academic accomplishments. I want to sincerely thank all my former teachers, coaches and teammates as well as my brothers who were my first rivals and friends, and especially my parents who literally built me from the ground up for instilling in me a love of thought and competition. But perhaps the Lyon's share of my gratitude goes to Mount Holyoke, the challenging and supportive world where I was forged as an individual and where I was given the opportunity to make the best of myself both in the classroom and gymnasium. My professors, coaches, and trainers constantly pushed me toward excellence. I learned and competed side-by-side with my MHC sisters, without whom I literally would not be myself. And, of course, it is 100% due to the tireless support and advocacy of the athletic department staff that my name found its way onto the list of nominees at all. Balancing my athletic endeavors with the rigors of a physics degree was one of the most intense challenges and greatest rewards of my life. If I could design an award to make me feel honored and fulfilled for the things that have been important throughout my life, I don't think I could do better than being named to the CoSIDA Academic All-American Hall of Fame."
Lori Hendricks '92, Chair of Physical Education and Director of Athletics at Mount Holyoke College
"I had the great privilege of watching this champion play during my time as a student-athlete at Mount Holyoke College! Michelle was a force. As student-athletes, we viewed the dominance of the volleyball team as motivation. We all wanted to outwork one another, compete for more conference titles, and at the end of the day, celebrate with each other. Michelle's success as a scholar, athlete, and professional continues to provide motivation to all of us.This is what excellence in one's life looks like. I cannot wait to celebrate Michelle in Orlando next year and invite any of our alumnae in the area to join me."
Iris Carpio, head Mount Holyoke College volleyball coach
"Greatness is a continuous journey that empowers the human spirit to thrive along the way. I had the honor of introducing Michelle at the Mount Holyoke College Athletics 2017 Hall of Fame induction ceremony and her journey in life has been nothing short of inspiring. After meeting Michelle, I got the impression that she never set out to be recognized as one of the "greatest anything." Instead, I took away that she was simply present and competitive with anything she took on -- setting her on a path to greatness. As the current volleyball coach, it's such a gift to be able to draw from Michelle's accomplishments as one of the most dominant student-athletes in our program's history, along with what she continues to accomplish in her profession to inspire our current student-athletes. Michelle is a constant reminder that it's possible. Our congratulations and thanks for inspiring the human spirit along the way."