(portions of this release courtesy of CCC Intern Khyrin Williams)
BEVERLY, Mass. – Recent Endicott College graduate Abigail Keim (Williston, Vt.) has been selected as the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) nominee for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon.
As the conference nominee, Keim will be forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee, which will choose the top 10 honorees in each NCAA division. The committee will then determine the top three candidates from each division from that pool. The nine finalists will be sent to the Committee on Women's Athletics, which will vote to determine the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The 30 Woman of the Year candidates will all be honored at a dinner on Oct. 20 in Indianapolis. The 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will also be announced at that time.
Since 2015, Endicott has now had three student-athletes selected as the CCC's nominee for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award, the most by any institution in the league during that span. With today's announcement, Keim joins Emylee Wood '18 (Kensington, N.H.) and Samantha DiBella '16 (Danvers, Mass.) on that illustrious list.
"During her time at Endicott, Abby had grown to excel in all areas of being a student-athlete. She managed to balance academics, athletics, extracurricular activities, and a social life while being passionate in all areas," said Endicott cross country and women's track & field head coach Spencer Lange. "Her success didn't come without obstacles, but she was able to challenge herself and have the confidence to navigate through these experiences, becoming stronger throughout the process. Abby's positive and selfless spirit allowed her to spread her optimism to those with whom she interacted. She will be greatly missed but surely left her mark on the program."
Keim, a biology/biotechnology and psychology major, was a four-year member of Endicott's cross country team and a two-year member of Gulls' track and field program. Throughout her time as a student-athlete, she maintained a perfect 4.0 grade point average, graduating summa cum laude, and was also a five-time CCC Academic All-Conference honoree (three in cross country/two in track & field).
Keim's most notable academic achievement was her research on the correlation between concussions and loss of olfactory senses which resulted in the production of several psychology and biology publications and abstracts.
As a research assistant with Dr. Alefiya Albers, Keim designed and conducted drug trials using murine models to examine the trauma of brain injuries, created and ran a Western Blotting protocol to assess levels of expression of a protein of interest, analyzed tissue samples using immunofluorescence stains and microscopy, and administered olfactory tests to subjects enrolled in ongoing longitudinal research studies.
Keim has also served as a laboratory worker at the Janssen-Heininger Laboratory and Vermont Lung Center and volunteered at the Beverly Hospital Emergency Department.
Keim will continue her studies at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College.
Meanwhile, Keim also volunteered with Relay for Life, North Shore Road Races, Let's Get Ready SAT Coach and at the Beverly Hospital Emergency Department. Since arriving at Endicott, she was heavily involved in the community, during Keim's time with Let's Get Ready SAT Coach, she taught classes for underprivileged high school students about the writing and reading sections of the SAT as well as being a college application essay tutor.
Keim received numerous honors and recognitions during her time as a student-athlete at Endicott as well including the college's Scholar-Athlete award, Female Student-Athlete of the Year, and President's Award.
She also made the Dean's List three times, was a National Honor Society member, earned two selections onto the CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-District Women's Track & Field/Cross Country First Team, and was a 2019 CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-America® Women's Track & Field/Cross Country First Team selection.
Lastly, Keim won the CCC Cross Country Rookie of the Year award to start her collegiate career along with winning CCC Rookie of the Week accolades on four different occasions that season.
ABOUT THE NCAA WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD
With nominees from each collegiate division, the NCAA Woman of the Year program honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes.
To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport, must have completed eligibility in her primary sport, and must have earned her undergraduate degree by summer 2019.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.
(Photo Credit - David Le '10)