DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Denise Beliveau (Framingham, Mass.) of the University of New Hampshire women's basketball team has been nominated for the 2012 America East Woman of the Year Award, announced by the conference Tuesday afternoon. Beliveau is one of 11 institutional nominees for the annual honor, which recognizes the league's senior female student-athletes that best exemplified a commitment to service, leadership, athletics and academics during their collegiate careers.
Beliveau, who graduated in 2010 with a degree in exercise science and is working toward a graduate degree in Leadership and Children's Health and Disabilities, capped off an impressive career with an outstanding senior campaign. She was named the team's Most Valuable Player for the second-straight season after leading the squad in rebounding (8.6) and adding 14.1 points per game, also becoming the 16th player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark. Beliveau, an America East All-Conference First Team and All-Defensive Team selection, was the only player in the league to rank in the top-five in both scoring and rebounding and led the Wildcats to their first winning season since 2006. The four-time team captain ended her UNH career ranked sixth in scoring (1,365), fourth in rebounding (843) and third in steals (201).
Beliveau was also highly successful in the classroom and she was named to the America East All-Academic team for the second-straight season for her efforts. Beliveau was recognized on a national level after being named to the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award Second Team. She was one of 10 national finalists from Division I institutions recognized for a commitment to excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community.
In addition to a lofty list of athletic and academic accolades, Beliveau has consistently demonstrated the essence of a well-rounded individual through her involvement in several community service activities. As a four-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Beliveau has served as a student tutor, organized various food drives and basketball clinics, and volunteers at a nursing home to aid in physical therapy. She also has volunteered her time to various one-time community service events such as Soles for Souls, Toys for Tots and the Special Olympics.
To be nominated, student-athletes must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2012 spring season or received her undergraduate degree prior to the conclusion of the summer 2012 term and have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.500 (4.000 scale).
The nominees will be narrowed down to three finalists on Wednesday, May 30 via a release on the conference web site with the America East Woman of the Year being announced at the conference's Annual Meeting in Annapolis, Md. on Wednesday, June 13.
The America East Woman of the Year will then be forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee. The selection committee will select the top 10 winners in each NCAA division (I, II and III). From among those 30 honorees, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the CWA will vote from among the top nine to determine the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year.
In conjunction with the changes in the nomination process for the NCAA Woman of the Year award, the America East Woman of the Year award was established for the 2005-06 athletic season. Beginning in 2006, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics (CWA) started receiving conference-designated nominees in lieu of the previous institution- and state-based nomination format.