Student-athlete Ghazaleh Sailors (Oz)has been selected UMPI's Student of the Month for September, 2013. Ghaz, from Santa Barbara California, is a junior majoring in Fitness and Wellness. She has consistently been on the Dean's List while participating on the collegiate Cross Country, Nordic Ski and Baseball teams. Oz pursued her dream of playing baseball in college and this has been well documented by ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times and YouTube. Ghaz started and pitched 5 innings to mark the first time a woman had been credited with a baseball win in the history of the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA).
Oz has accomplished many achievements in competitive athletics, including being the named the 2012 recipient of the "Al Arman Award" for the student-athlete that "truly has made a difference within athletics and/or the campus community, " and also being selected as "Most Inspirational Player" in both Cross Country and Nordic Skiing Programs for 2012.
As mentioned above, Sailors exploits in the athletic realm are well known, but the UMPI "Student of the Month" is awarded each month to a well-rounded student, who excels in the classroom and in the UMPI community. Ghaz is an outstanding role model, an inspirational leader and an academic achiever in the classroom.
Bursting with an infectious energy, Ghaz is always willing to help students, staff and community members. A recent visitor to campus wrote this about their interaction with Ghaz:
"I live in New York City and was in Presque Isle and Caribou visiting my cousin over Homecoming week. I saw a student from UMPI, help two old ladies to their car with groceries when it was raining outside. One of the older ladies slipped and fell. The young lady proceeded to hold the hand of the older woman who had slipped and helped her cross the parking lot where her car was parked and helped put groceries in her car and then walked away. She didn't know the two older ladies. I was very impressed and living in New York this isn't something that I see every day so I asked my cousin who is that student? She was wearing a UMPI Women's cross country shirt and he said her name is Oz and she is on the running team. I just wanted to let you know about this act of kindness because I believe she is a great leader for community service on campus . . . this really touched me."
Anyone who interacts with Ghaz understands that the above mentioned actions are typical and commonplace for the kind-hearted Californian drawn to the Presque Isle campus to achieve her life-long dream of participating in the male-dominated world of collegiate baseball.
More excerpts from nomination letters:
"What a great selection for this award. Ghaz is a very deserving young lady. She is an outstanding student and a three sport athlete with unbounded enthusiasm for her sports, her teammates and her University. She is first and foremost a baseball player but picked up Nordic skiing two winters ago and is now in her second season of cross country. She is one of the most coachable runners I've ever trained and has an intense desire to not only excel as she races but wants to learn the details of training - how it is done, why it is done, when is it best to do each type of training, and on. It is a pleasure to coach her."
"Ghaz is a gift to the UMPI community, she is a motivated young woman of immense character. She is the type of trailblazing pioneer that Title IX was meant to inspire, not only has she excelled in competitive sport, she is also focused academically and able to attain anything she sets her sites on. Ghaz is a one in a million type of person…nothing will stop her from reaching her goals."
"Without a doubt Oz's love for baseball and being physically active permeates her life- which raises her curiosity in the health and well-being of everyone that is physically active. Fitness and Wellness is a great major for her and will aid in her pursuit of a career in athletics. Her energy is contagious!!!"
"Oz is an extremely hard worker; she always puts forth her best effort. Because she has dedicated herself to getting the best out of her ability, her ability keeps improving. The sky is the limit."
Wherever on campus the name of Ghaz Sailors is mentioned, the comments are almost certainly echoing these same thoughts. The UMPI community congratulates Ghaz for her outstanding academic record, her unbridled enthusiasm and tremendous impact on the UMPI campus. For all of these fine traits, Ghazalieh Sailors is UMPI's September Student of the Month.