BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The 2016 SEC Women’s Swimming & Diving Community Service Team is as follows:
Emily Zapinski, Junior, Freestyle, Alabama
Zapinski has worked as a Children’s Hands-On Museum volunteer intern and with Sitters for Services. She has been a volunteer for the DCH Foundation and Crimson Carnations. Zapinski has also donated her time to the Human Society of West Alabama, Create Honduras Team, Out of the Darkness Walk, and the Halloween Extravaganza. A co-captain of the 2015-16 Alabama women’s swimming and diving team, she was twice named the President’s List (4.0 GPA) and twice to the Dean’s List (3.5 or better GPA). Zapinski is also a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
Chelsea Tatlow, Sophomore, Back/Free/IM, Arkansas
Tatlow has been a part of several community service endeavors. She helped build a house that was recently finished on Feb. 7 with Habitat for Humanity. Tatlow helped clean many trails in the Northwest Arkansas area, set up a cheer station for the Fayetteville Half Marathon and filled curriculum bags for an after school program. She has participated in multiple canned food and book drives and plays bingo with members of the VA home. Tatlow has served as a volunteer with the with the Cedar Creek Therapeutic Horseback Riding Center, as a water therapy volunteer instructor at the Tiger Place nursing home, and as a mentor for Girl Power. She has aided the VA of the Ozarks Hospital, which she says has been a humbling experience and one of the things she gets most excited about when she thinks about her time at the U of A. Tatlow has also helped out at the on campus food pantry and Feed Fayetteville community garden. She was named to the 2014-15 First-Year SEC Academic Honor Roll and to Arkansas’ Dean and Chancellor’s List multiple times.
Alex Merritt, Senior, Backstroke/Butterfly, Auburn
Merritt coordinates community service for the entire men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. She volunteers with the Lee County Humane Society and is a member of SAAC. Merritt has visited Oak Park Retirement Home and has stuffed backpacks for the Dufner Foundation. She has also volunteered with the Food Bank of East Alabama and with Habitat for Humanity. Merritt attended the annual Downtown Trick or Treat, which gives children in the community a safe place to enjoy the Halloween holiday. She donated to SAAC’s Toys for Tots Drive and the Beat Bama Food Drive.
Delaney Dye, Senior, Diver, Florida
Dye has been involved with the J.J. Finley Stadium Tours, helping guide elementary students on tours of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. She has worked with Caleb’s Pitch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating positive experiences and enhancing quality of life for children and their families while being treated for serious conditions at the hospital. Dye has also worked with Climb for Cancer, a non-profit foundation co-founded by Ron and Dianne Farb which gives children the opportunity to forget about their past or current battles with cancer, and allows them the chance to play soccer, football, basketball and volleyball with Florida student-athletes. She has visited patients in the Pediatrics unit. On campus, Dye has volunteered with: Baby Gator’s Field Day, a family oriented function geared toward stimulating active lifestyles among our community’s youth; Gator Move, arriving at elementary schools at 7 a.m. to play games with students and help promote a healthy lifestyle at a young age; and Gator Trax, which provides students in grades K-12 with opportunities to learn mathematics with hands-on activities for free. She is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection and a two-time recipient of Honorable Mention Scholar-Athlete All-American.
Emily Cameron, Junior, Swimmer, Georgia
Cameron has worked with several projects throughout her time at Georgia, including Protect Your Melon, UGA Relay for Life, Safe Routes to School and Special Olympics Prom. She has volunteered for the “No More” Campaign to end domestic violence and “The End It” Movement to end slavery. Cameron has collected monetary and toiletry donations for Project Safe as well as food donations for the Hunger Bowl benefitting the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. She is a two-time All-American and has been named to the SEC and UGA Academic Honor Rolls.
Danielle Galyer, Junior, Backstroke/IM, Kentucky
Galyer has served as a volunteer for Cats Cultivating Character, the American Cancer Society Beaus and Bellas, the Ronald McDonald House and the Catholic Action Center. She has passed out collection buckets for the United Way at UK football games, and participated in the UK Athletics Blanket Project, the UK Athletics Backpack Program and the UK Athletics Back-to-School Picnic. Galyer has been a bell ringer for the Salvation Army and an elementary school celebrity reader. She also helped clean out Commonwealth Stadium before the start of the 2015 season. The SAAC Secretary since 2014, Galyer has been named to the AD Honor Roll five times and the CSCAA Scholar All-American twice. She was also selected as the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s swimming & diving last season.
Danielle Stirrat, Senior, Back/Free, LSU
Stirrat has served as a phone and chat counselor at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center. She has also assisted at with Charlie’s Place Alzheimer’s Services. Stirrat participated in the Sickle Cell Sundae and the Sickle Cell Christmas Party. She has been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and is LSU’s representative for the SEC Brad Davis Community Service Award.
Victoria Trost, Junior, Swimmer, Missouri
Trost has been an active member of the Columbia community since she arrived at Missouri three years ago. She has spent extensive time with the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri, Adaptive Gymnastics and Great Circle. Additionally, Trost volunteered for the Boys & Girls Town of Missouri, Caleb’s Pitch, Love INC of Columbia, ParentLink Tiger Family Fest, Heritage Festival, Box Car Derby, Grant Elementary School Read-a-Thon, Special Olympics Shoe Drive, Ridgeway Elementary School Fun Festival and participated in the MS 150 Bike Ride and 100×100 Swim Cancer Fundraiser.
Brooke Morton, Senior, Breaststroke, South Carolina
Morton has assisted with patient needs and administrative tasks at Drayer Physical Therapy. She has visited with patients at the Palmetto Children’s Hospital. Morton annually raises money and walks in support of cancer research with Relay for Life. She helped organize and participated in the USC Dance Marathon, and worked the water station and helped with clean-up during the Tunnels to Towers Run. Morton has made baked goods and distributed them to the Columbia Police and Fire Departments. At the Flood Survivor Holiday Gift Giveaway, she escorted flood victims around the mall and provided them with donated items. Morton has clean transport vans as well as walked and bathed animals as a part of the Pawmetto Lifeline. She participated in collecting and shopping for donations for a family around the holidays with Adopt-A-Family. During the Walk to Cure Diabetes, Morton helped with event set-up and later served food and drinks to participants. She has also volunteered at lunch and recess at the Bradley Elementary School. Morton is a three-time SEC Winter Honor Roll selection.
Colleen Callahan, Junior, Breaststroke, Tennessee
Callahan has logged more than 20 hours this year volunteering in the UT Medical Center emergency room and nutrition department. She read to children at nearby West Haven Elementary School and went Christmas caroling with teammates at a nursing home. Callahan also volunteered with the Man Run, a UT Medical Center race and fundraiser for prostate cancer research and education. She also joined teammates to help with Voloween, a Halloween event for children of UT faculty and staff. Callahan was named to the 2015 SEC Winter Academic Honor Roll and the 2014 SEC First Year Academic Honor Roll.
Katherine Huff, Senior, Free/Back/Fly, Texas A&M
Huff is a current volunteer with Aggies Move, a program that educates children on nutrition and exercise. This past fall, she worked with Special Olympics, the Booneville Days and the Natural History Museum Festival. Last spring, Huff helped out with Phoebe’s Home, a domestic violence outreach program. For two years, she aided the Big Event, a Texas A&M campus-wide community service outreach, and Hard Hats for Little Heads, promoting helmet use with children. Huff has also volunteered with the Physics Festival, the Mentor College Station ISD and the Aggies Can food drive. In the spring, she has been a part of the Movie on the Mound/Film on the Field, a community outreach on campus. In conjunction with the First Presbyterian Church of Bryan, Huff has worked with Stop Hunger Now, the Twin City Mission homeless shelter and the Twin City Missions Coat Drive. She is secretary for Texas A&M’s Student-Athletes Advisory Committee (SAAC) and a member of TAMU Athletics Building Champions Awards Committee and the TAMU Class Councils. Huff is a recruiting committee leader for the Texas A&M swimming and diving team and the 2015 nominee for the Peach of an Athlete Role Model award (Atlanta, Ga.).
Kathryn Babbin, Junior, Distance Free, Vanderbilt
Babbin works at KIPP Nashville Collegiate High School, a charter school dedicated to helping students to both reach and be successful in college. The past three years, she has also worked with The Afterschool Program (TAP), which is a tutoring organization at Vanderbilt. Each Vanderbilt student is matched with a child and they tutor them on reading. The goal of the program is to work on closing the achievement gap and create mentor/mentee pairs that allow for personal growth. As an intern, Babbin has: coached 12 students with disabilities on job skills and soft skills with the goal of increasing workforce placement, Guided students through retail work related tasks at T.J. Maxx without the supervision of management from VSU, and completed daily notes on each student recording their performance, which did improve on repeated tasks. The past semester, Babbin participated with the Vandy swim team in the meet with the Dolphins Program, volunteering as a timer at a NAC 10 and under meet and spent a Saturday morning helping clean a river.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams for all 21 league sponsored sports. The Community Service Team looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts. The 2016 SEC Men’s Swimming & Diving Community Service Team is as follows:
Travis Kerner, Senior, Freestyle/IM, Alabama
Kerner serves as President of the University of Alabama’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, helping direct the community outreach efforts of the Crimson Tide’s 550-plus student-athletes. He also took part in the Halloween Extravaganza and Project Angel Tree. Kerner earned the athletics department’s men’s community service award as a junior. A Dean’s List (3.5 or better GPA) student, he is a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a two-year SEC Championship scorer.
Joe Patching, Junior, Backstroke/IM, Auburn
Patching consistently volunteers for the backpack stuffing for the Jason Dufner Foundation. He volunteered with the Lee County Humane Society as well as at the Benjamin Bash Financial Literacy Fair. Patching also donated to SAAC’s Toys for Tots Drive and the Beat Bama Food Drive.
Nick Salyers, Senior, Swimmer, Georgia
Salyers worked with the Hunger Bowl, benefitting the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia “No More” Campaign to end domestic violence. He collected toiletry donations for Project Safe and monetary donations for Project Safe, UGA Relay for Life, Special Olympics Prom. Salyers was a part of the Special Olympics Homeruns for Hometown Rivals Baseball Game, “The End It” Movement to end slavery, and Safe Routes to School. A CSCAA Scholar All-American and a member of the SEC and UGA academic honor rolls, he served as Vice President for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which identifies community service needs.
Drew Aviotti, Junior, Distance, Kentucky
Aviotti was a volunteer for the Tri for Sight, the UK Athletics Backpack Program and the UK Athletics Blanket Program. He was a bell ringer for the Salvation Army and worked as an assisted living volunteer for Hometown Manos. Aviotti also volunteered at the Kentucky Aquatics Autumn Classic, the Iron Horse Half Marathon and the Raven Run 10K. He has been a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee since 2014. Aviotti earned a spot on the 2014-15 SEC Honor Roll and CSCAA Scholar-All American Honorable Mention.
Logan Rysemus, Junior, Backstroke/Butterfly, LSU
Over his three years at LSU, Rysemus has been a part of the LSU Halloween “Boozar,” Thanksgiving with the Tigers and Christmas with the Tigers. He has participated in Sickle Cell Sunday and the Sickle Cell Christmas Party. Rysemus has also participated in the Terrace Elementary School Field Day, Be the Match, GEAUX BIG church clean up and Freshman Move-In Day. He has volunteered for Friends of the Animals Baton Rouge, SAAC Community Service projects and the Senior Citizen Visit. Last season, Rysemus was the recipient of the Stripes Award, which is given to one student-athlete that exhibits positive representation of LSU and the program in the classroom, community through service, and the pool. He is a two-time member of the Dean’s List and a three-time selection on the SEC and LSU Academic Honor Rolls.
Matthew Margritier, Redshirt Senior, Swimmer, Missouri
In his three years at Missouri, Margritier has been a familiar face in the Columbia community. He spent extensive time volunteering at the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri. Margritier also spent time at the Boys & Girls Town of Missouri, took part in the ParentLink Tiger Family Fest, 100×100 Swim Cancer Fundraiser, MS 150 Bike Ride, Adopt-a-Spot Highway Clean Up and was a National Student-Athlete Day Special Olympic buddy.
Bobby Bittner, Senior, Butterfly, South Carolina
Bittner has volunteered for several community service projects at South Carolina, contributing over 80 hours to community service projects during his two seasons with the Gamecocks. He helps prepare and service food for the less fortunate at Transitions. Bittner tutors elementary students and helped organize the Fall Festival at the Catawba Trail Elementary School. He worked on the recruitment team and helped out for 24 straight hours at the USC Dance Marathon. Bittner volunteered at a water station during the annual Tunnels for Towers Run and as a swim coach over the summer with East Carolina Aquatics, teaching the sport to the next generation. At the University of South Carolina Herbarium, he volunteers at the largest herbarium in the state of South Carolina, helping visitors learn more about plant life. Bittner was named to the USC Spring Dean’s List twice and the SEC Winter Honor Roll in 2015.
Matthew Dunphy, Freshman, Breaststroke, Tennessee
Dunphy has volunteered for several events, including Mentor for the Goals for Girls, a student-athlete led developmental program that works with underprivileged girls from elementary schools. He has a long history of serving others through mission trips and his involvement at his church. Along with the men’s swimming and diving team, Dunphy volunteered at: the UT Medical Center’s Man Run, a race that benefits prostate cancer research and education; Voloween, a Halloween event for the children of university faculty and staff; and made visits to local schools.
Antoine Marc, Senior, IM/Free, Texas A&M
Marc has worked with Aggies Can, a canned food drive, where he organized, marketed and volunteered at the largest student-athlete run canned food drive in the nation. As part of Aggies Move, which promotes healthy eating and physical activity for children, he volunteered at local elementary schools and talked to kids about nutrition, trying to actively engage the students in order for them to learn not only good eating habits but how the body works with respect to digestion. During the Men’s Swimming and Diving Team Volunteer Day, Marc and his teammates helped several local businesses in Bryan by cleaning, organizing and landscaping. He also helped coordinate and assist athletes in the swimming portion of the Special Olympics. Marc is Texas A&M’s male H. Boyd McWhorter Postgraduate Scholarship winner and plans to attend medical school after graduation in May 2017, potentially pursuing a career as an orthopedic surgeon.
Swimming news courtesy of SEC.