Northern Virginia Community College and NBC4 celebrated Women’s History Month Wednesday, recognizing the school’s women student athletes for their athletic and academic accomplishments, as well as the coaches that helped lead them to success.
During the ceremony held at the Annandale Campus’ Brault Building, NOVA President Scott Ralls recognized and commended the school’s four women’s sports teams, which include basketball, volleyball, cross country and softball.
“The athletics department is a big part of what we’re about at NOVA, but it’s only a part of the learning process here,” Ralls said. “Today we celebrate great athletes, but we also recognize them as great students.”
The students honored during the ceremony include Brigitte Weber, Shannielle Joiner, Setareh Bagherzadeh, Gracie Billingsley, Cary Brown, Karla Evora, Alyssa Johnson, Tamyka Mason, MacKenzie Morris, Daniela Romero and Brittany Spivey.
Ralls took an extra moment to specifically recognize Spivey for her “historic” achievement, becoming the only NOVA student to ever simultaneously participate on a championship athletic team, be a member of the honor’s program and serve on the school’s board.
“There’s only been one person in the history of NOVA who has done all three of those things simultaneously, and that’s Brittany Spivey,” Ralls said.
NOVA also recognized Women’s cross country head coach Nicole Mancini and assistant coach Beth Bisbee.
Mancini, who was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Division I Atlantic Region 2015 Coach of the Year, also served as the keynote speaker for the event, delivering her speech via video chat during the ceremony, encouraging the student athletes to maintain their ambition.
“My cross country team means so much to me. They’re amazing athletes and amazing women,” Mancini said. “You’re making a tremendous impact everywhere, and I encourage you to keep pushing forward.”