Athletes score on the field and in classroom

Women’s rugby team player Natasha Turner and Jimmy Tat from the men’s track team are this year’s recipients of McMaster University’s Dr. Mary E. Keyes and the Dr. Jack Kennedy awards, which recognize a female and male student who best combine outstanding academic achievement and athletic excellence. Candidates exemplify the high ideals of Dr. Keyes and Dr. Kennedy, including the qualities of excellence, integrity, community involvement and the development of the whole student-athlete.

The awards were presented as part of McMaster University’s silver anniversary Marauder Weekend which paid tribute to Marauder scholars.

Marauder-scholars are those competitors who have maintained a grade average of 9.5 in a minimum of 24 units of course-work. For the 2010-11 academic year, McMaster produced 206 Marauder-Scholars, which is approximately one-third of all student-athletes. In addition to the Marauder-Scholar awards, the student-athletes in attendance received their OUA Academic Achievement or CIS Academic All-Canadian certificates.

A full list of Marauder-scholars can be found at

Turner, a recent graduate of McMaster’s Arts and Science program, is a three-time Dean’s Honour List student, Marauder Scholar and Academic All-Canadian. Her outstanding academic average and achievements are even more impressive when viewed beside Natasha’s athletic excellence.

Not only was Turner named the Ontario University Athletics Russell Division’s Most Valuable Player, but she also added her first all-Canadian selection. She is also heavily involved in the department’s recreation side, as co-president of McMaster’s Outdoor Club and facilitator with the Altitude program. The Rockcliffe, Ont., native recently returned from Dubai where she represented Canada with the national development team. Her immediate future plans haven’t been determined yet, but possibilities include graduate work abroad and training with rugby’s Team Canada in British Columbia.

Tat, graduating with distinction in 2010-11, was a four-time Dean’s Honour List student from McMaster’s Kinesiology program. Working as a research assistant in McMaster’s Biomechanics lab, he has researched the mechanics and control of upper extremity with the goal of better understanding work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

Tat’s work has led to co-authoring two referred publications. Athletically, Tat has been a standout on McMaster’s track team, capturing two OUA bronze medals in the 4x200m and 4x400m relay,

He was named a team MVP last season, and as captain of the sprint squad broke two McMaster records – his own 300m record as well as the 44-year old 4x400m relay record. He is currently doing post-graduate studies in physiotherapy and medicine.