News release date: May 28, 2004

Three Whitman Tennis Players Earn Academic All-District Honors

WALLA WALLA, Wash. - Three Whitman College tennis players have earned Academic All-District honors.

Seniors Paola Vizcaino and Sam Spiegel and junior Brad Changstrom are among the 20 student athletes named to the women's and men's At-Large teams in the College Division of District VIII. The district includes all NCAA Div. II/Div. III and NAIA schools in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Utah, Nevada and Arizona, as well as British Columbia.

The At-Large teams represent student athletes in a wide variety of sports, including golf, skiing, gymnastics, ice hockey, swimming, lacrosse and tennis.

Players on all-district At-Large teams from around the nation are now eligible for election to the Academic All-America teams. That voting will take place in June. The College Sports Information Directors of America (Co-SIDA) administers the Academic All-America program, which is in its 53rd year and has honored more than 14,000 students at all levels for all recognized NCAA sports.

Spiegel, a graduating senior, was named to the all-district men's team for a second consecutive year. Vizcaino, who graduated summa cum laude during May 23 commencement ceremonies, and Changstrom, a junior, were elected for the first time.

Spiegel, a politics major from Vancouver, British Columbia, was the only senior on a menís tennis team that captured a Northwest Conference title this spring and advanced to the NCAA Div. III national playoffs. A team co-captain, Spiegel compiled a record of 10-3 in singles, which included a 9-0 mark against NWC opponents. His career singles record against conference foes was an impressive 39-5. He earned All-NWC First Team honors at the end of his junior season.

In a vote of the Whitman coaching staff, Spiegel was one of two graduating seniors awarded the 2004 Borleske Trophy, which is given annually to the top male athlete at the school.

Elected to both Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society, and the Order of Wailatpu, a Whitman honor society, Spiegel also competed on Whitmanís forensics team, which achieved a No. 1 national ranking this year in combined sweepstakes scoring in parliamentary and policy debate. In four years of competition, he also placed first six times in individual events at various intercollegiate speech tournaments. As a freshman, Spiegel and a second Whitman freshman won the prestigious Pi Kappa Delta National Debate Tournament.

Spiegel, a graduate of St. Johnís-Ravenscourt School in Winnipeg, Canada, was active with the French-speaking community at Whitman, where he lived in the French Interest House as a sophomore. He also served two terms as secretary-treasurer of Whitmanís Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and he was chair of the Senior Gift Committee, which raised funds to enhance the Whitman organic garden.

Spiegel, whose collegiate volunteer activities ranged from mentoring students at a Walla Walla elementary school to helping senior citizens at a Vancouver, B.C. hospital, plans to pursue international human rights policy as a career. Before enrolling in graduate school, he hopes to work in the immediate future as an intern in South Africa, with either the United Nations Development Program or the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs.

Vizcaino, an economics major from Metepec, Mexico, was one of the most dominating womenís tennis players in the Northwest Conference over the past four years. After earning NWC Player of the Year honors in her first two seasons, she missed her junior spring season while studying in France on a High Academic Achievement Scholarship at the Institut Catholique de Paris. She considers herself proficient (rather than fluent) in French, her third language.

Returning to the courts as a senior team captain, Vizcaino compiled records of 16-2 at No. 1 singles and 14-4 at No. 1 doubles, earning First-Team All-NWC honors and being named Sportswoman of the Year. Her career record against NWC opponents at No. 1 singles was 34-2. In a vote of the Whitman coaching staff, Vizcaino was one of two graduating seniors awarded the 2004 Mignon Borleske Trophy, which is given annually to the top female athlete at the school.

A graduate of Tecnologico de Monterrey in Toluca, Mexico, Vizcaino was elected this spring to Phi Beta Kappa, the national academic honor society. She also was named a Junior Fellow by the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Advocating on behalf of immigrant workers at a local meat-packing plant, Vizcaino was one of the founders of a new student group at Whitman, the Alliance for Workplace Justice. She also served as president of the International Students Club at Whitman.

Vizcaino is one of 10 Whitman students who received grant funding from the Freeman East Asian Studies Foundation to study traditional Japanese arts this summer in Kyoto, Japan. She begins a six-month internship later this summer doing research for the AFL-CIOís Office of Investment in Washington, D.C. She eventually plans to enroll in graduate school, although she has yet to decide a focus for those studies. The possibilities range from international economics to the role of immigrant workers in the U.S. labor movement.

Changstrom, a biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology major from Loveland, Colo., compiled records of 7-1 in singles and 9-3 in doubles against Northwest Conference opponents as the Whitman menís tennis ream rolled to its first league title in four years. Changstrom, who served as a team co-captain this spring, earned All-NWC Second-Team honors at the end of his sophomore season.

Changstrom will spend this summer as an intern in the University of Notre Dameís Department of Biology, conducting research on how cell development is related to cancer. The internship is funded through the National Science Foundation and its Research Experience for Undergraduates program.

A graduate of Thompson Valley High School (Loveland, Colo.), Changstrom volunteered last summer at McKee Medical Center in Loveland, dividing his time between the emergency room and assisting patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinsonís and Alzheimerís. After Whitman, he plans to enroll in medical school or graduate school for research in neurobiology or biochemistry.

Changstrom, who serves on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee at Whitman, also works as a laboratory assistant in the Whitman Chemistry Department.


Dave Holden, Whitman Sports Information, (509) 527-5902