Junior Katelyn Mann of the Central Connecticut swimming and diving team has been chosen by the College Sports Information Directors of America, in association with Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut's most comprehensive healthcare network, a recipient of the Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Courage Award. Rebecca Lobo, the program ambassador, will present Mann with a plaque and CCSU with a $1,250 donation to the general scholarship fund in Mann's name to help future students achieve their dreams.
Each month, two inspiring student-athletes who have demonstrated courage in the face of adversity—such as overcoming injury, illness or other challenges—are recognized as Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Courage Award Winners. A panel of writers, editors and sports information directors from CoSIDA, AP and College Hoops Illustrated, as well as Ms. Lobo, select the honorees. Hartford HealthCare is donating a total of $15,000 to the general scholarship funds for the student-athletes being honored throughout the year. Jacob Anderson, a sophomore lacrosse player from Mitchell College, was also recognized for March.
"Hartford HealthCare is excited to recognize these two remarkable young student-athletes, who despite setbacks, have overcome challenges to continue to perform their best as both scholars and athletes," says Jeffrey A. Flaks, president and chief executive officer of Hartford HealthCare. "Our organization's purpose is to help people live their healthiest lives, and both Katelyn and Jacob's courageous stories of recovery and perseverance are an inspiration to all."
Mann, a native of Pompton Plains, N.J., was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma in October 2017, at the beginning of her sophomore year. Although she was able to remain in school while she underwent chemotherapy treatments, she was unable to compete. Regardless, she remained an active and inspirational teammate, encouraging everyone to maintain a positive attitude and helping the team bond. In fact, the squad raised more than $2,500 in her honor for cancer research. With a clean bill of health, Mann made it back into the pool for the Blue Devils in the 2018-19 season, competing in the 100m butterfly and 100m and 200m breaststroke at the NEC conference championship, finishing eighth in the 200m breaststroke. This season, at the conference championships she finished seventh in the 200m breaststroke, sixth in the 200m IM and seventh in the 100m butterfly.
"We thank Hartford HealthCare for helping us create a platform to share the personal stories of courage for student-athletes at colleges and universities throughout Connecticut," says Doug Vance, executive director of CoSIDA. "We hope the stories of the personal challenges that these remarkable young men and women have battled can inspire other young people to show courage in the face of adversity in their own lives."
As the Hartford HealthCare Courage Award Ambassador, Lobo will attend award ceremonies with several of the honorees and help raise awareness for their inspiring stories of courage. Lobo retired in 2003, is a member of the National Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, the Naismith National Basketball Hall of Fame and the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame. She has served on the Board of Directors for Hartford Hospital, where she was born. She currently works as a television analyst, author and motivational speaker and lives in Connecticut with her husband and their four children.
Previous winners this year have included: Taylor Herd, a senior guard on the Quinnipiac University women's basketball team; Chris Liggio, a senior running back for the University of New Haven football team; Samara Johnson, a member of the Eastern Connecticut State University cross-country and track & field teams; Ace McAlister, a member of the Trinity College cross-country and track & field teams; Sam Kramer, a senior point guard for the Fairfield University women's basketball team; and Eli Thomas, a senior football player for the University of Connecticut. Their full stories are available at www.HHCCourageAward.com
About Hartford HealthCare: With 30,000 colleagues and total operating revenue of $4.3 billion, Hartford HealthCare has cultivated a strong, unified culture of accountability and innovation. Its care-delivery system, with more than 360 locations serving 185 towns and cities, includes two tertiary-level teaching hospitals, an acute-care community teaching hospital, an acute-care hospital and trauma center, three community hospitals, the state's most extensive behavioral health network, a large multispecialty physician group, a clinical care organization, a regional home care system, an array of senior care services, and a large physical therapy and rehabilitation network. Hartford HealthCare's unique, system-wide Institute Model offers a single, high standard of care in crucial specialties at hospital and ambulatory sites across Connecticut. The institutes include: Cancer, Heart and Vascular, Ayer Neuroscience, Orthopedics and Tallwood Urology. Visit Hartford HealthCare at www.hartfordhealthcare.org.
About CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America): CoSIDA was founded in 1957 and is a 3,000+ member national organization comprised of the sports public relations, media relations and communications/information professionals throughout all levels of collegiate athletics in the United States and Canada. The organization is the second oldest management association in intercollegiate athletics. For more than 60 years, CoSIDA has recognized student-athletes as part of its Academic All-America awards program. The Hartford HealthCare Courage Award is the third CoSIDA award specifically for student-athletes. Approximately 5,000 student-athletes are recognized each year for their excellence in the classroom and in competition. To learn more, visit cosida.com.