PISCATAWAY, N.J. (May 17, 2012) – Rutgers men’s cross country and track & field standout Ben Forrest (Jackson, N.J.) was the recipient of the 2011-12 American Eagle Outfitters Michael Tranghese Postgraduate Leadership Award, as chosen by the BIG EAST Conference Academic Affairs Committee.
It marks the second-straight year that a Rutgers student-athlete earned the award, as Forrest joins inaugural winner Amy Zhang, a 2011 graduate and member of the women’s tennis team.
“This is a well-deserved honor for Ben,” said head men’s cross country and track & field coach Mike Mulqueen. “He has worked extremely hard for everything he has earned. No one has worked harder than he has and he has improved immensely from the time he arrived at Rutgers to now. This award could not go to a more deserving and determined young man.”
The awards are given to one male and one female student-athlete from a BIG EAST-sponsored sport who have been admitted to a degree-granting or professional program for the following year and who have demonstrated leadership through excellence in academic credentials, athletic performance and depth of commitment to service within the institution or the community.
Forrest will receive a $5,000 scholarship, which will be applied to postgraduate study. Majoring in astrophysics with a minor in mathematics, Forrest boasts a 3.933 grade-point average. He was a Presidential Scholar at Rutgers and member of the Chi Alpha Sigma college athlete honor society. Forrest was chosen to the school’s Vice-President’s Leadership Cabinet and has been active in a number of community service efforts.
A four-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star, Forrest served as captain of the cross country team during 2011 season. He was a BIG EAST and IC4A scorer in the 4x800-meter relay, earning All-East honors. Forrest was also an IC4A qualifier in the distance medley relay.
Forrest has been admitted to a Ph.D. program in astrophysics at Texas A&M and has been awarded a graduate doctoral merit fellowship.
The award is named for Michael Tranghese, the BIG EAST’s first full-time employee who served as commissioner of the conference from 1990 to 2009.
The American Eagle Outfitters Michael Tranghese Postgraduate Leadership award is one of a number of scholarships presented by the BIG EAST Conference and American Eagle Outfitters during the 2011-12 academic year. In addition to this award, 32 student-athletes (one male and one female from each of the BIG EAST’s 16 member institutions) have been named as the winners of the American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Institutional Scholar-Athlete Scholarships. The conference also names male and female American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Basketball Scholar-Athletes of the Year and an American Eagle Outfitters BIG EAST Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
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