PORTLAND, Ore. - Fourteen Alaska Anchorage Seawolves were among a total of 140 Great Northwest Athletic Conference student-athletes that were recognized as the first recipients of the GNAC's Faculty Athletic Representative's Scholar-Athlete award, announced by the league Thursday.

The award will be presented annually and will honor the most outstanding scholar-athletes at each of the GNAC's 10 universities. To qualify for the award, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.85.  All student-athletes listed on any GNAC squad list, regardless of whether the sport is an officially recognized sport by the GNAC, are eligible for the prestigious award.

Five of the UAA student-athletes selected to receive the award this year have perfect 4.0 grade point averages -- Anna Berecz (skiing); Bryn Haebe (track and field) and Christi Schmitz (cross country) on the women's side and Brandon Brewster (track & field) and Lutz Klausmann (skiing) on the men's side.

Other Seawolf recipients were Sean Alexander and Dusan Sidor on the men's side and Jaime Bronga, Alex Parker, Ida Bjerka, Emily Peterson, Gaynor Johansen, Laura Rombach and Katie Richens on the women's side.

"It is with great pride we salute these accomplished student-athletes who comprise the first class of recipients of this new conference award, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the classroom," said GNAC commissioner Dave Haglund.

"The idea for this award originated with our conference faculty athletic representatives, who believed it was important to publicly recognize the many student-athletes across the GNAC who have distinguished themselves academically.

A FAR is a member of the faculty at an NCAA member institution who has been designated to serve as a liaison between the institution and the athletic department.  The FAR serves as a representative of the institution in conference and NCAA affairs.

The role of the FAR is "to ensure that the academic institution establishes and maintains the appropriate balance between academics and intercollegiate athletics."