Oct. 1, 2013
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Each year at Mizzou, hundreds of student-athletes compete at the highest level for their respective sport. While the majority of people will notice their on-field accomplishments, often the individuals' efforts off the field remain un-publicized.
One of the many groups at Mizzou that is dedicated to assist and honor Mizzou student-athletes is the Total Person Program (TPP). Beginning in September and running through April, the TPP will pick four student-athletes that consistently excelled academically, athletically and in the community.
Last week, the TPP honored the first quartet of Mizzou student-athletes into the new High Achievers Program. Senior Max Copeland (Football), senior Jordan Gagliano (Wrestling), senior Mackenzie McGill (Gymnastics), and junior Jill Rushin (Track and Field) made up the month of September High Achievers winners.
Copeland, who is recognized as one of the most spirited and colorful athletes on his team, arrived to the football program as a walk-on. His consistent hard work and dedication would later earn him a scholarship. Copeland has also excelled in the classroom, as he appeared on the 2012 SEC Academic Honor Roll. His presence within the community hasn't gone un-noticed either, as he has volunteered with organizations such as Granny's House, Special Olympics and the Central Missouri Food Bank.
Gagliano has made a name for himself academically, as he has already completed his Bachelor's degree and is currently working towards his MBA at Mizzou. Gagliano continues to thrive within Mizzou Athletics' community effort, and has been involved with several programs throughout his tenure in Columbia. Among his many contributions includes involvement with CSC Read-A-Thon, Mizzou Moves, Caleb's Pitch, Race for the Cure, and Star Light Reading.
McGill, a pre-physical therapy major, is currently serving as the SAAC Vice President for community service. Within her role for the SAAC, she has led community events for the Ronald McDonald House, Special Olympics, and the Children's Hospital. McGill was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, while also performing at the highest level within the gymnastics team.
Rushin was honored as an Academic All-Big 12 member in both 2011 and 2012. As she completes her double major in Religious Studies and Biological Sciences, she still manages to find time to aid the community. Rushin has been a vital asset in many programs, including Race for a Cure, Food Bank of Missouri, and Caleb's Pitch.
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