ALBANY — Adrian Mitchell, a UAlbany graduate student, was named America East Man of the Year for the 2020-21 academic year, the conference announced Tuesday.
A javelin thrower on the men’s track & field team, Mitchell’s selection continues a streak of UAlbany athletes earning one of the conference’s top individual honors. Men’s lacrosse player Kyle McClancy won the man-of-the-year award in 2018, while track and field athlete Tara Belinsky won the woman-of-the-year award in 2019 before softball player Kelly Barkevich — a Shenendehowa High School graduate — took that honor last year.
“I am grateful and honored to be chosen for such a prestigious award,” Mitchell said in a press release issued from the UAlbany athletic department. “It is fulfilling to know that all that I have been a part of and all that I have accomplished has been recognized by my athletic department and the America East Conference. Coming to the U.S. from Jamaica my freshman year, I would not have imagined being the recipient of such an esteemed award. It is for this reason that I would like to thank my teammates and coaches that pushed and guided me, allowing the little freshman with big dreams to grow and develop not only as a student-athlete but as an individual.”
Prior to UAlbany’s current four-year streak of taking one of the top awards, women’s volleyball’s Ashlee Reed won in 2006 and women’s lacrosse’s Nikki Branchini was honored in 2011.
The award is for “the conference’s senior male and female student-athlete who has best distinguished himself and herself throughout their collegiate career in the areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, service and leadership,” and “eligibility for the Man and Woman of the Year awards requires a prospective student-athlete to have completed intercollegiate eligibility in their primary sport by the end of the 2021 spring season, or to have received their undergraduate degree prior to the conclusion of the summer 2021 term, and hold a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale.”
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Mitchell has won two America East javelin titles during his college career. Active in community service during his time at UAlbany, Mitchell is a two-time recipient of the President’s Award for Leadership. He has also served as president of the UAlbany chapter of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Mitchell earned his undergraduate degree in economics, with minors in business and communications, last year, and is pursuing his MBA. He plans to use his final year of athletic eligibility next year at UAlbany.
“We are thrilled Adrian has been named the America East Man of the Year,” UAlbany athletic director Mark Benson said. “Since his arrival on campus, Adrian has been a model ambassador for our program. His success in track & field is matched only by his commitment to his community, where he proudly represents UAlbany, the America East, and his home country of Jamaica. As president of our student-athlete advisory committee, Adrian’s leadership has ensured our student-athletes’ voices are heard on the campus, conference, and national level.”
Chelsie DePonte of Stony Brook women’s soccer was named this year’s America East Woman of the Year.