Senior middle blocker Tanya Schmidt, who carries a 3.971 grade point average, was named Friday to the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team. She is the only West Coast Conference Player on the First Team and the only volleyball player from the WCC to be recognized the past two years on the All-District team. Her name will now be forwarded to the Academic All-American national committee.
This fall she was named to the 2011 WCC Preseason All-Conference Team and also honored as one of the 30 candidates nominated for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. In Fall 2010, she was named to the All-West Coast Conference First Team, West Coast Conference Fall All-Academic Team and ESPN.com CoSIDA Academic All-American All-District Third Team. She is a three-time awardee on the WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll, Gold List.
"It's a great honor for Tanya to be named Academic First Team. She has worked hard from day one when she stepped on the Mission Campus," said Bronco head coach Jon Wallace. "Tanya came in with lofty goals in regards to her academics and I am glad to see that she and Santa Clara have been able to make the most of it. In addition to her outstanding academic resume, she is also a fantastic representative of the Jesuit Philosophy. She has been a four-year starter since match one of her career and that proves her incredible athletic talent."
"I really believe in Santa Clara's Jesuit philosophy of the whole person. I want to be competitive on the court as well as in the classroom. I am humbled and honored to be named on the list with other very well-rounded student-athletes," said Schmidt. "In high school I played club volleyball on the Vision team in Los Gatos with Stephanie Browne (Stanford) and Katherine Fischer (Oregon), two members of the first team, and it's an honor to be with them on the list."
A unanimous choice to be captain of the 2011 Bronco volleyball team, Schmidt's overall GPA is 3.971 as an English major with minors in Classics and Religious Studies. She is also proficient in Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. Her honors and awards include: University Honors Program; Phi Beta Kappa; Dean's List 3 straight years; President of Phi Phi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta (International English Honors Society); Vice President of Santa Clara University Chapter of Alpha Sigma Nu (Honors Society of Jesuit schools); member of Eta Sigma Phi (National Classical Honors Society); and member of Theta Alpha Kappa (National Honors Society of Religious Studies and Theology).
Because of her character, she has been asked to represent the university on a number of occasions. In Spring 2010 she was the Santa Clara University female representative to the Path to Peace Foundation's week-long annual conference co-sponsored by the United Nations and the Holy See. Only 50 college students were selected to attend the conference on Catholic Social Teaching titled "Freedom, Truth, and Charity: Promoting Human Development as a Vocation." Schmidt had the opportunity to discuss global justice issues with sitting United Nations Ambassadors.
Schmidt served as the university's female representative on the West Coast Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. As a primary liaison between student-athletes and conference administration, she advocated for student-athlete welfare, helped to organize a sportsmanship campaign to encourage ethical behavior at sporting events, and promoted Student-Athlete Advisory Committee community service initiatives such as the Zappos.com Shoe Drive. Schmidt served for two years on her university's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
With her volleyball team she has helped organize and has walked three straight years in Santa Clara's Walk 4 Pancreatic Cancer which has raised more than $60,000 the last three years.
She participated on a service trip to New Orleans through Catholic Charities in Dec 2009. With the grant money from the Jean Donovan Fellowship, in Summer 2010 she taught English to elementary school children in Cusco, Peru, and volunteered free time at the Cusco Mother Teresa Home for the Dying and the Destitute. She participated in an immersion trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua through Santa Clara University's Food and Agribusiness Institute in Summer 2011. In Nicaragua she participated in a day of service through ATRAVES, an international non-profit. Wanting also to volunteer closer to home, through the Santa Clara Community Action Program, Schmidt's activities have included teaching English to a Spanish-speaking cafeteria worker on campus and distributing sandwiches to the homeless in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco on Friday afternoons. Schmidt has worked on campus as a Student Ambassador, Campus Ministry Intern, and Peer Tutor at the Writing Center.