September 20, 2010

Natalja Stanski

First-year medical student Natalja Stanski, a standout soccer player during her undergraduate career at Grand Valley State University, has been named one of 30 finalists for the 2010 National Collegiate Athletic Association Woman of the Year award that will be announced Oct. 17 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.

An NCAA production crew will be on the School of Medicine Campus in early October to interview her for a video.

Stanski, a biomedical science major, graduated with a 3.99 grade-point average and has already been named the 2009 ESPN The Magazine College Division Academic All-American of the Year.

She distinguished herself on the soccer field by leading GVSU to the 2009 Division II National Championship and a career record of 84-4-6.

The Woman of the Year award honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership.

"It's definitely humbling to be recognized for my college career beyond athletics," Stanski said. "This recognition is special because it takes into account academic achievement and community service."

At GVSU Stanski tutored other student-athletes, volunteered at hospitals, worked at Special Olympic events and helped at campus blood drives.

Stanski, a native of Tecumseh, Ontario, now lives back home and commutes to Detroit. She chose Wayne State for her medical education because of the training opportunities and because she is familiar with the city from her club soccer days in high school.

She had knee surgery in January and said her competitive athletic days are behind her.

"Medical school is a lot of work," Stanski said. "In undergrad my time was split between athletics and academics. Now it's school work all of the time, but it's going fine; the first exams went well."