May 5, 2012

Shanna Couch Earns Top Graduate Honors Among The Citadel Corps of Cadets

Shanna Couch, a member of The Citadel soccer team, was recognized Saturday as the Class of 2012's David Shingler Spell first honor graduate among the Corps of Cadets at The Military College of South Carolina's commencement exercises.

The award recognizing the two cadets with the highest academic achievement are sponsored by David Shingler Spell, Class of 1950 and a resident of Charleston, S.C. Couch is the first woman to earn first honor graduate. 

Couch of Edwardsville, Kan., graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a health, exercise and sport science major with a minor in biology.

"It's a true blessing to be the first honor graduate," said Couch. "I could not have accomplished all that I have without the support and love from all my friends, family, boyfriend and, most importantly, God. I am forever grateful for this wonderful school and all the doors it has opened for me."

Her academic distinctions include being selected this year's Outstanding Student from the School of Science and Mathematics. Last summer, she studied in Spain as a Star of the West Summer Scholar. She was named an Outstanding Major of the Year by the National Association of Sports and Physical Education.

Earlier this spring, Couch received the Southern Conference Presidential Scholarship, earning that selection from a pool of 37 candidates based on academic, athletic and community service achievements. She was also selected as the recipient of the Coleman Lew Leadership Award in 2010.

"Shanna exemplifies the type of person who represents the cadet-student-athletes at The Citadel," said Athletic Director Larry W. Leckonby. "We are very proud of her and all of the cadet-student-athletes who graduated today."

On the soccer field, Couch was a four-year starter and served as a team captain as a senior last fall. She appeared in 71 games, the fifth most in school history, and was one of the top defensive players in the Southern Conference.

Next month, Couch will begin work on her doctor of physical therapy degree at the University of Kansas Medical Center. With more than 150 volunteer hours logged in at the Medical University of South Carolina and the Rehabilitation Centers of Charleston, she has gotten a head start on her career.


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