Ross, Hepper Earn Leo Dufort Awards

April 25, 2011

Junior Nicole Ross of women's tennis and Erin Hepper of women's lacrosse have been honored with the Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month awards, representing March. These two young women have represented excellence both on the field and in the classroom.

A junior from Latham, New York, Ross helped lead Siena women's tennis to the MAAC Tournament semifinals with a 10-6 overall record. The mark included four wins in six conference matches, and she was named MAAC Women's Tennis Player of the Week on April 12 after going 4-0 in wins over Manhattan and Saint Peter's. A Mathematics and Actuarial Science double major, Ross carries a 3.52 cumulative GPA.

Hepper, a senior from Bernardsville, New Jersey, has tallied 17 points in 12 games played for Siena women's lacrosse this season. Her contributions helped lead the Saints to their second straight MAAC Tournament, and just the third in program history. Hepper is a member of the winningest senior class in program history as well, having been a part of 24 wins over the last four years. A psychology major, Hepper has maintained a 3.28 cumulative GPA.

The Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award is presented nine times annually (September-May) throughout the academic year. The award recognizes exemplary achievements in both academics and athletics. The late Leo Dufort received a B.S. in marketing and management from Siena in August of 1977. His entire academic career was completed on a part-time basis beginning in the spring of 1961, as a married adult while at the same time raising five children. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack while cross country skiing in February of 1993. His wife Jeanine wanted to do something to immortalize his memory. The original plaque was donated to athletics and the department began the Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award to help carry out his legacy. Dufort graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954, was a Navy Veteran (USS Bennington) who worked for JL Hammett Co. at the time of his death.