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Barker grad earns top U. of Rochester honor

Contributed Story Posted 20 May 2018 at 8:53 am

Contributed Photos – Olivia Denny receives her award from University of Rochester Associate AD Terrence Gurnett.

ROCHESTER – Barker High graduate Olivia Denny, who played a major role in the success of the University of Rochester field hockey team over the last four seasons, was presented with the Terrence L. Gurnett Award as a female scholar-athlete in the senior class. The award was presented to her by Gurnett at the annual varsity awards banquet.

Denny in action for the U of R field hockey team.

There were co-winners of the award this year. The other winner is Haberly Kahn of the softball team.

The award was inaugurated in 1995. It honors a female member of the senior class who has shown excellence in the classroom and serves as a role model for fellow students. Gurnett is a member of the Class of 1977. He is a former UR student-athlete, head coach, and now serves as Associate Director of Athletics for advancement.

Denny earned four varsity letters as a starter for field hockey. The Yellowjackets had an overall record of 69 wins and 20 losses. Rochester made three consecutive appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs (2015-2017), reaching the Elite 8 in 2015 and 2017, the Sweet 16 in 2016. In 2017, she finished with a career high seven goals and 11 assists for 25 points. Rochester won the Liberty League championship with a perfect record: 7-0 in the regular season, then wins over William Smith (4-0) and Skidmore (3-2) in the playoffs. She earned All-Liberty League honors.

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association named Denny to its national academic squad in each of her four seasons. At Rochester, she was a Provost’s Circle Scholar as a junior and a Lysle “Spike” Garnish scholar as a senior. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and the University’s Undergraduate Placement Program. She was a teaching assistant for Organic Chemistry and a workshop leader for Biochemistry. Denny also volunteered at the Wilmot Cancer Center at Strong Memorial Hospital on campus.

She has a cumulative grade point average of 3.87, majoring in microbiology with a minor in American Sign Language.