Carr, Barito Named 2011 Empire 8 Senior Scholar-Athletes

Senior Zach Carr (Carmel, Ind.) of the Stevens Institute of Technology men’s soccer team is the male recipient of the 2011 Empire 8 Male Senior Scholar-Athlete award, the conference announced on Wednesday. The award honors those student-athletes who best exemplify what it means to be a dedicated scholar and athlete over the course of their four-year collegiate careers. Fellow Stevens senior Laura Barito (Arkadelphia, Ark.) was the female winner of the award.

“Laura and Zach represent the best of the best,” said Empire 8 Commissioner Chuck Mitrano (Rochester, N.Y.). “They are elite athletes in their respective sports, but also exceptional students. They embody all that is great about Empire 8 and NCAA Division III athletics and we could not have better representatives.”

The award winners are selected by a committee comprised of conference Faculty Athletic Representatives. To be eligible, a student-athlete must maintain at least a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average. Jason Nachman ’09 was the last Stevens men’s soccer player to earn the honor from the conference.

Carr was honored in January with the NCAA Today’s Top VIII Award, which recognizes current student-athletes for their success on the fields and courts, in the classroom, and in the community. He was one of eight total recipients across all three divisions and also became the first Stevens student-athlete to be named Division III Academic All-American of the Year – one of two in all of NCAA men’s soccer.

“Zach has shown an extraordinary ability to balance all of his commitments at Stevens very well,” said Stevens’ Director of Athletics Russell Rogers (Branchburg, N.J.). “He has compiled a remarkable list of accomplishments both on the soccer field and off, but more than that he really is the ideal role model for our student-athletes. Zach is a special young man and we are extremely proud of him and the legacy that he leaves behind here.”

Carr carries a 3.93 grade point average pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biomedical Engineering and has served as a tutor. He has made the school’s Dean’s List every semester as well as the Empire 8 Presidents’ List each of his four years. Carr was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine first-team Academic All-American team each of the past two years.

On the field, Carr is a two-time first-team National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American who led all NCAA Division III goalies in save percentage and shutout percentage this past season. He holds the unofficial NCAA record for shutouts and his shutout string that ran from Nov. 9, 2009 through Oct. 13, 2010 lasted for 1,333 minutes and is second in the history of NCAA men’s soccer, covering all three divisions.

He earned all-conference honors each of his four years and led the Ducks to the Empire 8 title each season. He notched 68 wins in goal against just nine losses and 12 draws as the Ducks’ starting goalkeeper for the last four seasons. Named first team NSCAA All-East region three times in his career, the Carmel, Indiana native had a 6-2-4 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament, with one of the losses coming in penalty kicks to Messiah College in the 2008 National Championship game. Overall, in postseason contests, Stevens was 14-2-4 with Carr between the pipes. In addition, he had a goals-against average of .380 over the course of his career which is tied for third all-time in NCAA Division III.

“Zach is not only a great goalkeeper, but also an outstanding citizen, leader, and has a great attitude,” said Stevens Men’s Soccer Head Coach Tim O’Donohue (Hoboken, N.J.). “He led us to the NCAA Tournament every year, but Zach will be remembered for so much more. He goes down as the most accomplished Stevens soccer player of all-time.”

Barito, an 18-time All-American in Swimming, became the first Stevens NCAA national champion in school history when she captured the 50-yard freestyle at the 2011 NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. She finished third in the nation in the 100-yard freestyle in swimming, while currently holding the second-fastest time in Division III in the 400-meter hurdles and automatically qualifying for the NCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

“Laura has, without question, established herself as one of the very best student-athletes at the NCAA Division III level,” said Stevens Director of Athletics Russell Rogers (Branchburg, N.J.). “Her work ethic and determination to succeed as a swimmer, track and field athlete, and in the classroom are unmatched. As Stevens’ first NCAA national champion, she carved a place in our record books forever. Laura has earned every accolade that has come her way and set the bar of success at Stevens to an unprecedented level.”

Barito, who earned Dean’s List and Presidents’ List honors at the school and conference Presidents’ List accolades throughout her academic career, is pursuing a Bachelor of Engineering (BE) in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering. This past summer, she worked on a polymer nanocomposite fabrication/characterization project to study the shear-induced crystallization behavior of biodegradable carbon nanotube-based nanocomposites.

She worked as a tutor and head tutor in the Stevens Academic Support Center, was a member of the Service Board of Tau Beta Pi, a highly select National Engineering Honor Society, and was active in other campus and community groups.

“Through hard work and discipline, Laura has transformed herself into one of the elite athletes in the country, while excelling in the classroom and in the community,” said Stevens Swimming and Diving Head Coach Trevor Miele (New York, N.Y.).