Howard Earns Mountain West Nomination

July 23, 2015

Complete List of Nominees

The NCAA announced the conference honorees for the 2015 Woman of the Year award, and Marisa Howard along with Ta'Rea Cunnigan (San Jose State) were selected as the representatives for the Mountain West.

The two are among a record 147 NCAA female student-athletes who have been selected as 2015 Woman of the Year honorees by their athletic conferences and by independent schools. The conference honorees represent student-athletes from 18 sports across NCAA Divisions I, II and III, including 57 Division I student-athletes.

The Woman of the Year selection committee chooses the top 10 honorees in each of the three NCAA divisions from this pool to be recognized. These top 30 honorees will be announced in early September. The selection committee will then choose and announce the top nine finalists (three from each division) at the end of September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will vote from among those nine finalists to determine the 2015 Woman of the Year. The 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Sunday, Oct. 18.

If Howard were to make the top 10, she would be the second Boise State athlete to accomplish the feat, joining fellow track and field athlete Abbey Elsberry (2004). Since 2006 when the NCAA began recognizing the conference honoree round, the other Bronco to earn the honor in that time span was women's gymnastics' Amy Glass (2012), who qualified as an independent.

"This is a huge honor," Howard said. "I never knew about any of these awards until recently. It's awesome that the accomplishments in the classroom are finally paying off."

The Pasco, Wash., native graduated from Boise State in May with a degree in nursing after concluding her academic career with a 3.84 grade-point-average. She also graduated with Magna Cum Laude distinction and made the Dean's List in seven semesters at Boise State.

"It brings more recognition to the program since we are doing well in the classroom as well. A lot of it is simply how much you are willing to put into your studies, and that dictates how much you'll get out of it."

Howard finished her career as a three-time All-America selection while competing in cross country, indoor track and field and outdoor track and field at Boise State. She won four individual Mountain West Championships - three in the 3,000m steeplechase, one in the 5,000m (outdoor) - and earned 11 All-Mountain West honors throughout her Bronco career. Most recently she competed for the United States at the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea and secured a fourth-place finish in the 3,000m steeplechase.

Outside of athletics and the classroom, Howard partnered with St. Mark's Church Community Health Ministry last fall and created a health survey to better serve the needs of their large church population. In addition, she represented the Boise State School of Nursing at the Service Learning in Action Student Exhibition.

"You never really know what to expect when you come to college. I just wanted to succeed and do well, and I think I did better than that," Howard said.

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