Aaron French spends his school-year running from classes and chemistry labs to, well, running cross country and track, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. It's no wonder that the sophomore chemistry major from northern Wisconsin was named the 2012-2013 Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
"For me, personally, being an athlete has helped me to be a better student," said French. "To compete well as an athlete you need dedication and discipline. That same dedication and discipline can roll right over into your academic life."
This year, French, a sophomore who plans to pursue a doctorate in chemistry with a potential focus on energy research, took Organic Chemistry, traditionally one of the most grueling required classes for chemistry majors. It was the Philosophy of Being course, however, that turned out to be even more difficult, as it required him to wrestle with questions outside the realm of analytical problem-solving.
"As a science major, I'm grateful for the Core," French said. "It forms an integral part of who we are as citizens of the United States and Western culture as a whole."
French is also grateful for the bond he has formed with his teammates and for the sense of place that comes with competing for a university.
"You practice together. You travel and eat together. You sweat and suffer pain together. That binds you in a special way, like another family," he said.
The award is given annually to the letter-winning varsity student-athlete with the highest GPA. Greg Roper '84, associate professor and chair of English, earned UD's first Scholar-Athlete of the Year for his academic performance and his contributions to the men's soccer team.
For more on Aaron French, visit the University of Dallas Athletics website.
Photo courtesy of University of Dallas Athletics.