Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

47 SMU Student-Athletes Make Honor Roll in Fall 2023 Semester

We are honored to highlight our Fall 2023 student-athletes that have shown their dedication and hard-work in the classroom. In total, 47 student-athletes made one of three categories of the honor roll: Honor Roll, Honor Roll- Distinction, and Honor Roll-High Distinction. 

11 Student-athletes made the Honor Roll in the Fall 2023 semester. To achieve this honor at SMU, the student needs to be in the top 15% of the school record. 

Name (Last, First) Sport Distinction 
Righellis, Ned Football Honor Roll, Honor
Chou, Megan Women’s Golf Honor Roll, Honor
Taylor, Alex Rowing Honor Roll, Honor
Berkovitz, Niv Men’s Soccer Honor Roll, Honor
Rudden, Mackenzie Women’s Soccer Honor Roll, Honor
Corbeau, Angus Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Culver, John Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Dickinson, Isabella Women’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Parkinson, Maxine Women’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
Priest, Lauren Women’s Swimming Honor Roll, Honor
McPhaul, Camryn Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll, Honor

21 Student-Athletes made the Honor Roll with Distinction. To achieve this status, the student-athlete needs to be in the top 10% of the school record.

Name (Last, First) Sport Distinction 
Doles, Evie Equestrian Honor Roll- Distinction
Douglas, Grayson Equestrian Honor Roll- Distinction
Iwasaki, Augusta Equestrian Honor Roll- Distinction
Holleron, Case Football Honor Roll- Distinction
Vivier, Nicole Women’s Golf Honor Roll- Distinction
Fina, Anna Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Kercher, Saylor Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Knudson, Grace Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Lewis, Ellie Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
New, Annabelle Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Schwenn, Haley Rowing Honor Roll- Distinction
Guerra Echeverria, Marcelo Men’s Soccer Honor Roll- Distinction
Halscheid, Hayden Women’s Soccer Honor Roll- Distinction
Yumul, Maura Women’s Soccer Honor Roll- Distinction
Bouwman, Leif Men’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Fields, Wyatt Men’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Forrest, Jack Men’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Ruan, Tiffanie Women’s Swimming Honor Roll- Distinction
Grammas, Ellie Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll- Distinction
Tissier, Flora Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll- Distinction
Lamirand, Jentry Volleyball Honor Roll- Distinction

The third and final category is Honor Roll with High Distinction; which means that the student-athlete’s listed below are in the 5% of the school record.

Name (Last, First) Sport Distinction 
Young, Jackson Men’s Basketball Honor Roll, High Distinction
Hoch, Hannah Equestrian Honor Roll, High Distinction
Fiser, Charlie Equestrian Honor Roll, High Distinction
Schumacher, Markus Football Honor Roll, High Distinction
Stuelpe, Sydney Football Honor Roll, High Distinction
Annen, Peyton Rowing Honor Roll, High Distinction
Burr, Isabella Women’s Soccer Honor Roll, High Distinction
Dermott, Abigail Women’s Soccer Honor Roll, High Distinction
Binder, Benjamin Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, High Distinction
DeJean, William Men’s Swimming Honor Roll, High Distinction
Olsen, Mia Track & Field, Cross Country Honor Roll, High Distinction
McGinley, Caroline Women’s Tennis Honor Roll, High Distinction
Cullen, Celia Volleyball Honor Roll, High Distinction
Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

January Mustang Champions Announced

Champions of the month is a new initiative by SMU Athletics to recognize the achievements of various SMU student-athletes. Every month, 2 female and 2 male student- athletes will be nominated and selected for their embodiment of excellence in one or more of the following areas: Academic Achievement, Athletic Success, and Student-Athletes Success Initiatives. The goal of this is to honor and recognize the effort of our student-athletes to achieve their personal best in these areas; on and off the competition field. For the month of January, the four athletes selected are: Key’Shawn Smith, Chantae Embry, Martin Dominguez, and Gabby Ayiteyflo!

 Key’Shawn Smith (Football):
Key transferred to SMU in the Spring of 2023 and he has consistently worked hard athletically and academically. Over the last year, Key has made huge strides both on and off the field and his positive outlook impacts all those around him. Key took a January term class that took up his entire winter break; during this time, he stayed on task, communicated when he needed support, and took pride in getting a grade reflective of his hard work and dedication.

Chantae Embry (Women’s Basketball):
Chantae has been a steady presence at Black Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (BSAAC) and has even gotten involved in some SAAC meetings/opportunities as well. She has gone out of her way to seek out community engagement and career development opportunities; as well as sharing/motivating her teammates to attend and get involved too!

Martin Dominguez (Men’s Soccer):
Martin is someone who from day one has been a welcoming and warm personality. He takes the time to support other teammates, classmates, and even staff. He has been training relentlessly to prepare for the Goalkeeper competition that will be underway this season. He was a part of the Unity Video Campaign and has continuously searched for a way he could give back, especially to the South Dallas Community he came from. Lastly, he has been doing all of this while balancing school and work; all while having a smile on his face!

Gabriella Ayiteyflo (Track & Field) :
Gabby transferred to SMU in the Fall 2023 semester as a junior. She has persevered during her time as a Mustang, during this difficult transition. Gabby has demonstrated dedication all with a positive attitude, even when things don’t go her way. She has been able to find her stride this semester, and works extremely hard in both her academic and athletic commitments!


Academic Devleopment of Student-Athletes (ADSA) Student Academic Engagement & Success

Ariana Contreras Uses Heritage To Connect With Hispanic Student-Athletes


By: Jordan Mitchell, originally on (October 26)

DALLAS (SMU) – Getting hired on as a senior academic counselor in SMU Athletics’ Academic Development of Student-Athletes (ADSA) office was a full-circle moment for Ariana Contreras.

When she was taking a sports law class during her undergraduate career at New Mexico State in 2015, Contreras was struggling to find a topic for a required paper. Eventually, her brother, Alan, suggested she watch the ESPN 30For30 documentary “Pony Excess.” After watching, Contreras decided to write about SMU and completed what she believes was one of the best papers of her undergraduate career.

Fast forward to November 2022. After earning her master’s in sports management from Eastern Michigan University and spending 18 months as an Assistant Director of Men’s and Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country at the University of Houston, Contreras found a job opening for a football academic counselor at SMU.

During an interview with associate head football coach Rob Likens, she told him about the “brilliant” paper that she had written about SMU as an undergrad and about how she almost came to the Hilltop for graduate school. He laughed.

“I think at this point, I’m manifesting (things) into reality!” Contreras said.

While manifestation is all well and good, Contreras excelled in her career through hard work and a passion for students. A first-generation college student and American from La Quinta, California, she had to wondered on and off different career paths before finding her love of academic counseling in athletics. A love that has only grown stronger since moving to Dallas.

Working with football, men’s soccer and women’s basketball gives Contreras a unique opportunity to build genuine relationships with a diverse group of student-athletes. When working with some men’s soccer student-athletes, she is able to practice her Spanish, her first language, so that she can communicate better with her father back home in California.

While speaking Spanish with Spanish-speaking students isn’t a job requirement, it allows Contreras to create a comfortable environment that feels like home for Hispanic students. Those students regularly praise her for making them feel connected to their heritage when away from home.

Women’s soccer midfielder Layla Garcia-Moreno had immense appreciation for Contreras when she stepped out of her office and called her “mija,” an endearing Spanish contraction translating to “my daughter” in English, and asked how she was doing.

“(Garcia-Moreno) was super excited,” Contreras said. “She was like, ‘You just made me feel like I was back home.’ That made my day.”

Her Spanish not only benefits other Spanish-speaking students, but those taking Spanish classes as well. SMU football offensive lineman Keaton Schultz approached her last Wednesday to talk about his upcoming advising appointment, but did so fully in Spanish. When he stumbled on a word, Contreras let him rummage through his thoughts to recall vocabulary, just as she must do when remembering obscure vocabulary when talking with her dad. But unlike her dad, who tells her to ask her mom for the word and will joke about her losing her grip on the language, she let him fumble until Schultz got it.

“It made me so happy!” Contreras said. “For the guys that are taking Spanish, once I know who they are, I start speaking to them in Spanish. And (Schultz) never used English! We had a full-on discussion.”

While working as an academic counselor allows for Contreras to play to her strengths and use her big personality to build relationships with student-athletes and help them grow holistically as people, she loves that she can be a role model for Hispanics and other minorities wanting to work in collegiate athletics. There aren’t many Hispanic women in those type of senior athletic staff roles, and Contreras believes that if she can be the first in her family to get her master’s and climb the ladder, others can too.

“I’m in this profession because I think it’s important that women of color, especially Hispanic women, be in leadership roles,” Contreras said. “I would love to eventually be a Director of Football Academics, Senior Woman Administrator and Deputy AD one day. I want student-athletes who look like me to have someone they can look up to and (say), ‘If she got there, I can too!'”