Springfield, Mass. - July 5, 2018 - Recent Springfield College graduate Kayleigh Helgesen (Oceanside, Calif.) was nominated for the 2018 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, which honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership. Among the 11 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) institutions, Helgesen was one of six student-athletes nominated to represent the conference as its NCAA Woman of the Year nominee. The conference Athletic Directors select the NEWMAC representatives which will be announced in late July.
Helgesen graduated in May and earned a degrees in Sports Biology Psychology as she begins her pursuit of a career in medicine. A Dean's list honoree all three years at Springfield after transferring from Division II Sheperd University in West Virginia, Helgesen was inducted in the Beta Beta Beta and the Psi Chi honor societies during her time on Alden Street. She also earned first place honors for Experimental: Social Science at Springfield College Scholars in Action Day while earning the Mind Award, presented to a student who made significant contribution to the intellectual and cultural environment at the college.
A standout member of the women's volleyball program, Helgesen was a two-time NEWMAC All-Conference honoree and two-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention recipient. Thanks to her efforts, Helgesen helped lead the Pride to the NEWMAC postseason three times and to a pair of NCAA Division III Championship Sweet 16 appearances. In three seasons with Springfield, Helgesen totaled 746 kills and 197 blocks, and completed her collegiate career with 1,039 kills and 275 blocks.
Additionally, Helgesen participated in numerous volunteer and community service projects during her time at Springfield. She served on the executive board of the Springfield College Student-Athlete Leadership Team and led a food drive in the Fall of 2017 to raise awareness for food scarcity in Western Massachusetts and aid those suffering from the damages done by Hurricane Maria. She volunteered at Hartford Hospital in the geriatric unit, working with patients with dementia and providing activities to ease anxiousness, and volunteered weekly with the Springfield Special Olympics bowling team. She also participated in many projects as a research aid while completing an internship with Baystate Hospital in Mental Health Counseling.