Former Liberty field hockey student-athlete Serena Barr was recognized as a Top 9 Honoree at the 27th annual celebration of the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Former Liberty field hockey student-athlete Serena Barr was recognized as a Top 9 Honoree at the 27th annual celebration of the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year, Sunday evening in Indianapolis.
Barr, who played for the Lady Flames' field hockey program from 2013-16, was one of nine finalists for the award. The Top 30 Honorees were also present at the event and recognized for their achievements.
"It has been a great four years at Liberty, and what an amazing way to top off my four incredible years at Liberty," Barr stated. "All 30 girls were so inspirational and worthy winners. It was such a special occasion getting to share it with my family, close friends and Coach Jodi (Murphy)."
Barr was joined at the awards dinner by her family: parents Dickie and Janice, sister Rebecca, sister Natalie, twin sister Bethany, grandfather Jim and Aunt Lorraine.
"Congratulations to Serena Barr on being named among the Top 9 for NCAA Woman of the Year. This is an incredible accomplishment for her and her family, as well as Liberty University," said Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. "We applaud the accomplishments and character of Serena and trust that she will continue to be a great Champion for Christ in the future."
The top nine honorees for NCAA Woman of the Year were: Sabrina Anderson (Slippery Rock), Serena Barr (Liberty), Jenny Carmichael (Oklahoma), Eliana Crawford (Kenyon), Lizzy Crist (Wash. U in St. Louis), Kaina Martinez (Texas A&M-Kingsville), Christina Melian (Stony Brook), Natalie O'Keefe (Southwest Baptist) and Jayme Perez (East Texas Baptist).
Lizzy Crist of Wash. U in St. Louis received the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Since its inception in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award has recognized graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves in athletics, academics, leadership and community service. ESPN's Jessica Mendoza served as the host for the evening.
"Serena Barr embodies Liberty's mission to train Champions for Christ and scholar-athletes of the highest order," stated Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. "On behalf of Flames Nation, we congratulate Serena on being one of nine finalists for NCAA Woman of the Year."
Barr became the first Liberty student-athlete in athletics department history to make the top 30 for the NCAA Woman of the Year, when the list was announced on Sept. 6. She was one of 10 Division I athletes and the only field hockey student-athlete to be named on the listing. Barr then garnered inclusion as a Top 9 Finalist on Sept. 27.
A two-time NorPac Champion (2013, 2014) and All-American in 2016, Barr graduated summa cum laude from Liberty last May with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree in public health. The Lurgan, Northern Ireland, native, who compiled a lengthy list of accomplishments academically and athletically while at Liberty, is currently pursuing her master's degree in dietetics at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.
With her education, Barr hopes to help people both locally and globally, particularly in Uganda. She spent significant time throughout her undergraduate years serving in Uganda with her family's organization, Charlene's Project.
Charlene's Project, an organization founded by Barr's late sister, Charlene, seeks to relieve poverty, hardship and distress while also providing the advancement of education for children and young people in Uganda and beyond.
Barr also actively served the community of Lynchburg and the surrounding while at Liberty through a variety of activities organized by Liberty's Academic Affairs for Athletics.
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