BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Former Southeastern Conference student-athlete Emma Mandarino of Georgia has been selected as one of the Top 30 honorees for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student-athletes who have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership during their collegiate careers. This marks the 29th year of the Woman of the Year Award program, which was established in 1991.
Mandarino, a three-time First Team Academic All-American and Equitation Over Fences National Champion, is the first NCAA Woman of the Year nominee from the sport of equestrian. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor's degree of business administration in accounting in May and began her master's degree of accountancy in the fall of 2019. Mandarino is a five-time UGA Presidential Scholar as well as a three-time National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) First Team Academic All-American. She was the 2019 SEC H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship nominee from Georgia and earned the Bernard Ramsey Scholarship for Academic and Athletic Excellence for having a GPA within the top 10 of all UGA student-athletes.
Mandarino was a member of Georgia's Student Leadership Academy (LEAD) and was named UGA's Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the equestrian team. She also earned the team's Coaches' Award, "Committed to the G", and Sportsmanship awards. After walking on the team as a freshman, Mandarino grew to be a two-year captain in her junior and senior seasons. She led the Bulldogs to back-to-back SEC Championships in 2017 and 2018, and the team finished Reserve Champions at the NCEA National Championship three-straight seasons. In 2019, Mandarino contributed to the Bulldogs' Equitation Over Fences National Title.
The Top 30 honorees are comprised of 10 women from each of the three NCAA divisions. The Top 30 honorees were selected from an initial pool of 585 school nominees, a program record. From there, the pool was narrowed by conference offices and a selection committee to move forward 151 nominees for consideration. In early October, the selection committee will announce the nine finalists, made up of three women from each NCAA division. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year. The Top 30 will be celebrated and the Woman of the Year will be named on Sunday, Oct. 20 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.