June 11, 2012

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For the first time in the university's history, a Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) student has been honored with the Capital One NCAA Division III Academic All-America of the Year award for the Women's At-Large division. Celena Dopart, a field hockey student-athlete who graduated last month with a perfect 4.0 GPA in aerospace engineering, has been selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) for this honor. Dopart, a resident of Washington, D.C., will be attending graduate school at MIT this fall.

Dopart played at WPI for head coach Lisa Moreau and combined with her seven senior teammates to post an 11-7 record this past fall. Dopart started all 18 games for WPI this year and netted a pair of goals while doling out a team-best seven assists; overall, she contributed significantly during all four of her years on the field hockey team as WPI reached double-digit wins during in three of her four seasons. 

For her senior-year major project, Dopart built a miniaturized satellite known as a cube satellite. She travelled to Copenhagen in her junior year to complete her Interactive Qualifying Project, in which students address real problems that lie at the intersection of science, technology, social issues, and human needs. Her project was titled, "Psychological and Practical Factors of Recycling and their Application to an Interactive Recycling Program." Dopart, who completed a minor in English, focused on fantasy and science fiction creative writing for her Humanities and Arts Project. During her years at WPI, she was named to the Dean's List multiple times.

Outside the classroom, Dopart served as president of the Society of Women Engineers and was a member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority. She was also WPI's NCAA Woman of the Year nominee and the recipient of the 2011-12 Varsity Club Award presented to the top senior women's student-athlete. Dopart joins track and field Hall of Famer Mike Pockoski (1997 and 1998) as WPI's only repeat first-team selection, as well as men's soccer player star Ben Gilde (2006-2008) and field hockey and softball standout Kelly Johnson (2008-2010) as a three-time All-America recipient.

The Capital One Academic All-America Women's At-Large program includes the sports of bowling, crew, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, and water polo. Senior wrestler Seth Ecker of Ithaca College was honored with the Division III Academic All-America of the Year award in the Men's At-Large division.