Alumna Ellie Duffy recieves prestigious NSIC Kelly Award

The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) has announced Concordia University, St. Paul's Ellie Duffy ('13) as the 2013 Willis R. Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award recipient. The Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award, in its 28th year, is presented to the NSIC's top female student-athlete.

Ellie, a native of Fridley, Minn., is a 2013 graduate in math and biology.  She held a 3.96 grade point average while playing volleyball for the Golden Bears. She joins Mary Slinger ('09) as the only student-athlete from Concordia University to earn the Kelly Award.

Ellie also recently received the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She'll receive $7,500 towards her postgraduate pursuit of a master's degree in biostatistics. She has been accepted to the University of Minnesota, Tulane University, Emory University and the University of South Carolina and ultimately decided to stay close to home and will continue her studies at Minnesota.

She aspires to pursue a career working on clinical trials, either in a hospital or medical company. Specifically, she has identified working with the math aspect of trials, helping to design them as well as doing the data analysis for the results. She also listed the possibility of working towards a doctorate in biostatistics as potential goal.

Ellie earned Capital One Academic All-American First Team honors in 2012 as the Golden Bears won its sixth consecutive NCAA DII Volleyball Championships.  Duffy has made the Dean's List every semester and earned NSIC All-Academic four-times. She also received the NSIC Myles Brand Award this past spring and was named an NSIC Honor Student-Athlete last year.  Duffy is also a NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship Award winner and won the DII Conference Commissioner Association Academic Achievement Award in 2011.

Duffy has been involved in the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) since her freshman year and has served as Committee President for the last two years. As part of SAAC, she has participated in two NSIC SAAC Summits, volunteered at the Children's Hospital, participated in reverse trick-or-treating to collect food for local food shelves, and helped organize several breast cancer awareness events and Make-A-Wish fundraisers. Duffy has also been a part of the Tri-Pi Math Club since her freshman year, served as a Board Member for the 2010-2011 school year and President for the 2011-2012 school year. As part of the Math Club, she helped organize and run two of the largest yearly campus events, the Homecoming Dodgeball Tournament and Game Night, as well as helping to run Math Day, a yearly math competition for local high school students. Duffy has also been active in the Concordia University Science Club since her freshman year. She was the Club's Activities Chair (2010-2011) and was the Club Treasurer (2011- fall 2012). As part of the Science Club, Ellie helped organize a campus Be the Match bone marrow drive, participated in several Feed My Starving Children service trips, helped organize Science Olympics, a science competition for local high school students, and volunteered in the Chemistry in the Library program performing science experiments with local youth. In 2009 she participated in a ten day CU mission trip to Guatemala. Duffy has been a Teacher's Assistant in the Math Department for the past three school years and in the Chemistry Department during the last year. She has presented biology and chemistry research projects at the Concordia Research Symposium and also presented research at the State Capitol in 2011 as part of the Private Scholars at the Capitol event.

Outside of the time Duffy has spent volunteering as part of campus activities, she has also been active in the community during her free time. She is a volunteer at Amplatz Children's Hospital in the foreign adoption clinic, has volunteered at Salem Evangelical Church helping with childcare and volunteers at Immaculate Conception School (her former grade school) serving lunch. Ellie plans to attend graduate school at the University of Minnesota to receive a master's degree in biostatistics.

The Kelly Award is named in honor of Willis R. Kelly, an associate professor of physical education at the University of Minnesota, Morris. A member of the NSIC Hall of Fame, Kelly also coordinated the Minnesota-Morris Physical Education Department from 1970-87. She became the first director of women's intercollegiate athletics at Minnesota-Morris in 1976 and was later promoted to athletic director for the whole department. Kelly passed away in 1988.

Duffy will be recognized Wednesday, July 10 at the 2013 NSIC Hall of Fame Banquet at the Best Western Kelly Inn and Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minn. Coulter and Duffy will each receive a $2,500 post-graduate scholarship.