Swim & Dive's Payne Among C-USA Spirit Of Service Honorees
Senior Recognized For Community Service Efforts
IRVING, Texas -- In recognition of her community service efforts, senior swimmer Ashley Payne was one of 14 student-athletes that will receive the Conference USA Winter Spirit of Service Award, C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced today.
The award is based upon significant public service, good academic standing and participation in their elected sport. It is presented three times throughout the academic year, with today's 14 honorees representing C-USA's winter sports: men's and women's basketball, women's swimming and diving, and men's and women's indoor track and field.
"Community service has always been something that I have felt compelled to do," Payne said. "I genuinely enjoy being a part of something bigger than ourselves. During my time here at North Texas, I have found that because this has been my home for the past four year that it is my responsibility to give back to a community that has been a huge part of my growth as an individual."
In the pool, the El Paso, Texas, native, placed 18th at the conference championships in the 200-yard butterfly and 21st at the conference championships in the 100-yard butterfly. Outside the pool, she helped lead up all the volunteer efforts for the Mean Green swimming and diving team and served as secretary of North Texas SAAC in 2014-15 and vice president in 2015-16.
Payne participated in more than 20 volunteer events and projects, including volunteering at Twice as Nice, working in the Denson ISD Breakfast Program, teaching Sunday school at The Village Church and serving as a coordinator for Rookie Roundup and the Let's SAAC Hunger Can Food Drive.
"Ashley has definitely been one of our leaders in community service outside of the classroom," head coach Brendon Bray said. "We appreciate the tremendous amount of work that she put into having our team participate in activities that have helped our community and give back to the people of Denton and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. She sets a great example in the area of community service and we appreciated having her lead us in that capacity."
"By giving back and spending time in the community, even when we have a busy schedule, shows that we do care about a community that supports us," Payne said.
2015-16 Winter C-USA Spirit of Service Honorees:
- K'Vonte Scott, Charlotte, Men's Track & Field
- Valerie Inghels, FIU, Women's Swimming & Diving
- Katherine Wright, Florida Atlantic, Women's Basketball
- Laticia Watson, Louisiana Tech, Women's Track & Field
- Terrence Thompson, Marshall, Men's Basketball
- Reggie Upshaw Jr., Middle Tennessee, Men's Basketball
- Ashley Payne, North Texas, Women's Swimming & Diving
- Aaron Bacote, Old Dominion, Men's Basketball
- Alyssa Lang, Rice, Women's Basketball
- Lashyra Cotton, Southern Miss, Women's Basketball
- Fatoumata (Fanta) Diabate, UAB, Women's Track & Field
- Carmeasha Turner, UTEP, Women's Basketball
- Niaga Mitchell-Cole, UTSA, Women's Basketball
- Kendall Noble, WKU, Women's Basketball