SAVANNAH, Ga. - UMBC men's soccer sophomore Alex La Noire (Beltsville, Md./Good Counsel) and women's basketball senior Pandora Wilson (Gaithersburg, Md./Academy of Holy Cross) have been honored with the America East Helping Hands Award, the league announced Friday.
The America East Helping Hands Team, in its fourth year, was established to recognize a male and female student-athlete from each of the nine America East institutions for their exemplary efforts in the area of community service while remaining in good academic standing.
"This award is a prime example of our student-athletes' dedication to the conference's #3Pillars by being leaders on and off the field," said America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen. "These 18 honorees are just a small sample of the countless student-athletes in America East who are committed to helping others and giving back to their communities."
La Noire has served as a teaching assistant to students with disabilities at Maiden Choice School, while also tutoring underprivileged Latino students as a Latino Student Fund Ambassador. He is a member of Global Bridges, a student volunteer organization that provides sustainability to underserved communities around the world. La Noire also helped provide Peruvian families with necessary tools useful to gaining an education and preparing for college.
Wilson was the university's women's honoree for the second time in her career. She served as a Success Peer to mentor students at UMBC with learning disabilities, while also mentoring students at Belle Grove Elementary School. Wilson helped coordinate a campus vigil for the victims of the June 2016 shooting in Orlando and participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in October, raising money for breast cancer awareness and research.
She also served meals at My Sister's Place in Baltimore City and met with young ladies in the Department of Juvenile Services to speak with at-risks youths about what it takes to become a successful collegiate student-athlete.
The America East Helping Hands Award was established in 2013 to recognize a male and female student-athlete from each of the conference's nine institutions for their exemplary efforts in the area of community service while remaining in good academic standing. Each institution, at its' discretion, selects a male and female representative to be recognized annually by the America East Conference.
In the America East Stuart P. Haskell, Jr. Commissioner's Cup race, the Retrievers placed fourth, marking their seventh top-five finish in the last nine years.
UMBC captured a pair of championships during the 2016-17 athletic season, including its third straight women's swimming and diving title and baseball's first ever America East crown. Men's outdoor track and field earned a second-place finish for the second year in a row.
The University at Albany claimed the Cup for the fifth consecutive year and the sixth time in school history. The Commissioner's Cup annually recognizes the strongest athletic program in America East as determined by a scoring system which rewards a school for success both during the regular season and championship competition in the conference's 19 sports.
The Great Danes amassed 443 points, followed by Stony Brook, which recorded 324. Binghamton came in third place with 284, followed by UMBC with 260. New Hampshire placed fifth with 252 points, followed by Vermont (235), Maine (212), Hartford (176), and UMass Lowell (130).
For just the third time in conference history every America East school won at least one conference championship.