UCLA Student-Athletes Named Finalists for Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholars
Three Bruins in SEIS's Transformative Coaching and Leadership program are in the top 20 nationwide, recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.
UCLA student-athletes Natalie Chou (Women’s Basketball), Kinsley Washington (Women’s Softball), and Shea Pitts (Bruin Football) are among the top 20 finalists for the 2022 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The three Bruin athletes are students in the Transformative Coaching and Leadership program (https://seis.ucla.edu/departments-and-degrees/department-of-education/transformative-coaching-and-leadership ) at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies. The 2022 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar of the Year semifinalists will be announced prior to publication date and will be featured in the publication’s annual Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars special edition in April.
“Natalie, Kinsley, and Shea reflect the future of transformative leadership in sports and in life,” says Annamarie Francois, faculty advisor to the Transformative Coaching and Leadership program. “Their commitments to excellence in the classroom and on the field, community service, and public engagement model what it means to be change agents in today's challenging times. We are grateful for all they do in service of UCLA and are thrilled that their leadership is being recognized in such an important way. Go Bruins!”
Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars are students of color who have maintained a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5, are at least sophomores academically, and have been active on their campuses or in their communities. Of the nearly 1,000 scholar-athletes nominated, one male and one female athlete will be selected as Sports Scholar of the Year.
Past Ashe scholars include Baylor University’s Robert Griffin III (2011); the University of Tennessee’s Kara Lawson (2003); San Diego State University’s Marshall Faulk (1993); and Stanford University’s Simone Manuel (2017), — a four-time Olympic medalist — just to name a few who have gone on to achieve great success.
“We are so proud of Natalie, Kinsley and Shea for being selected as the 2022 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars,” says Wasserman Dean Christina Christie. “The honor given to them is especially significant as one of the objectives in the Transformative Coaching and Leadership masters program is the furtherance of social justice in sports and athletics—including the furtherance of diversity, equity and inclusion. Hence, their selection is not only a testament to their achievements but a promise that they, in turn, through their education in the program, will further social justice in their professional and personal lives. Congratulations Natalie, Kinsley and Shea! We are honored by your selection, and we now look towards you for transformative leadership.”
Above: Bruin linebacker Shea Pitts (at far left), is one of 20 student-athlete finalists from across the nation for the 2022 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars award, given by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. Pitts is shown here in fall of 2021, mentoring students on the Crenshaw High School football team. Photo courtesy of Julia Pelikhova