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DURHAM, N.C. -- The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced today that Duke University’s Martha Putallaz is one of 15 faculty athletics representatives who will be honored as part of the 2012 NFF Faculty Salute Initiative, sponsored by Fidelity Investments, honoring the significant contributions of faculty athletics representatives across the nation.

“For more than 150 years, faculty athletics representatives have played a critical role in the overall educational experience of our country’s student-athletes,” said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. “We are proud to join with Fidelity to highlight their contributions and pivotal support in ensuring that our nation’s student-athletes succeed on and off the field.”

For 2012, the NFF will recognize 15 faculty athletics representatives from the 15 schools with a 2012 NFF National Scholar-Athlete, including (with the names of the scholar-athletes in parentheses):

•    Baylor University, Mike Rogers (Nick Florence, QB, 3.79 GPA)
•    Duke University, Martha Putallaz (Sean Renfree, QB, 3.40 GPA)
•    Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Hank Smith (Ethan Peterson, OL, 3.83 GPA)
•    Northern Illinois University, Matt Streb (Nabal Jefferson, DT, 3.78 GPA)
•    Northwestern University,  Robert Gundlach (Patrick Ward, OT, 3.94 GPA)
•    Robert Morris University, Scott Branvold (Nolan Nearhoof, DE, 3.73 GPA)
•    Saint Xavier University (Ill.), Barbara Becker (Shane Zackery, WR, 3.71 GPA)
•    Syracuse University, Mike Wasylenko (Ryan Nassib, QB, 3.57 GPA)
•    Texas Tech University, Brian Shannon (Cody Davis, S, 3.70 GPA)
•    University of Alabama, Kevin Whitaker (Barrett Jones, C, 4.00 GPA)
•    University of Mount Union (Ohio), Scott Mason (Nick Driskill, S, 3.77 GPA)
•    University of Nebraska, Josephine Potuto (Rex Burkhead, RB, 3.43 GPA)
•    University of Notre Dame, Patricia Bellia (Manti Te’o, LB, 3.32 GPA)
•    University of Southern California, Clare Pastore (Matt Barkley, QB, 3.21 GPA)
•    West Texas A&M University, David Rausch (Aaron Mullane, OL, 3.84 GPA)

Launched in 2011 by Fidelity and the NFF, the initiative is an extension of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Program that provides postgraduate scholarships for college football’s elite student-athletes. Fidelity, which is also the presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, has taken on a leadership role with the initiative as a natural extension of its ongoing support of the scholar-athlete ideal and commitment to higher education nationwide. As part of the initiative, each school with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete receives recognition for their faculty athletics representative, and a $5,000 donation per school ($75,000 total) from Fidelity will be made to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.



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