Ryan Beer, Baseball
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Sr./Milford, Ind.
Major: Biology Pre-Med
Ryan Beer is a senior from Milford, Ind., who is majoring in biology/pre-med and has a cumulative GPA of 3.88. He has been named to The Dean's List every semester since he enrolled at IPFW. When IPFW joined the Summit League, Beer's classroom accomplishments earned him consecutive Academic All-League selections and recognition on the Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence. After he earns his Bachelor's degree, Beer plans to attend Medical School. Since 2007, he has worked as a burn technician at St. Joseph Hospital. This past summer he interned at LifeNet Health, a non-profit organ procurement organization, in Virginia. Beer has a passion for community service as well. He has been involved in the United Way Lunch Buddy program since his freshman year. He is also active on campus in the Pre-Med Club and Biology Club and is a member of Tri-Beta, a Biology Honor Society, and a team representative to SALT (Student Athletic Leadership Team). Beer has loved baseball ever since he can remember. It was a personal goal of his to play at the Division I level. His dream was realized when he became a member of the Mastodon team in the fall of 2006. Beer stepped into the shortstop role as a freshman and hit .302 before he transitioned into the outfield. He believes the discipline and life skills he has learned through baseball has helped him in the classroom and will help him be successful in the future.
Kristina Karpun, Softball
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Jr./Delta, British Columbia
Kristina Karpun is a junior from Delta, British Columbia, who is majoring in French with a biology minor. She has been on the Dean's List and received Summit League Academic All-League honors for her achievements as both a freshman and sophomore as well as the Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence during her sophomore year. She is a member of SALT (Student Athletic Leadership Team) and was nominated to attend the NCAA Leadership conference last spring, as well as being very active in working with the YWCA in efforts to support and inform the community about domestic violence. Karpun is also a member of the Blue Crew, an IPFW student organization which involves efforts to encourage other non-student athletes to attend and participate in various athletic events on campus. She hit .348 during her freshman year, made The Summit League All-Tournament team and was awarded a league Player of the Week honor during her sophomore year. Karpun states that Division I athletics has shown her how to be the most efficient and independent student possible because of the time management and organizational skills required to juggle her busy schedule of academics and athletics. A catcher on the softball team, Karpun strives to make sure that her teammates assimilate these skills as well.
Ali Okihiro, Women's Soccer
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Jr./Oakville, Ontario
Major: Biology Pre-Med
Ali Okihiro is a junior from Oakville, Ontario, majoring in biology pre-med and minoring in organizational leadership and supervision. She has started every game in all three seasons for the IPFW women's soccer team, primarily as a central defender, and is currently the co-captain of the squad. Okihiro has been on the Dean's and Semester's Honor List every semester at IPFW (2007- 2008) and has also been on The Summit League Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons while maintaining a 3.95 GPA. She is currently the President of IPFW's Student-Athlete Leadership Team (SALT) and in this capacity, is the spearhead for community projects, such as the Buddy Walk, Minidons (soccer for underpriviledged kids), Fever Cadets soccer, American Heart Walk, Run It/Walk It for Chris Brown, Don's Dodge It for Turnstone, IPFW Health Fair, and Family Fitness Fair. Okihiro was nominated for and was selected by the NCAA to attend the 2009 NCAA Student-Athlete Conference in Coronado Springs, Fla. She states that "it's not every day that you get to do something that you enjoy, and do it at one of the most competitive levels in the nation. Playing soccer at the Division I level has been an amazing experience. It emphasizes physical strength, but it also teaches discipline, time-management, effort and persistence" - most of which are applicable to her skills as a student at IPFW. Being a student-athlete has given her the opportunity to be a recognized student both on campus and in the community and also serve as a mentor and example to younger and hopeful student-athletes. She believes that it takes tremendous effort and time to be an athlete, a full-time student, and a contributor in the community, however, the internal awards of satisfaction and the sense of fulfillment of her academic and athletic potential is more than enough to propel her through the day. According to Okihiro, it is a great feeling of accomplishment that she feels lucky enough to have.
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