All-Big 12

2016 DeForest graduate and senior rower at Oklahoma University Rachel Williams was recently named Academic All-Big 12 first team.

Rachel Williams, a 2016 DeForest graduate, added to her list of accomplishments at the University of Oklahoma as the senior rower earned Academic All-Big 12 first team. It is the third straight year she has been recognized.

Williams, who is majoring in international studies and Arabic and minoring in Spanish, has a 4.0 grade point average.

The Sooner rowing team earned 25 spots on the 2020 Academic All-Big 12 team. The total is up from 17 last year.

To qualify, student-athletes must maintain a 3.00 GPA or higher, either cumulatively or in the previous two semesters. Freshmen and transfers are not eligible in their first year of academic residence.

Student-athletes must maintain a GPA of 3.20 or higher, either cumulatively or for the previous two semesters, to qualify for first-team honors. Second-team honorees carry a 3.00-3.19 GPA.

During her senior season, Williams was awarded the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association 2019 Scholar Athlete Award.

Also, this past season, Williams placed fourth with 1V4 in the stern seat at the 2019 Big 12 Championships. She had a first place finish in the stroke seat for 1V4 at the Longhorn Invitational.

Williams is one of four Oklahoma students that were awarded the U.S. Department of State’s prestigious Critical Language Scholarship for the summer of 2020. She was accepted to study Arabic in Ibri, Oman.

The CLS program was founded as part of a government effort to promote the study of foreign languages designated “critical” — those that are underrepresented but play an important role in national security and the world economy.

In typical years, students selected for the summer program enjoy two fully funded months of language and cultural immersion in a city where their chosen language is spoken. The program draws students from a wide range of fields and interests, and participants are selected based on commitment to language learning and plans to apply language skills to their future academic or professional pursuits.

The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately prompted the suspension of the summer 2020 CLS program, though the selected students are still being recognized.

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