Bethlehem, Pa. – The Patriot League has announced the 2022-23 Award of Outstanding Leadership and Character recipients, recognizing individuals who have demonstrated excellence in leadership and service within Patriot League athletics. The winners are Charlotte Ryan from Navy women’s lacrosse, Clara McCormick from Bucknell field hockey, and Brian Qian from Colgate men’s track and field. The administrators of the League’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) selected the recipients.
This year’s award marks the second time in Patriot League history that student-athletes have tied for the honor. McCormick becomes the eighth Bison to receive the award, while Ryan is the first Midshipman to claim this distinction. Qian is the third Raider to earn the recognition.
Established in 2011-12, the Award of Outstanding Leadership and Character aims to acknowledge individuals who exhibit exceptional leadership and service while participating in Patriot League athletics. Each year, one male and one female student-athlete are recognized, with ties occurring in the women’s category during the last two academic years.
Any Patriot League student-athlete or team must meet the minimum conduct standards to be eligible for the award. The criteria for leadership and character encompass a range of ideals, including demonstrated leadership both on the field of competition and within the campus community, promoting a leadership vision for the betterment of one’s team or teammates, mentoring teammates, serving as a role model on campus, actively participating in on-campus and community service projects, overcoming hardships with perseverance, and demonstrating trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship.
Charlotte Ryan, a captain and two-year starter at attack for the Navy women’s lacrosse team, proved to be an invaluable leader both on and off the field. Under her guidance, the team achieved notable success during the 2023 regular season, defeating two Top 25 teams and reaching the semifinals of the Patriot League Championship.
Navy women’s lacrosse associate head coach Brooke Shriver praised Ryan, stating, “On and off the field, Charlotte Ryan is a leader. As an overwhelming choice for the captain, she commands the respect of her teammates through her play, humility, and dedication. She leads through her dynamic play and on-field communication. She is just as, if not more, organized off the field for the team.”
Ryan and co-captain Athena Corroon collaborated to inspire and motivate their teammates by implementing accountability sheets and utilizing the book “The Hard Hat: 21 Ways to be a Great Teammate” as a guide. Before each game, Ryan and Corroon focused on one of the 21 ways to foster teamwork and enhance the team’s focus.
Furthermore, Ryan played a crucial role in developing the team motto, “Got Your Six,” which symbolizes the importance of supporting one another both on and off the field. She selflessly dedicated her time to tutoring teammates and conducting review sessions for the team’s freshmen before a cyber exam. During exam week, Ryan also met with her teammates individually to check-in.
Corroon spoke highly of Ryan, stating, “Charlotte truly leads by example. She holds herself and those around her to an extremely high standard. She pushes herself and those around her to be better every day. Charlotte is an amazing leader and cares deeply for everyone she knows.”
In addition to her athletic achievements, Ryan excelled academically, maintaining a remarkable 3.8 cumulative GPA in mechanical engineering. She also held the Second Battalion Executive Officer position, making her second in line to lead, manage, and take responsibility for a battalion comprising nearly 800 Midshipmen.
During the Fall of 2021, Ryan was honored with the title of Midshipmen of the Semester, an accolade bestowed upon one student in each term who embodies the Naval Academy’s mission to develop Midshipmen morally, mentally, and physically, instilling them with the highest ideals of duty, honor, and loyalty. The aim is to produce leaders dedicated to a career in Naval service, with the potential for future development in mind and character, capable of assuming the highest command, citizenship, and government responsibilities.
Shriver commended Ryan’s qualities: “She is thoughtful, passionate, empathetic, and respectful. Charlotte may be a bit soft-spoken, but when she speaks, her teammates listen. She is a true leader by example in all facets, and we are lucky to have her.”
The Award of Outstanding Leadership and Character recipients exemplify the finest qualities of student-athletes within the Patriot League. Through their remarkable leadership and dedication to service, Charlotte Ryan, Clara McCormick, and Brian Qian have left a lasting impact on their respective teams and the league.