ATLANTA, Ga. - In the ASUN Beam Video Series, the conference features student-athletes across the league that have excelled in the classroom and taken a Students First mentality during their time as a student-athlete. Throughout the year, the ASUN will feature two student-athletes from each institution that epitomizes the conference's beam of Students First.
Emma Knight recently completed her junior year at North Alabama as she holds a 3.95 GPA in Chemistry with plans of going to Dental School. A member of the North Alabama chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Knight represents the top 7.5 percent of her class as the Lions Cross Country student-athlete was one of seven league students who were named to the ASUN All-Academic Team this year.
"What we do in the classroom affects what we do for the rest of our lives," said Knight. "I think it's important that we focus on pursing our career as well as athletics. This season especially has taught me how to prioritize effectively."
"I think what helps Emma excel as a student and an athlete is her work ethic," said Head Cross Country Coach Jeremy Provence. "She's one of the first ones at practice and one of the last ones to leave. She's also doing homework on the bus and in the hotel lobby when she has the time."
In only its first year in the ASUN Conference, North Alabama's Knight has racked up several accolades for her academics and work on the UNA campus. She was chosen to represent North Alabama on the 2018-19 Fall Winners for Life Team to go along with her All-Academic Team honor. Recently, Knight was inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success in addition to the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement. She was also the first University of North Alabama student to earn Division I All-Conference Cross Country honors as she placed 12th at the ASUN Championship.
"What other student-athletes can learn from Emma is her drive to be the best that she can be at everything she does," Athletic Advisor Sherry Kennemer added on Knight. "I think our younger student-athletes look up to her and she's a female role model for our younger female student-athletes."
Knight holds membership in the Order of Omega Honor Society and Gamma Sigma Alpha and was a 2017 USTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete selection. Some of her work on the UNA campus includes serving as a representative on UNA's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, while also volunteering with the Lions Leadership Academy and Kindred Hospice in the local area. During her first two collegiate years, she earned a 4.0 GPA and was the Women's Cross Country Outstanding Athlete of the Year for 2017-18. Knight also qualified for the Gulf South Conference Academic Honor Roll in 2016 & 2017 and was selected for the 2017 Academic All-Gulf South Conference team.
"My advice to new student-athletes would be is to find your spot whether that's on the team or in the classroom," Knight said. "As well for learning, it's not going to look like it did in high school. We have to learn we can be the best that we are here. Giving our best every day in practice or in the classroom is the most important thing. We're going to give our best no matter what to succeed."