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Penn State’s John Harrar, Jonni Parker, & Natalie Heising Receive Top Academic & Athletic Honors

Three Penn State student-athletes were honored this week for their accomplishments on and off their respective courts. Seniors John Harrar (men’s basketball) and Jonni Parker (women’s volleyball) received the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award, while Natalie Heising (women’s hockey) was one of five students to receive the John W. Oswald Award.

The Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award, which Harrar and Parker received, serves as perhaps Penn State Athletics’ most prestigious accolade. The honor, named for the former dean of Penn State’s College of Physical Education, Ernie McCoy, is annually presented to senior female and one senior male student-athlete who has achieved excellence in both athletics and academics.

The John W. Oswald Award, which Heising received, annually recognizes seniors who showed impressive leadership in areas of scholarship, athletics, social services, religious activities, or student government. Heising received the honor after serving as captain of Penn State’s women’s hockey team.

During his time at Penn State, Harrar made an incredible impact on the men’s basketball program, becoming the sixth player in program history to total 800 points and 800 rebounds during his time in Happy Valley. Harrar has a deep love and reverence for his school and his team, and he described that at length when he joined our podcast, Podward State, in the studio.

Parker, meanwhile, balanced athletics and service this past semester by working as a student-teacher at a local school during the volleyball season. She was also a major contributor to the accomplishment of Penn State’s annual “Silent Set” match, which raises awareness and support for hard-of-hearing communities. This year, Parker even launched a nonprofit, Chasing Greatness, to continue advocating for those communities.

Parker, a four-time All-American with the Nittany Lions, finished her Penn State career with 1,406 kills, 752 digs, 314 blocks, and 94 service aces.

During her time at Penn State, Heising served as three-time captain for Penn State women’s hockey. Besides becoming the program’s all-time leading scorer with 147 points and 74 career goals, she recorded a program-record 40 points during the 2021-22 season. As a result, she became the College Hockey American conference Player of the Year.

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About the Author

Mikey DeAngelis

As well as being a contributor to Onward State, Mikey DeAngelis is also the creator of the Mad About Disney YouTube channel and an aspiring filmmaker. Mikey loves Philly sports, traveling and hiking in National Parks, and watching movies. To reach Mikey, feel free to reach out on Twitter (@mikey_deangelis) or by email ([email protected]).

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