April 2011, Volume 15, Number 2

Making Their Mark

Lauren López, James Beatty and Paola Ampudia
Lauren López, James Beatty and Paola Ampudia are just three of the many MDC athletes who have landed scholarships at great programs.

MDC Leads Athletes to Scholarships at Top U.S. Programs

Trevor Mbakwe
Trevor Mbakwe
Ashley Wilkes
Ashley Wilkes
Erika Bennett
Erika Bennett

At Miami Dade College, athletics are about more than just wins and losses. They’re also about opportunity.

Over the years, hundreds of athletes have spent their time at MDC wisely, using what they have learned in the classroom and on the field to convert their talent into scholarships at four-year universities.

MDC’s men’s basketball program is a prime example. In just the past couple of years, several former MDC stars have gone on to excel at big-time programs, including Will Coleman (Memphis), Freddy Asprilla (Kansas State), Trevor Mbakwe (Minnesota), James Beatty (Rutgers), and Eloy Vargas (Kentucky).

The women’s basketball program has nine players currently competing at four-year schools, including Ashleigh Kelly and Francis Puello at Appalachian State, Dominique Collier at Towson, and Monet Kearse at Alabama State. From this year’s team, two have already committed to four-year schools: Ashley Wilkes with Canisius and Kandis Frederick with Lynn University.

MDC’s softball program, which won a national championship in 2010, has also been prolific, sending a total of 17 players to four-year schools in the past three years. Among the players on the list are Kristina DeMello (Central Florida), Erika Bennett and Amanda Lara (Marshall), Rebecca Hall (Fresno State), Annike Don (Jacksonville), Vivian Morimoto and Simone Suetsugu (Tennessee-Chatanooga), and Lauren López (Nova Southeastern).

MDC baseball also has an impressive track record, sending 18 players to four-year schools in the past three years. Among the names on the list are Adrian Morales, who helped lead South Carolina to the 2010 national championship; Rey Cotilla (North Carolina State); Chris Peláez (Miami); Jonathan Watson (Virginia Commonwealth); and Matt Laney (Coastal Carolina).

Last but not least is the volleyball program, which has won four state titles in the past five years, including twice finishing as national runners-up. From those teams, numerous players went to the next level, including Paola Ampudia and Rosa Medrano (Missouri); Amanda Matos (South Florida); Marcela Gamarra (Miami); and Norma Cortez (North Carolina).

There are outstanding tales to be told about each of these great MDC alumni. With all the variations on this theme of success, at the heart of them all is a common thread: the hard work of the athletes, the dedication of their coaches and professors, and the unique opportunities provided by MDC.

It’s a winning combination destined to create many more inspiring stories in the future.


More Making Their Mark Articles


Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, or genetic information. Contact the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs/ADA Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for information.