WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University women's swimmer Taylor Mickelson (Fargo, N.D.) was officially recognized for being selected the 2015-16 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Inspirational Award winner. Gallaudet President Roberta Cordano presented Mickelson her plaque on Thursday, April 13, in her office along with Dean of Student Affairs Dwight Benedict, Associate Athletic Director for Communications Sam Atkinson and Swimming and Diving coach Larry Curran.
Mickelson, a mathematics major, graduated in May with cum laude honors. She was selected as one of four recipients of the 2015-16 NEAC Inspirational Award.
Mickelson is the fourth Gallaudet Bison and second women's swimmer to earn this honor since GU joined the conference in 2010-11. Former women's basketball head coach Kevin Cook was honored in 2010-11, women's swimmer Lisa van der Mark was honored in 2011-12 while men's cross country runner Ivan Alfaro was honored in 2012-13.
Deaf and born with one hand, Taylor is an outstanding athlete and scholar with an engaging personality. As a Gallaudet swimmer and diver for four years, she has contributed significantly to the success of the team and she barely acknowledges her physical challenges. As a swimmer, she participated in the most challenging events, swimming butterfly and the 400 individual medley. Limited by her hand, she perfected the underwater dolphin kick to her advantage. As a diver, Taylor has struggled with knee issues that limited her practice time and intensity last season. Yet, she developed the required competitive dive list and scored all-important team points.
Mickelson helped the Bison to finish fifth at the 2017 NEAC swimming and diving championships. She also enjoys flying planes as she is working on her private pilot license.
Gallaudet's NEAC Inspirational Award Winners
Gallaudet University, the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students, was founded in 1864 by an Act of Congress (its Charter), which was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln. For more information about Gallaudet University please log onto www.gallaudet.edu.
Photo courtesy of Zhee Chatmon