Chatham News

Shady Side Academy senior Alexis M. Concordia receives the Patience Blayden Spirit of Sport Award from Chatham University

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior PR Specialist
February 10, 2012

PITTSBURGH (February 10, 2012)… Today at Chatham University’s 17th Annual National Girls and Women in Sports Day (NGWISD) celebration, Shady Side Academy student Alexis M. Concordia received the Patience Blayden Spirit of Sport Award in the senior category. The award, which is presented to an area sophomore, junior, senior, and collegiate female athlete of distinction, is named in honor of a former Chatham athletic director who dedicated 34 years to achieving greater awareness and recognition of women’s collegiate athletics.

Each year, Chatham gives this award as a celebration of the accomplishments of regional female high school and college student athletes who make positive contributions in the classroom, on the playing field, and in the community. Andrew Stockey, WTAE-TV anchor and Action sports reporter, served as Master of Ceremonies, and sports reporter Lacee Collins, who covers the Pirates, Penguins, and high school football for ROOT SPORTS, gave the keynote address.

Ms. Concordia plays on and serves as team captain of field hockey, lacrosse, and the swim team for Shady Side Academy, while maintaining a 3.61 GPA. Her nominator Karen L. Serdy says, “In the classroom, on the playing fields, or during involvement in community activities, Alexis Concordia constantly displays a focused sense of determination and high level leadership skills.”

Nominated to represent Shady Side Academy for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award and selected as one of Pennsylvania’s ten female finalists, her coaches call her determination “contagious.” Her nominator says Ms. Concordia’s competitive drive and exemplary work ethic inspire teammates, classmates, teachers, and coaches.

Being involved in the community is a high priority for Ms. Concordia. She has served as freshman class vice president and sophomore class secretary/treasurer. As an Admissions Committee ambassador, she gives tours to prospective students and their parents. In addition, she finds time to participate in the Human Rights Club and serve on Untucked – an organization that raises funds for local charities through a benefit concert each spring.

An internship with Dr. Freddie Fu at UPMC recently inspired Ms. Concordia to consider orthopedic surgery as a future career. She will attend and play lacrosse for Wesleyan University in Connecticut in the fall.

Other winners of the Patience Blayden Spirit of Sport Award include Francesca Ponziani, a Penn-Trafford sophomore who plays softball; Chelsia Poole, a Penn-Trafford junior who plays basketball and volleyball and runs cross country and track; and Anna Albi, a Carnegie Mellon University sophomore who plays soccer.

Chatham also honored Lori Poe, who coaches cross-country, indoor track, and track and field at Chartiers Valley, with the Outstanding Coach Award. Winners are selected by an honorary committee.

NGWSD began in 1987 in commemoration of Olympic volleyball player Flo Hyman for her athletic achievements and her work to assure equality for women’s sports. Hyman died of Marfan Syndrome in 1986 while competing in a volleyball tournament in Japan. Since that time, NGWSD has evolved into a day to acknowledge the past and recognize current sports achievements, the positive influence of sports participation, and the continuing struggle for equality and access for women in sports.

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit

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