College of Staten Island senior Timothy Sweeney added to his extensive list of achievements last night, when he was honored as the CUNYAC’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year at the conference’s annual Michael Steuerman Scholar-Athlete Awards Dinner held at Queens College. Sweeney was one of four Dolphins in total who was heralded, with Chris Pinto (Men’s Swimming & Men’s Tennis), Jacqueline Cautela (Softball), and Naomi Gaggi (Women’s Swimming) all earning Honorable Mention status, rounding out a tremendous year in the classroom for the College of Staten Island.
A Mathematics major with Finance and Geography minors, Sweeney boasted a 3.86 GPA as part of the Macaulay Honors College, Sweeney is moving on to study actuarial science at Columbia University. He rounded out a fantastic four-year swim career by sweeping gold medals in every individual event at the CUNYAC Championships over the last four years, winning CUNYAC Performer of the Year for the past two seasons and Performer of the Championship Meet itself all four years of competition.
On top of his highlight-reel exploits in the pool, Sweeney has spent the better part of his four years working on a pair of major research projects that have been featured on NY1 News and have worked in concert with the Staten Island Borough President’s office. One involves the ramifications of traffic and costs of the Bayonne Bridge construction project and the other is the environmental and traffic behavior patterns on Green Eco-Taxis in Manhattan.
“It’s kind of surreal to me,” said Sweeney of the award when given the honor. ”I always approached each day trying to be best both in the pool and in the classroom, so to be recognized for my efforts in both is the perfect way to end my senior year and I couldn’t be happier.”
On top of his studies and intensive training, Sweeney doubles as a lifeguard at CSI and over the summer teaches youth swimming at the Hillside Swim Club in Staten Island.
Fellow swimmers Pinto and Gaggi also were included in the festivities. Gaggi recently took home CSI’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, doubling as the school’s Salutatorian at Commencement later this month. A Psychology major with a 3.90 GPA, Gaggi’s academic focus is in neuroscience and intensive study with Autism in children and adults. She has lent herself to numerous research projects on campus tied to the cause, and has worked with Yale University and Mt. Sinai Hospital on peripheral research engagements.
Pinto, a two-sport star, dons a 3.77 GPA as a Mathematics major as part of the Macaulay Honors College. He is the former winner of the prestigious Bill Cali/John Scrivani Sportsmanship Award, and holds two research positions on campus, one that tracks storms and storm surges on Staten Island and another with the Education/Science and Technology Department.
The last to finish athletically was Cautela, a Nursing major with a 3.39 GPA. A multiple career and single season record holder both at the softball plate and the circle, Cautela is also a four-time Championship MVP while participating in weekly clinicals at different hospitals and care settings such as Clove Lakes Nursing Home, Staten Island Hospital North, Staten Island Hospital South, Richmond University Medical Center.