Sydney Marchando, a graduate of Colorado School of Mines in Golden, was named the 2020-21 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Woman of the Year.
Marchando, who attended Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, said she is excited to be honored by the RMAC after playing softball for the past eight years.
“I was happy, but my family was even more excited,” she said. “It is special because they have been really supportive over the years. What an awesome way to end my time at the Colorado School of Mines.”
The RMAC Man and Woman of the Year awards honor graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their college career in areas of academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership.
Marchando, a senior pitcher for Colorado School of Mines, tied a bow on her final year with the Orediggers' softball team, racking up 84 strikeouts over 111.2 innings pitched for nine wins and a Second Team All-RMAC nod. Throughout her four-year career with the Orediggers, Marchando cemented her spot in the Mines record books, finishing fifth in program history for wins with 31 and sixth all-time for strikeouts with 281.
Marchando is a three-time First Team RMAC All-Academic selection, a three-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, and was also named the 2021 RMAC Academic Softball Player of the Year.
Marchando, 22, said athletics has been one of the best parts of being at Mines.
“Athletics here taught me to be a part of a community and learn true ethics,” Marchando said. “I played four years in high school and in competitive leagues. I played at the School of Mines. All of it has been great. I am grateful for my time at the School of Mines.”
In academics. Marchando has reached the same level of excellence as in athletics.
While at Mines, she completed her degree in chemical engineering, earning a 3.99 GPA. Marchando was named the 2021 President's Senior Scholar-Athlete award winner, an honor presented to a student-athletes who demonstrate outstanding leadership and athletic and academic achievement.
Marchando was also awarded the Blaster Award for Community Impact, an award presented to Mines student-athletes who work to better the Golden community. She also received the Oredigger Excellence Award, which is given to a Mines student-athlete who demonstrates outstanding leadership, achievement, and school spirit.
Marchando committed a large portion of her time off the softball diamond to community service projects within the college's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, including the 2020 Holiday Toy Drive, the 2020 Canned Food Drive, the 2019 Sports Equipment and Clothing Drive and the Special Olympics.
Community service is where Marchando is most proud of her time at Mines. The college graduate said four years in Golden taught her a lot about the importance of giving back to the community and spreading knowledge through various mentorship programs.
Marchando said she worked a lot with young female students, encouraging them to take up science and engineering programs.
“I really believe it is important to talk to our youth about how important engineering and STEM programs can be,” she said. “When you are attending college, you realize the importance of getting involved on campus and getting into the community to make a positive impact.”
Moving forward, Marchando said her academic career is not over. This fall, she will enter a graduate program to major in biomedical engineering in Boston.
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