Lopez-Silvers named Arthur Ashe Jr. Scholar


hoto courtesy of icgaels.com

Willow Lopez-Silvers has also spent her time as a tutor for the Samuel Rudin Academic Resource Center.

Giovanni Paolo Tagliafierro, Assistant Sports Editor

Iona College swimmer and senior Willow Lopez-Silvers received the 2021 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar award for women’s swimming by the Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine on April 26, according to the organization’s website.  


The Arthur Ashe Jr. Scholar award recognizes a male and female collegiate athlete of color every year for their commitment to being a scholar athlete. The award also values student-athletes’ commitment to their school and surrounding community.  


The award was named after storied tennis star Arthur Ashe Jr., who fought through racial constraints as a Black athlete in the post-segregation era of the 1960s and 70s. The award embodies his commitment to activism and education. 


Besides the overall female and male award winners, the program recognizes a winner for each individual sport, both men’s and women’s. Lopez-Silvers took home the women’s swimming and diving spot.  


To be eligible for the award, student-athletes need to be of at least sophomore standing, be active in their community and maintain at the minimum a 3.5 grade-point average.  


A native of Washington, the Class of 2021 valedictorian has collected a number of accolades for her academics over her four years at Iona. She was selected to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference All-Academic Team in both her sophomore and junior seasons and is due for a repeat of that accomplishment when the teams are announced later this year.  


She was also named to the MAAC Academic Honor Roll in her junior season.  


Lopez-Silvers found success not only in the classroom, but in the water too throughout her Iona career. As a freshman, she was an integral part of the women’s third-place finish in the conference in the 2017-18 season. 


Since then, Lopez-Silvers was named MAAC Swimmer of the Week twice, both awards occurring during her sophomore year.  


Outside of the sport, the education major is part of Best Buddies, the Red Cross and Iona Singers clubs on campus. She looks forward to pursuing a graduate degree and eventually teaching and coaching high schoolers, according to her bio on the icgaels.com webpage.