Two Former Student-Athletes Earn UCF's Order of the Pegasus

Feb. 17, 2010

By Leigh Torbin

Two former UCF student-athletes, softball's Shelly Frick (Jacksonville, Fla.) and football's T.J. Harnden (Tallahassee, Fla.), were announced by the University on Tuesday as recipients of the Order of the Pegasus. The Order of the Pegasus is the most prestigious award that the University bestows upon its students.

Frick and Harnden are just the second and third student-athletes to ever receive this lofty recognition, joining track and field's Sarah Kureshi who is a member of the 2001 class.

"I am delighted to see two of our student-athletes receive the Order of the Pegasus," UCF Director of Athletics Keith Tribble said. "Their accomplishments both on and off of the field serve as confirmation of the positive influence that these student-athletes have had on the University community as a whole. I am very proud of them being selected to receive this esteemed honor."

The award honors outstanding undergraduate academic achievement, University involvement, leadership and community service. Graduate students are selected separately based on academic achievement, professional or community service, leadership and publication or research experience.

The names and a picture of the inductees will be added to the wall of the Pegasus Lounge, which is located on the second floor of the Student Union overlooking the Pegasus Ballroom. Inductees receive commemorative medals, Student Government Association scholarships and lifetime memberships to the UCF Alumni Association.

The awards will be presented at a ceremony in April.

Frick earned recognition as a graduate student, carrying a 3.9 cumulative graduate-level GPA in UCF's M.B.A. program. Frick is on schedule to graduate in August. She earned her bachelor's degree in finance with a minor in economics in May of 2008 with a cumulative GPA of 3.6. The academic success followed her to Orlando after being a National Honors Society member at Terry Parker High School.

Frick is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and the President's Leadership Council. A Conference USA Post Graduate Scholarship recipient, Frick was a recipient of UCF Athletics' Dr. Richard E. Lapchick Award for both athletic and academic achievement in addition to having a positive impact on the community.

Frick was the Co-President of UCF's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee from 2005-08 where she acted as a liaison between student-athletes and the UCF Athletics administration and helped foster student-athlete involvement in community service endeavors. As a part of this role, she also sat on the UCF Athletics Board of Directors, representing the best interests of over 500 of her peers in voting on issues overseen by the board. Frick directly monitored budget and finances as a part of the Audit/Finance subcommittee.

Frick continued this role beyond just the University's Orlando campus by serving as UCF's representative on the Conference USA SAAC from 2006-08. Frick elicited communication between the conference office and its 12 member institutions regarding issues around the student-athlete experience. Through creative thinking and team projects, Frick expanded and accomplished the goals set by C-USA.

Since she earned her bachelor's degree, Frick has worked as an internal audit consultant for Protiviti Independent Risk Consulting. In this role, Frick has conducted independent contract audits, performed internal Sarbanes-Oxley compliance reviews and assisted in compliance of FAS 97 accounting standards.

Some of her other activities include volunteering her time for the American Heart Association's Heart Walk and Central Florida Children's Home. She is member of the Institute of Internal Auditors, a Junior Achievement Volunteer and a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

On the softball field, Frick was a member of UCF's only two NCAA Tournament participating teams, the 2005 and 2008 squads. She appeared in 103 games as a Knight with 43 starts at designated player.

Harnden overcame a childhood spent bouncing between various housing projects and sleeping hungry in cars to excel at Tallahassee's Lincoln High School before earning a football scholarship to UCF.

After earning a bachelor's degree in interpersonal organizational communication, Harnden began work on a master's degree in sports leadership with a track in coaching and physiology. Harnden, who took 12 graduate level credits during the football season this past fall, expects to earn his master's degree this summer in just one year and currently has a 3.75 graduate-level GPA. Harnden is the first student from the sports leadership program to ever be named to the Order of the Pegasus.

Harnden has worked extensively with the Central Florida Children's Home where he regularly serves as a mentor to the home's 20 children and coordinates events. Harnden was in charge of the setup, publicity and coordination of this past year's 5K run/walk which tripled its donations from the previous year, raising $60,000 for the Central Florida Children's Home.

In his free time, Harnden has also spoken with youth football players in the Waterford Lakes area, worked with special needs students through the UCF Chapter of Best Buddies, and worked more than 500 hours at the thrift store which supports the Central Florida Children's Home.

Harnden was a member of each of UCF's first three teams selected for a bowl game, coming in 2005, 2007 and 2009, including the 2007 Conference USA Championship-winning team. He played in a total of 16 games at defensive tackle and earned the team's Kodak Award in 2009 as UCF's scout team performer of the year.

Both Frick and Harnden were also fixtures on the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and UCF Dean's List while also being recognized by their respective teams as "Scholar-Ballers," a national academic awards program coordinated by UCF professor Dr. Keith Harrison.

To see the entire list of UCF students selected to the Order of the Pegasus, visit www.news.ucf.edu.

For the latest news on the Knights, log on to UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.