Selected from a record 605 school nominees—a group that was then narrowed to 161 nominees by conference offices—the Top 30 honorees include 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions. All have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. The honorees competed in 14 sports and studied a broad range of academic majors, including nursing, mechanical engineering, biochemistry, criminal justice, kinesiology, accounting and advertising.
"The 30 honorees selected this year excelled in the classroom and in competition while also remaining committed to serving their peers and communities," said Suzette McQueen, chair of the Woman of the Year Selection Committee and senior associate commissioner for external relations and strategic marketing/senior woman administrator at the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. "These outstanding women represent the thousands of diverse and talented women competing in college sports each year, and we're proud to recognize their achievements on and off the field."
Ramirez-Tejeda was a two-sport standout for the Saints on both the basketball hardwood and the softball diamond and a co-recipient of the 2020 GNAC Woman of the Year award. She is just the second Saint to earn the honor, after Cathryn LaRiviere Chviruk '09 in 2009. The criminology & criminal justice major also minored in Spanish, graduating from Emmanuel with a 3.90 GPA. The Cambridge, Mass. native has three times earned the prestigious CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in her career: 2019 Basketball Second Team, 2020 Basketball First Team, and 2020 Softball Third Team.
In women's hoops, she was a three-time All-GNAC First Teamer and was named the 2020 GNAC Player of the Year. In 86 career games, she averaged 18.6 points (.524), 10.9 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and led Emmanuel to back-to-back GNAC titles and NCAA appearances her junior and senior seasons. Meanwhile for softball, she was a 2018 GNAC Third Team selection and was voted the 2019 GNAC Player of the Year along with the First Team nod, hitting .396 with 38 extra-base hits, including 18 homers, 59 runs, and 68 RBI in 76 career games. She had a ridiculous 1.653 OPS through six games this spring before the season's abrupt cancellation.
Ramirez-Tejeda was the Andrew Yosinoff Athletic Achievement Award Recipient, given annually to a senior athlete who has excelled on the playing field and provided the greatest contribution to the athletic reputation of Emmanuel College through exceptional athletic achievement. Some of her leadership opportunities included lead captain for local school community service projects with the basketball program, a youth counselor and camp mentor at Tenacity Summer Camp, member of the Emmanuel SAAC, work-study student within the athletic department, stints working for both Emmanuel Campus Safety and the Emmanuel Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and a Boston Police Department internship.
"This is an incredible honor and something that would not have been possible without the support of my coaches, family, teammates, and Emmanuel family," said Ramirez-Tejeda. "It's humbling to have been selected for this honor among so many other deserving recipients. Thank you to all my teammates and friends for always believing in me and pushing me to be the vest version of myself every single day. A special thanks goes to Coach Andy and Coach Berry who believed in me as both a player and person and pushed me to be better in everything I do. They cared about me as much off the court/field as they did on it so this recognition isn't just mine, it belongs to every person who contributed to make me the player and person I am today. You all deserve it more than I do."