Congratulations to our Scholar of the Week, Jesse! Along with fellow honoree Sigi Koizar, Jesse received the “M” Club Dean Smith Award. We paraphrased to give you the highlights below. Congratulations to both of these scholars & their accomplishments!  

ORONO, Maine — University of Maine cross country and track athlete Jesse Orach received the 2016 “M” Club Dean Smith Award during an academic awards ceremony at the Wells Conference Center.

jesseThe awards are presented annually to the top male and female student-athletes with outstanding academic and athletic achievement along with a strong record of citizenship and community service.

Orach, a senior captain, was awarded a gold medallion at the banquet, recognizing him as a four-time scholar-athlete. He holds a 3.95 GPA, majoring in chemical engineering with a mathematics minor and is also pursuing the fifth-year master’s degree in business administration.

Orach, a Presidential Scholar and a National AP Scholar with Distinction, received the America East Elite 18 award for highest academic achievement of all cross country participants in the America East Championships.

Orach is a Pulp and Paper Foundation Scholarship recipient, and last spring, he completed a seven month co-op with the Verso Corporation. He is a six-time Dean’s List honoree and a three-time America East All-Academic team selection.

While at UMaine, Orach has been inducted into the Tau Beta Phi Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and the National Society for Collegiate Scholars. He is a two-time member of Team Maine, awarded to the highest GPA on each individual varsity sport.

Orach finished seventh at the 2015 America East Cross Country Championships and led the team to a third-place finish out of 38 teams at the New England Championships. He was 47th in the NCAA East Regional 10,000 meter race, finishing the 6.2 mile courses in 31:43 and was selected to the All-New England and All-America East Cross Country teams.

He also volunteers at middle school and high school cross country practices and meets.

A record 297 student-athletes were honored and recognized for their success in the classroom. Two-hundred eighteen student-athletes were recognized as scholar-athletes for achieving a 3.0 or better GPA for the 2015 year and/or having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Seventy-nine first-year student-athletes were honored as Rising Stars for earning a 3.0 GPA or better in their first semester at Maine.

This story originally was published online at The Bangor Daily News