NCAA Womens Tennis

Nicole Conard Earns Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award

Nicole Conard Earns Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award

Women’s Tennis | 6/12/2024 2:47:00 PM

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State women’s tennis player Nicole Conard was honored with the distinguished Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award, as presented by the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A).

This year’s Wilma Rudolph recipients were Parker Byrd, East Carolina, Nicole Conard, Michigan State, Jasmyne Cooper, University of Wyoming, Courtney Lamas-Lanier, Florida Atlantic, and Petal Palmer, West Virginia. These five student-athletes were honored in conjunction with the 2024 N4A Convention on June 10 in Las Vegas.

Conard, who hails from Boca Raton, Florida, conquered numerous obstacles throughout her childhood and early adulthood. From losing her father to suicide at the age of five, surviving years of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse from her stepfather/tennis coach, enduring bullying from peers at her tennis academy, and battling severe mental illness, including a nearly fatal suicide attempt, Nicole’s journey has been marked by countless traumas. Despite these challenges, Conard’s love for tennis remained steady throughout the waves of life’s ups and downs. She has excelled as a student-athlete, graduating with dual degrees in psychology and government from Dartmouth College, as well a master’s in criminal justice from Michigan State. She did all of this while managing the demanding schedule of a Division I tennis player competing in the Ivy League and Big Ten conferences.


She is the epitome of strength, positivity, courage and perseverance, which is evident to everyone around her. Conard is an example to the younger generation of athletes, showing them that they too have the resiliency to overcome any adversity and achieve their highest goals.


Conard embraces her vulnerability and shares her journey openly to inspire others. She is a leader, role model, and advocate for mental health awareness and victims of abuse. Having experienced firsthand the importance of a supportive community, she seeks to provide that same support to others who suffer in silence. Conard plans to use her experiences to bring empathy and kindness to those in the criminal justice system and fight for fellow survivors. 

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