* University of Wyoming press release

LAS VEGAS, Nev., – The National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) honored the winners of the 2024 Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award and Cowgirl track and field member Jasmyne Cooper was named as one of the recipients of this prestigious reward.

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She received the honor at a reception on Monday evening at the 2024 N4A Convention in Las Vegas.

The N4A Wilma Rudolph Student-Athlete Achievement Award honors student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics. These individuals have persevered and made significant personal strides toward success.

The 2024 Wilma Rudolph recipients are Parker Byrd, East Carolina University, Nicole Conard, Michigan State University, Jasmyne Cooper, University of Wyoming, Courtney Lamas-Lanier, Florida Atlantic University, and Petal Palmer, West Virginia University.

“I would like to give thanks to all the people who have helped me along the way to get to this point in life throughout all my hardships and successes,” Cooper said. “I would like to give a special thanks to my parents Rocco and Sunshine Cooper because I would not be here without them. They pushed me towards my goals and dreams and always took care of me when I needed it the most. Lastly, I would like to thank God for always giving me opportunities in life to better myself, mind, and body knowing through Him I could do anything. This award goes to show how each one of us has persevered through our challenges and did not let anything stop us. Through that determination and hard work, we will win.”

Cooper, a remarkable student-athlete at the University of Wyoming, represents resilience and determination in the face of adversity. Hailing from the Crow Tribe (Apsaalooke) in Crow Agency, Montana, Jasmyne's heritage blends Black and white backgrounds. From her early years into adulthood, she navigated through emotional and physical traumas, emerging stronger with each challenge encountered.

Throughout her collegiate athletic journey, Jasmyne showcased exceptional talent and perseverance on the track. Her accomplishments span multiple seasons, from indoor to outdoor competitions, leaving a lasting impact on her team and the sport.

In 2018-19, Jasmyne began her collegiate career redshirting during the cross country season. She swiftly transitioned into indoor track and field, setting impressive records in the 800m event and contributing to relay teams with notable finishes. Outdoors, she continued to excel, cementing her position as a top performer in the 800m event.

The following years saw her dedication and prowess shine brightly. Despite the cancellation of the outdoor track season in 2019-20 due to the coronavirus pandemic, she persisted, setting school records and earning accolades in indoor competitions.

Jasmyne's journey took an unexpected turn in the midst of her collegiate career when she was diagnosed with stage three Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (ALCL). The battle against cancer posed her greatest challenge yet, testing her physical strength and mental fortitude. Enduring grueling chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Jasmyne refused to let cancer define her. Instead, she found solace in training and resilience, determined to overcome the odds stacked against her.

In 2022, Jasmyne emerged victorious, defeating cancer and reclaiming her place on the track. Her return to competition, despite ongoing recovery, exemplifies her unwavering spirit and dedication to her team. Jasmyne's story resonates with many, inspiring both young and old with her perseverance, bravery, and unyielding character. She ranks second all-time in the indoor 800 and was once the school record holder. She also ranks fourth in the 800 meter race during the outdoor season.

She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Native American Indigenous Studies and a minor in Anthropology, Jasmyne's journey serves as a testament to the power of resilience and the importance of never giving up on one's dreams. Her legacy will continue to inspire others to overcome adversity and strive for greatness, reminding us all that no challenge is insurmountable when met with determination and courage.

About Wilma Rudolph: Despite being told as a child she would never walk again, Wilma Rudolph relentlessly pursued her dreams of becoming an international track and field star. At the height of her career, "the fastest woman in the world" used her platform to shed light on social issues. Rudolph competed in the 1956 Olympic Games and won a bronze medal in the 4x100 relay. Four years later, she headed to the 1960 Summer Olympics determined to earn gold. Her performance in Rome cemented her as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. She won three gold medals and broke several world records. Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field at the same Olympic Games. The indoor track and dormitory at Tennessee State University are named in honor of Rudolph. She died of a brain tumor on November 12, 1994.

About N4A: N4A, which has been in existence since 1975, is a diverse educational service and professional non-profit organization. Membership of N4A includes academic support and student services personnel who are committed to enhancing opportunities for academic, athletics and personal success for student-athletes. For more information on N4A, visit www.nfoura.org. N4A is administered by NACDA, which is in its 59th year. For more information on NACDA and the 18 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.

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