Scots have record-setting year for Academic All-Americans

Scots have record-setting year for Academic All-Americans

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Michael Thomas, The College of Wooster baseball team’s starting catcher, was voted a second-team College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American, as recently announced by the national organization.

Also, Will McMichael was voted a third-team College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American. McMichael is Wooster’s record sixth Academic All-American this year and he is the fourth to earn the prestigious award from the men’s cross country and track & field teams.

Thomas made this the the third straight season a baseball student-athlete has been voted to the team.

Thomas, who hit .284 for Wooster and batted .333 with 12 RBI, 10 runs and three home runs spanning the program’s eight NCAA games, is from Minneapolis. The economics major was an Allen Scholar at Wooster and examined the relationship between firms that engage in corporate social responsibility by implementing environmental, social and governance scores and their corporate emissions for his Independent Study. Thomas was motivated to explore “a private policy approach to mitigating the effects of climate change” as part of his IS. He is planning to enter the business world in his hometown of Minneapolis.

On the track, McMichael won his fourth North Coast Athletic Conference 400 meters title this spring with a time of 48.51 at the conference championships. The senior moved into a tie for fifth-place in program history for most NCAC titles. He later scored all-conference honors for the eighth time as part of Wooster’s second-place 4x400 relay that crossed at 3:22.40.

The 2020 NCAC Athlete of the Year for men’s indoor sprints and hurdles broke program records in the 400 meters and 4x400 relay this spring. He took down the 22-year-old 400 meters record held by three-time All-American and W Association Hall of Famer Reggie Raywith a 44.89 at the Kenyon College Spring Invitational, then lowered it to 48.11 at the University of Mount Union Final Qualifier. McMichael anchored Wooster’s 4x400 relay at Baldwin Wallace University’s Harrison Dillard Twilight Meet, where Wooster’s 3:19.50 came in better than the school record that stood since 2001.

The avid researcher spent two summers working in the Rosenkranz Lab within the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology and Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago, Illinois. For his Independent Study, McMichael conducted a synthetic biology project developing a fluorescent reporter for acetylcholine in yeast. As a research assistant at Wooster, McMichael performed dissection and dissociation of brain tissues for cell culture and prepared samples for immunohistochemical staining and confocal imaging.

McMichael’s research has led to two presentations at the Society for Neuroscience Convention, and he has presented research on campus, at the Midwest/Great Lakes Undergraduate Research Symposium in Neuroscience, and at Rosalind Franklin University. He will be returning for a fifth year at the College through the Wooster Plus Program.