Daniela Cardillo receives 2020-2021 Dr. Sam Mitminger Award
Mohawk Mountaineers women’s soccer player Daniela Cardillo has been named the recipient of the 2020-2021 Dr. Sam Mitminger Award, receiving the highest honour in Mohawk Athletics. Cardillo graduates from Mohawk after studying Police Foundations and Advanced Police Studies.
The 2020-2021 OCAA season never got off the ground due to the COVID-19 pandemic but that didn’t diminish the collegiate achievements of Mohawk Mountaineers student-athletes. Several Mountaineers continued to be leaders in their sport, in the classroom and in the community this year and throughout their time at Mohawk.
Mountaineer athletes Stephanie Godden of the women’s softball team and Carter Rudge of the cross-country team were also shortlisted for this prestigious recognition.
The Dr. Sam Mitminger Award, named after Mohawk’s second president, is awarded to an athlete in their graduating year who has achieved consistent academic and athletic excellence throughout the entirety of their career with the Mountaineers.
“I am extremely honoured and humbled to be receiving the Dr. Sam Mitminger Award,” says Cardillo, a 5-foot-1 midfielder from Oakville, Ontario. “Being a part of the Mohawk Athletics community has always been a privilege and I am thankful for the support of the athletics program, both throughout my soccer career as well as academically. I was definitely very surprised when I found out I was the winner, however once again, I’m extremely grateful Mohawk College has given me this opportunity.”
Cardillo arrived on campus in the fall of 2017 and immediately made an impact on the field, appearing in 10 games while making major contributions to a winning 8-3-3 season. Cardillo was quick to demonstrate what it means to be a high-level student-athlete, being named an OCAA First-Team All-Star while receiving CCAA Academic All-Canadian honours.
The following year, 2018-2019, Cardillo helped lead the women’s indoor soccer team to an OCAA bronze medal and yet again set herself apart in the classroom. She was named an OCAA All-Academic for the second straight year and would add another nomination in 2019-2020.
Looking back on her three years of competition and four years academically, Cardillo says she’s made memories at Mohawk that she will never forget.
“It’s sad my four years here at Mohawk have come to an end, however, memories such as going to the OCAA’s, winning an OCAA bronze medal, and having the opportunity to play with the most amazing girls are memories I will never forget. I’ve built relationships both in the classroom and with my teammates that I will cherish forever,” says Cardillo.
“Academically, I am both lucky and thankful to have had the support and guidance from such great teachers. My program has always been community-driven and this reinforced my passion for the community through my academics here at Mohawk. The athletics program ensured their athletes excelled academically while having the opportunity to play the sport we loved. This made being a student-athlete a gratifying experience.”
The Mountaineers are creating a culture and atmosphere where student-athletes can succeed athletically, in the classroom, in the community and in life. Daniella embodies all of these characteristics and was a key leader and role model for all athletes during her time with the Mountaineers.
Her hard work over the past four years have her set up for success as she departs the college. Cardillo will be staying close to Mohawk as she begins her career with the Hamilton Police Force. She says the Hamilton community has become very important to her and she looks forward to giving back in this new role.
“I knew Mohawk College and the Hamilton community would always be a special milestone in my life. I will now begin a career in law enforcement with the Hamilton Police Service. My four years here at Mohawk has made me realize how important giving back to the Hamilton community is to me. I am excited to begin this next chapter in my life,” added Cardillo.
The Mohawk College Athletic Department would like to congratulate Daniela on receiving this year’s Dr. Sam Mitminger Award.