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Marisa Bast (Photo courtesy and Mike Bast)

Marisa Bast, who starred at third base for the Wildcats before graduating in June, has been named one of 30 finalists for the NCAA's Woman of the Year Award.

Ten women from each of the NCAA's three divisions comprise the top 30, making Bast one of 10 Division I finalists for the award. An initial list of 446 nominees was submitted from schools across the country when the process began in May.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award is based on outstanding achievements in academics, athletics, community service, and leadership. A two-time Capital One Academic All-American in the classroom and an NFCA All-American on the field, Bast's resume shines brightest in community service and leadership.

As part of Northwestern's Undergraduate Leadership Certificate program, Bast created from the ground up an anti-bullying program for local schools called R.O.A.R.R. (Reach Out And Reinforce Respect). Not only was the program wildly successful under Bast's direction, but she created a sustainable model that will ensure its continued implementation in the coming years.

Bast graduated with a degree in learning and organizational change and was recruited to work with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to enhance the body's operations.

"These women are perfect examples of NCAA student-athletes succeeding on the field, in the classroom, and in life," said Gloria Nevarez, NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee chair. "We are impressed by their outstanding achievements, and no matter the paths they take after college, we are confident that they will continue to lead their peers for many years to come."

In late September, three finalists from each division will be selected to form the nine finalists for the award. The 2014 Woman of the Year will be announced at an annual ceremony October 19 in Indianapolis.

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