NEW ORLEANS – The Sun Belt Conference announced Wednesday the seven student-athletes who have been selected as 2018 Sun Belt Conference Postgraduate Award recipients. The Male and Female Postgraduate Award recipients will receive a $6,500 scholarship sent to their postgraduate school while five other award recipients will receive a $3,000 scholarship.

Georgia State's Kristin Hawkins (Softball) and Jad Elkhalil (Men's Soccer) were both selected as recipients.

Kristin Hawkins had a breakout season in 2018 after suffering multiple injuries in her first three years at Georgia State. In 2018, she started 49 games, primarily at third base, and totaled 15 RBI and 14 runs scored while hitting .268. Hawkins launched two home runs, the first two of her career, and tallied the first triple of her career during the season.

Her nine doubles ranked third on the team and her 10 sacrifice bunts led GSU. At third base, Hawkins was one of GSU’s top defenders, making highlight reel plays at the hot corner. She has also been a role model in the classroom as she was honored to the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-District 4 Team in May after compiling a 4.06 GPA.

She started 19 games and appeared in 34 in 2017, committing only three errors that season at third base while recording 22 putouts and five assists. Hawkins was named to Georgia State’s President’s List every semester at except for one, a testament to her hard work in the classroom.

Hawkins is a Lawrenceville, Ga., native.

Jad Elkhalil played in 57 matches during his time with Georgia State men’s soccer, netting eight career goals for the Panthers. Elkhalil took 76 shots during that time with nearly all of them on target. Originally from Beruit, Lebanon, he has been named to the Dean’s List at Georgia State seven times and the Commissioner's List once.

Elkhalil was a Top-20 Arthur Ashe, Jr., Sports Scholar Award semifinalist in 2017, and is active in the community both locally and abroad. The marketing major mentors underprivileged children in the Atlanta area, giving them an opportunity to pursue soccer where they otherwise may not have one.

Elkhalil has raised $22,000 to help fund service trips to Honduras, where he acted as a translator and shadowed doctors. He was the Vice President of GSU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council and the school’s chapter of Global Medical Brigades as he aspires to become a heart surgeon.

Following his junior year, he was named to the Sun Belt Conference Leadership Team for representing the highest qualities of a student-athlete.

The scholarships are awarded to selected student-athletes with stated intentions to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Those honored have performed with distinction both in the classroom and in their respective sport.

The recipients are selected by the Sun Belt Postgraduate Scholarship Committee, which is comprised of Sun Belt Faculty Athletic Representatives.