BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Feb. 5, 2019 – Wisconsin senior Annie Pankowski was announced as one of five finalists for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award, the Hockey Humanitarian Award Foundation revealed Tuesday.
Presented annually since 1996, the Hockey Humanitarian Award recognizes a deserving male or female college hockey student-athlete who makes significant contributions to his or her team and the community-at-large through leadership in volunteerism.
"I want to congratulate Annie on her selection as a finalist for the 2019 Hockey Humanitarian Award," WCHA women's commissioner and vice president Katie Million said. "Annie's selection highlights the importance the WCHA places on personal growth and service to others. She is one of numerous student-athletes in the WCHA who willingly and actively give their time and effort to worthy causes on their campuses and in their communities."
A two-time Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award top-10 finalist, Pankowski has made a huge mark on the program as she ranks in the top-10 in almost every offensive category at UW. But she has also made a tremendous mark off the ice, volunteering with Occupaws, an organization that trains guide dogs in Wisconsin. For most months of the year, Pankowski takes in a puppy and helps prepare it for its future role as a guide dog, taking it wherever she goes while balancing a busy academic and athletic schedule. She has volunteered more than 2000 hours with Occupaws while also finding time to volunteer at the UW Comparative Orthopedic Research Laboratory and in several different Badgers Give Back programs.
Her work ethic, determination and dedication has been noticed by her teammates as she was named a co-captain this year as they believe those traits rub off on the team. The 2016 NCAA Elite 90 Award recipient, Pankowski, a zoology major, is a three-time WCHA Scholar Athlete recipient and plans to attend veterinary school after her time at UW.
Joining Pankowski as a finalist this year are four men's collegiate student-athletes including fellow Badger Jake Bunz, Cam Beecy of Norwich (Vt.), Tommy Parran of Ohio State and Luke Rivera of SUNY-Fredonia (N.Y.).
Finalists for the Hockey Humanitarian Award will be announced in February. The 2019 recipient will be honored in a ceremony on Friday, April 12 during the NCAA Men's Frozen Four weekend in Buffalo, N.Y.