Educating a diverse population in the liberal arts

For personal, professional and global responsibility

In the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame

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Notre Dame College women’s soccer standout Norah Barnes ’19 has been named one of the top 30 finalists for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

The top 30 were selected from an initial pool of 585 student-athlete nominees that were narrowed down by conference offices and a selection committee to move forward with 151 nominees considered for the top 30. The top 30 honorees were then named by the Woman of the Year selection committee. The announcement was made by NCAA offices in Indianapolis on September 10.

Barnes is the first to represent Notre Dame in the top 30 and the first to represent the Mountain East Conference.

“Each level I advanced in this process was not only surprising, but incredibly humbling,” Barnes said. “To believe that I could represent a school and program that did so much for me is a true honor that my family and I will always cherish.”

Honors Graduate

She was a mathematics major with a financial services management minor at Notre Dame and started all 17 games as a midfielder in 2018. She started all 77 games throughout her career as a Falcon and ranks second in career starts in College history. She also ranked in the top 10 in career minutes and shot attempts.

Barnes earned the Honors Scholar distinction at Notre Dame with a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average. She is pursuing a career in actuarial science and accepted a full-time position as an actuarial analyst at Westfield Insurance prior to graduating from the College in May 2019.

“I have had the pleasure of both teaching and advising Norah during her time here at NDC,” said Donna Morlani, assistant professor of mathematics at Notre Dame, who nominated Barnes for the honor. “Norah is one of the brightest, most driven and personable students, I have ever had. Her work ethic is second to none. She works hard on every problem, on every assignment, in every class always. She works to truly understand and not just get it done. She asks questions, works well with others and spends countless hours helping out her peers.”

Soccer Standout

Several times throughout her career, Barnes was recognized for her accomplishments both on and off the field. She was named Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) as a sophomore, junior and senior. She was named Third Team Academic All-American in 2017 before becoming the program’s first First Team Academic All-American in 2018. CoSIDA’s academic honors balance both grade-point average and on-field performance, making the award one of the most prestigious in college athletics.

“We couldn’t be more excited for Norah,” said Mike Shiels Notre Dame women’s soccer head coach. “She was one of the hardest workers we’ve had and took advantage of every opportunity presented to her. She is truly deserving and has always been a tremendous representative of Notre Dame College, the athletic department and the women’s soccer program.”

Woman of the Year

“Norah exemplifies what we all want our Falcon student-athletes to be: a superior athlete on the field and an exceptional student in the classroom,” said Notre Dame Director of Athletics Scott Swain. “Norah was a wonderful student-athlete, but she is also an awesome human being. I am so happy that she is receiving this recognition that she so justly deserves.”

In October 2019, the selection committee will announce the nine finalists, made up of three women from each NCAA division. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year. The Top 30 will be celebrated, and the Woman of the Year will be named, on October 20 at a ceremony in Indianapolis.

“Although Norah was an amazing athlete here and the strongest of academic students, I will remember her for her sweet disposition, the kindness she always showed to others and her big heart,” Morlani added. “Norah always gives her all be it on the field, in the classroom or in life in general. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

September 2019

About Notre Dame College

For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Hallmarks of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff, and small class sizes.

Notre Dame College is located at 4545 College Road in South Euclid. For further information contact Brian Johnston, chief communications officer, at 216.373.5252 or