Cornell’s Voorheis wins on, off the ice, tabbed 2017 Sarah Devens Award winner

Paula Voorheis ( Cornell - 31). (Shelley M. Szwast)
Paula Voorheis set a Cornell NCAA-era record with 2,238 career saves and was heavily involved in the community during her college career (photo: Shelley M. Szwast).

Cornell senior goaltender Paula Voorheis has been named the winner of the 2017 Sarah Devens Award.

Given as a joint award between ECAC Hockey and Hockey East, the award is presented annually to a player who “demonstrates leadership and commitment both on and off the ice.” The award is named in honor of former Dartmouth Big Green player Sarah Devens, who died in 1995 prior to her senior year.

Each conference submitted a league nominee for consideration. The winner receives a post-graduate scholarship of $10,000.

Voorheis, a Biology and Society major, is the second Big Red student-athlete to receive the award since its inception, as Dianna Bell was tabbed with the honor in 2002. She has been a model leader both on and off the ice having a major impact on the program.

Recently named the ECAC Hockey Mandi Schwartz Student-Athlete of the Year, Voorheis continued her success in and out the classroom. At one of the most competitive academic institutions in the country, she has earned a 3.83 GPA, which includes multiple 4.00 GPAs or higher (the most recent of which occurrent in the fall of 2016) and made her part of Cornell’s 400 Club.

Voorheis enjoyed a stellar senior season between the pipes for the Big Red, recording the second-best single season save percentage in program history (.944), while registering a record of 10-8-3 with two shutouts. She posted career-bests in both save percentage and GAA (1.59) marks that ranked third and eighth in the nation, respectively. Voorheis became the second goaltender in Big Red history to reach the 2,000 career save mark on Jan. 21 against St. Lawrence and finished her career with 2,238, which is an NCAA-era record at Cornell.

Off the ice, assisted with the Cub Club (the team’s ‘Big Sister’ program) and has worked on such events as the team’s Do It for Daron initiative, encouraging people to consider the emotional and mental well-being of others through conversation and support and to entice conversation about youth mental health to help challenge the mental illness stigma.

In addition, Voorheis worked on a service project called Bridges to Community at Cornell. The organization embarked on a service trip during Spring Break to assist communities in Nicaragua. She has also taken part in various research projects on campus, including one for the National Institution of Health and Food and Drug Administration, examining the impact of warning labels on cigarette packages among youth and adult smokers, especially in vulnerable low-income and low-education populations. This included coding data, recruiting participants and the development program’s mobile research unit which is equipped with eye-tracking technology targeting over 4,000 individuals in cities and rural areas across New York State.

Voorheis served as a teaching assistant during her senior year at Cornell, assisting in a course that integrated physical engineering sciences with biological and social sciences for the design of sustainable systems. Her main tasks included leading discussion sections, organizing course materials, grading assignments and reviewing objectives with faculty members.

The 2016 winner of the Sarah Devens Award was Brown defenseman Alison Rolandelli.


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