HAVERFORD, Pa. – Benjamin Frost was honored Thursday evening with the William W. Ambler '45 Award, presented by the Haverford College Department of Athletics to the senior student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average.
Ambler honorees must have participated and started in at least one sport throughout their college career, and have demonstrated commitment, sportsmanship and leadership. Frost is the second consecutive winner of the award from the men's lacrosse team.
Faculty Liaison: David Owens
As it reads in the mission statement, 'The Haverford College Athletic Department is committed to integrating athletics within the educational mission of the College and creating and supporting a culture of success which encourages and supports each student-athlete's pursuit of both academic and athletic excellence.' Following that Division III Philosophy, Benjamin Frost is the epitome of a student-athlete who excels in all aspects of his educational experience.
Well before Frost was conducting research in Haverford's labs or leading the men's lacrosse team to the Centennial Conference playoffs, the 2019 William W. Ambler '45 Award recipient knew exactly what he wanted to get out of his college experience.
"Lacrosse was one of the major factors in my decision to come to Haverford," said Frost. "I dreamt of playing college lacrosse essentially since I started playing in first grade. Haverford gave me the opportunity to play in one of the best conferences in DIII. I was equally attracted to the exceptional academic reputation of the school, and I was particularly impressed by the high rate at which Haverford graduates were accepted to medical school. Finally, I liked the freedom that the Honor Code gave students, and I was interested in joining the community that it helps foster."
When he arrived at Haverford, Frost quickly found his priorities that made him the model student-athlete. "I essentially made school and lacrosse my top two priorities. I quickly learned to take advantage of the time I had to either study or to get better at lacrosse, and that I needed to focus all of my attention on the task I was doing. My coaches and professors were also very accommodating when I had to show up late to practice or leave class early for a game."
That dedication has certainly led to a memorable college experience. On the field, Frost developed from a key reserve in his first-year to the team's top point producer during his sophomore season. Just one year later, Frost was at the forefront of leading the Fords back to the Centennial Conference Tournament for the first time since the 2011 season with a win over Swarthmore during the final game of the 2018 regular season. As Frost explains, "That was a huge victory for our program. I have felt our rivalry grow more intense over the four years that I have been here, and that was the first time that my class beat Swarthmore. Both the team and our fans were ecstatic, and it was really fun to be a part of that game."
However, the lacrosse team's growth with Frost comes as no surprise to first-year head coach Nick Taylor. "It has been my pleasure getting to know Ben this year," said Taylor. "My initial impression of Ben was, this guy is a match up nightmare for opposing teams. As I got to know Ben it was clear that he was much more than a standout lacrosse player. Candidly, Ben is the most talked about player in our program. When I speak to recruits I feel like Ben is the epitome of who you can be at Haverford as a student-athlete. His passion, work ethic, and energy set him apart from many and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to coach Ben in his senior year."
Frost's work in the classroom has gotten equal praise from his professors. Currently, he is working with Karin Akerfeldt – his thesis advisor and a professor of the natural sciences and chemistry. His idea for a thesis came from that dedication to his studies from the moment he stepped on campus. "I have worked in the same laboratory and studied the same material all four years. Before this year, I was mostly focused on characterizing the material's physical properties, which presented some interesting challenges and exposed me to many new experimental techniques. Yet, I am really interested in medicine and in more biologically focused research, which is outside the scope of these physical characterizations. For my thesis, I (with lots of help from my advisor) designed a project to begin to study the viability of applying the material in biomedicine, and I was thus able to study a material I was familiar with in a way that aligned with my interest in medicine."
Professor Akerfeldt commented, "Ben's analytical skills and his ability to focus like a laser on the task at hand are among his many strengths. He doesn't do anything half-hearted and always thinks before he acts. It makes sense to me that one senior research thesis would simply not be enough. Commuting back and forth between Penn and Haverford in order to do a second research thesis in a medical setting has become routine. Ben thrives on being on the run, whether in sports or in the lab!"
In addition to his work in Haverford's labs, Frost also spends a significant portion of his days at the University of Pennsylvania where he works in the research lab for the Department of Hematology/Oncology. His current research at Penn is studying genes that are associated with bone marrow disorders. That research will continue for the next year at Penn while Frost begins to apply to medical school during the upcoming summer.
HAVERFORD COLLEGE Class of 2019 – "Ambler Scholar-Athletes"
In addition to Ambler Award winner Benjamin Frost, 15 of Haverford's most distinguished scholar-athletes (as well as their academic or thesis advisors, coaches, and faculty liaisons) were honored for their own accomplishments and as representatives of the many student-athletes who have excelled during their four years at Haverford.
- Gabriel Braun (men's fencing): Major: Chemistry/Minor: French & Francophone Studies
Advisor: Karin Åkerfeldt; Head Coach: Chris Spencer; Faculty Liaison: Maud McInerney
- Renata DiDonato (women's tennis): Major: Chemistry/Minor: Health Studies
Advisor: Louise Charkoudian; Head Coach: Andrew Cohn; Faculty Liaison: Laura Been
- Sophia Drew (women's cross country/track & field): Majors: Biology & Spanish
Advisor: Graciela Michelotti; Head Coach: Fran Rizzo, Faculty Liaisons: Bruce Partridge & Carola Binder
- Charlotte Eisenberg (field hockey): Major: Mathematics
Advisors: Rebecca Everett & Elizabeth Milićević; Head Coach: Jackie Cox; Faculty Liaison: Erin Schoneveld
- Alison Gibbons (women's lacrosse): Major: Psychology/Minor: Neuroscience
Advisor: Laura Been; Head Coach: Katie Zichelli; Faculty Liaison: Louise Charkoudian
- Macy Goldbach (women's basketball): Major: Chemistry
Advisor: Robert Scarrow; Head Coach: Bobbi Morgan; Faculty Liaison: Kate Heston
- Hannah Krapes (women's soccer): Major: Economics/Minors: Health Studies & Statistics
Advisor: Anne Preston; Head Coach: Jamie Schneck; Faculty Liaison: Ken Koltun-Fromm
- Kirsten Mullin (women's lacrosse): Major: Political Science/Minor: Economics
Advisor: Susanna Wing; Head Coach: Katie Zichelli; Faculty Liaison: Louise Charkoudian
- Natalie Pisch (volleyball): Major: Psychology/Minors: Economics & Neuroscience
Advisor: Laura Been; Head Coach: Drew Hargrave; Faculty Liaison: Jennifer Lilgendahl
- Scott Pollara (men's track & field): Major: Biology/Minor: East Asian Lang. & Cultures
Advisor: Kristen Whalen; Head Coach: Tom Donnelly; Faculty Liaison: Bruce Partridge
- Nathaniel Rolfe (cricket): Major: Chemistry/Minor: Latin
Advisor: Robert Scarrow; Head Coach: Kamran Khan; Faculty Liaison: Saleha Jilani
- Dylan Slack (men's lacrosse): Major: Computer Science
Advisor: Sorelle Friedler; Head Coach: Nick Taylor; Faculty Liaison: David Owens
- Sarah Svetec (women's lacrosse): Major: Psychology/Minor: Health Studies
Advisor: Benjamin Le; Head Coach: Katie Zichelli; Faculty Liaison: Louise Charkoudian
- Nicholas Sweeney (men's tennis): Major: Astrophysics/Minor: Philosophy
Advisor: Daniel Grin; Head Coach: Brendan Kincaid; Faculty Liaison: Saleha Jilani
- Gregory Van Aken (men's track & field): Major: Chemistry/Minor: Computer Science
Advisor: Joshua Schrier; Head Coach: Tom Donnelly; Faculty Liaison: Bruce Partridge
Notes About Haverford College's 2019 Ambler-Scholar Athletes
- 15 different teams represented
- 9 different majors and 9 different minors
- 9 different states represented
- 54 combined Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll selections
- 16 combined All-Centennial Conference honors
- 16 National Championship Appearances
- Every single student-athlete recipient has competed in a postseason event at least once; women's basketball won 2019 Centennial Conference Championship (Goldbach - Tournament MVP); Cricket won 2018 Philadelphia Intercollegiate Championship
- Team Captains: 11 of the 16 recipients
- Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area: Frost (twice), Drew, Gibbons, Slack
- Centennial Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Year: Frost, Gibbons
- 2016 Archibald MacIntosh Award Winner: Braun
- 11 of our 16 recipients are still competing in a spring sport