Kelsey (Kittleson) Millonig earned the woman of the year award. (Photo courtesy Luther College)
Kelsey (Kittleson) Millonig earned the woman of the year award. (Photo courtesy Luther College)
Former Luther softball player Kelsey (Kittleson) Millonig has been named the Duane Schroeder IIAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2011-12 academic year.

University of Dubuque football player Michael Sweifel was the male recipient.

"Exceptional student-athletes make the Iowa Conference exceptional," said Iowa Conference Commissioner Chuck Yrigoyen. "Once again, we had an incredible list of candidates for our conference's most prestigious honor. Luther's Kelsey (Kittleson) Millonig and Dubuque's Michael Zweifel earned the vote of our faculty athletics representatives after careers that saw them shine not just within the league and regionally, but nationally as well. It's hard to imagine a duo from the same league with the kind of impact Kelsey and Michael had, and we are in awe of their accomplishments."

A little about Millonig

Millonig graduated Summa Cum Laude in May 2012 after posting a 4.00 grade point average while majoring in biology. She was named to the Dean's List in seven of eight semesters, earning induction into Phi Beta Kappa as a senior as well as an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Additionally, Millonig was a two-time first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American, being named the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for College Division softball in 2011 and Division III softball in 2012. She was also a three-time recipient of the NCAA Elite 88/89 Award, presented to the participant with the highest grade-point average at an NCAA Championship finals site, and holds the distinction of being the first individual to receive the award three times in the same sport. She was named an NFCA Scholar-Athlete four times and was a three-time honoree on the Iowa Conference All-Academic Team. Finally, Millonig was the Iowa Conference's nominee for the 2012 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, finishing as a national finalist and one of the top three nominees in NCAA Division III. She is currently working as an emergency medical technician in Cresco and will begin the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (D.P.M.) program at Des Moines University in the fall.

On the softball field, Millonig was a two-time first-team all-Iowa Conference selection that played on Luther softball teams that won two Iowa Conference titles (2011-2012), two IIAC Tournament titles (2010, 2011) and participated in four NCAA Regionals, winning three (2010, 2011, 2012) to advance to the NCAA Division III Championship finals. She was also a two-time all-region selection (2011-second team, 2012-first team) and a 2012 NFCA Division III Second Team All-American. Millonig, who was a utility player as a freshman and started a first base as sophomore and at catcher as a junior and senior, concluded her career ranking third in Norse softball history in putouts (868) and fielding percentage (.990), fourth in batting average (.378), fifth in RBI (126), sixth in hits (160), seventh in home runs (20) and 10th in at-bats (423).

With this announcement, Millonig becomes the fifth Luther student-athlete to be awarded this prestigious honor since the inception of this award in 2000-01. Previous IIAC Scholar-Athletes include Johanna Olson (2000-01), cross country and track, Garrett South (2004-05), wrestling, Adam Bohach (2006-07), cross country and track, and Alec Bonander (2008-09) wrestling.

Kittleson (Millonig), a 2008 graduate of St. Ansgar High School, is the daughter of Barry and Pam Kittleson of St. Ansgar. She is married to Jharred Millonig and resides in Grafton.