LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - KEENAN AMER OF COLORADO COLLEGE, a senior on the men’s soccer team from Santa Fe, N.M., has been selected the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) Character and Community Male Student Athlete of the Week for the period beginning March 11.
The SCAC Character & Community program honors the efforts of student-athletes who excel in the field of athletics and who serve their campus and community.
From the moment Amer arrived on the CC campus during the fall of 2015, his desire to assist others has been on full display in nearly every facet of his life.
Three days before classes started, the first-year defender set up Tim Huettel’s game-tying goal with a cross in the 86th minute and the Tigers went on to post a 3-2 overtime victory against Carthage College.
A little more than four years later, in his final appearance at Stewart Field, Amer assisted on Jackson Silverstein’s game winner in a 4-0 victory over Schreiner University.
In between those bookend moments, Amer factored in six game-winning goals, was part of 42 shutouts, and led the Tigers in minutes played in three out of four seasons.
He started all 80 games primarily at left back, but his versatility and team-first attitude often meant he was the first player called upon to change positions when the team needed help.
Obviously, Amer was an integral part of men’s soccer program, helping the Tigers post a combined four-year record of 54-16-1.
At the same time, the organismal biology and ecology major with a 3.84 grade-point average displayed a remarkable ability to balance his academic responsibilities and a desire to help others through his research and commitment to community service.
Amer’s service projects include performing ecological restoration at Shook’s Run creek by removing invasive species, the Siberian Elm and Black Locust, near the creek. He volunteered at the Venetucci Farm by weeding and planting native plant species indigenous to the Colorado Springs area, and by planting trees at the CC Farm.
Most importantly, Amer volunteered at Penrose Hospital, first in the Outpatient Recovery Unit and most recently in the Emergency Room on Saturday nights. Those experiences helped solidify his decision to choose medicine as a career path, and follow in the footsteps of his late grandfather, Jules, and father, Lyle, both of whom are doctors.
During the summer prior to his junior year, Amer worked as a research assistant alongside Dr. Eric McCarty, Chief of Sports Medicine Shoulder Surgery at the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine, Orthopedics.
Amer’s duties included analyzing data, running statistics, and writing research papers for submission to peer review journals. Research topics included shoulder reconstruction and ACL surgeries.
He was one of four collaborators on the research paper titled "Manuscript Submission Patterns of Authors Publishing in Orthopedic Sports" that was accepted for publication in The Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine in June 2018.
During Block 3 of the 2017 academic year, Amer performed independent research with Associate Professor Emilie Gray of the Organismal Biology and Ecology department studying the Aedes aegypti mosquito and its reproduction in response to pesticides.
Amer continued to work alongside Gray during the summer and presented his work at the 2018 Colorado College Summer Research Symposium. He recently completed his senior thesis on the Aedes aegypti mosquito and will present the findings at the 2019 Colorado Springs Undergraduate Research Forum in April.
In recognition of his athletic achievements, Amer earned all-conference and all-region accolades on the pitch. In the classroom, he was a two-time member of the CoSIDA Academic all-District team and earned four appearances on the SCAC’s Academic Honor Roll for excellence in the classroom.
At the conclusion of the 2017 season, he earned third-team Scholar All-America honors from the United Soccer Coaches.
Most recently, Amer was named a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which recognizes a select group of student-athletes who excel both academically and athletically. Nationwide across all NCAA divisions, only 29 scholarships are awarded for both men and women from each sports season (fall, winter and spring).
After spending the last four years assisting others, receiving the NCAA Scholarship is a fitting conclusion to Amer’s undergraduate career as well as a much-deserved ‘Thank You’ as he pursues his dream of becoming a doctor.