Santos Named to AP All-America Team…

He may have been born in South America, but Cairo Santos is All-American

The 21-year-old Tulane University kicker, who was born in Brazil and played high school football in Florida, has been named to the Associated Press All-America team.

Cairo Santos

Santos, who claimed the Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Award this past weekend, was named the All-American kicker after making all 21 of his field goal attempts, including a 57-yarder against Rice University to tie a school record.

Santos is the first Green Wave football player to earn the honor since kicker Seth Marler made the first team in 2001, and he’s the 19th football player in Tulane history to make All-American.

Santos Wins Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Award

It’s official… Cairo Santos is the best kicker in college football for the 2012 season.

The 21-year-old Tulane University kicker, who was born in Brazil and played high school football in Florida, has won this year’s Lou Groza Collegiate Place Kicker Award.

Cairo Santos

Santos beat out fellow finalists Dustin Hopkins from Florida State University and Caleb Sturgis from the University of Florida.

Tulane may have gone 2-10 this season, but Santos proved to be incredibly valuable to the Green Wave this season and was one of the team’s few bright spots.

Every time Santos came out to attempt a field goal, he converted. He made all 21 of his attempts, including a 57-yarder against Rice University to tie a school record.

“I just had such a good feeling about the kick … perfect snap, perfect hold, perfect operation,” said Santos about that remarkable kick. “It was amazing, one of the best balls I’ve ever hit in my life.”

In all, Santos has 12 kicks of 40 yards or longer.

Current NFL kickers Sebastian Janikowski, Mike Nugent, Kai Forbath and Dan Bailey are all past winners of the award, and this honor gives Santos an excellent chance to take his career to the next level.

While being a professional kicker is certainly not a stable job, NFL teams always have room for a reliable player with a big leg, and Santos has proven this season that he has both of those qualities.

The Green Wave junior is the second kicker from Tulane to win the honor, joining Seth Marler in 2001.

Latino Educator Receives National Medal of Science…

Renowned mathematician Richard Tapia— a champion of under-represented minorities in the sciences—will receive the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the government on U.S. scientists, engineers and inventors.

The 72-year-old professor of engineering, computing and applied mathematics at Rice University in Houston, along with six other medal recipients, will be honored at a ceremony at the White House later this month.

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In a special statement from the White House, Tapia was cited “for his pioneering and fundamental contributions in optimization theory and numerical analysis and for his dedication and sustained efforts in fostering diversity and excellence in mathematics and science education.”

According to Rice President David Leebron, where Tapia has served as a faculty member since 1970, “he is recognized across the country as the person who has helped countless students, particularly Hispanic and African-American students, overcome obstacles and succeed in graduate studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

The National Medal of Science has been awarded annually since 1959 to those “deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to knowledge in the physical, biological, mathematical, or engineering sciences.” In 1980, the recognition was expanded to include the social and behavioral sciences. To date, 468 distinguished scientists and engineers have received the honor.

Tapia, a Mexican immigrant raised in Los Angeles, was the first in his family to attend college.