The N2 Award
The Naseeruddin-Natalie Award (Lovingly dubbed the “N2 Award”) is presented to the senior gymnast who best embodies the philosophy and values upheld by GymACT. Presented each year to the gymnast who went above and beyond the prowess of a stellar athlete, the N2 recognizes his sportsmanship, community service, leadership or overcoming adversity while maintaining outstanding performance.
2022 N2 Award Winner, Evan Davis receives the trophy from Zach Cipra (2021 N2 recipient)
The N2 award, created and paid for by Dr. Syed Naseeruddin and Dr. Jamie Natalie came to fruition during the 2017-2018 season when it was realized by the organizing physicians that there was a need to recognize the accomplishments of an outstanding senior GymACT (non-varsity) gymnast. These amazing athletes are ineligible for consideration for the Nissen-Emery award due simply to the fact that they are not members of a varsity-level program and are not invited to attend or participate in NCAA level award recognitions.
With the formation of the GymACT conference in 2018, an outstanding Senior GymACT Gymnast trophy is able to be awarded. This trophy is on par with NCAA gymnastics’ highest honor, the Nissen-Emery Award, which has been presented annually to the outstanding Senior NCAA Collegiate Gymnast since 1966.
The Naseeruddin-Natalie Award, also called the N2 Award, would not only honor the GymACT senior gymnast who has established an outstanding record of athletic achievement during his college career; it would recognize sportsmanship, community service, leadership or overcoming adversity while maintaining outstanding performance. More than simply an award for gymnastics excellence, the winner must also meet these requirements:
He must be an example of good sportsmanship and fair play…a champion in defeat as well as in victory.
He should maintain a high standard of scholarship throughout his college career, with a minimum of a B average
He MAY have suffered adversity or personal tragedy which he has managed to overcome without impacting his athletic performance
He MAY have served as a leader either within or outside of gymnastics
He MAY have served as a champion of gymnastics, working within the community or with youth to keep the sport of gymnastics vibrant and vital, spurring grassroots growth.
Gold framed pencil art: Ian Stratton, Springfield College Alumnus
N2 Lapel Pin for all nominees
Silver framed charcoal art: Tory Brown, USAFA MGYM Alumnus
2019- Nathan Tsuji (University of Washington)
2020- James Marden (UIC)
2021- Zach Cipra (NIU)
2021 N2 Award Winner
Zack Cipra - NIU
Dr. Syed Naseeruddin, a walk-on member/manager of the Georgia Tech gymnastics team, started his career in gymnastics photography after being sidelined with a back injury in 1984. He has been attending meets and documenting gymnastics history ever since. After completing medical school followed by a career in the US Air Force, he completed a Family Medicine residency and a Sports Medicine Fellowship. He continues to support gymnastics through his photography and philanthropy. He currently practices Emergency Medicine and resides in Tennessee.
Dr. Jamie Natalie had an illustrious career in gymnastics, graduating from The Ohio State University in 2001 where he was coached by Miles Avery. He has been a two-time All-Around NCAA champion and is the 2001 Nissen-Emery award recipient. He was also an alternate member of the 2000 Olympic team. He retired from gymnastics in 2001 and entered medical school, graduating from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2005. He completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and currently resides in Ohio. The trophy itself was sculpted by Mrs. Ginger Nunnamaker of Center Stage Sculptures, based in Oak Ridge, TN. The trophy is modeled after a composite of Mr. Austin Epperson, a 2017 graduate of the University of Nebraska, and Mr. Colin Van Wicklen, a 2017 graduate of the University of Oklahoma. Both models were photographed by Dr. Naseeruddin.
To help sustain the N2 award in perpetuity, you can donate to the N2 Award fund here, which is part of the Philadelphia Foundation, a 501(c)3