Howard, Ross Announced as Nominees for Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

CHARLOTTE, NC - Winston-Salem State University seniors Nyla Howard and Justin Ross were announced among 24 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) men's and women's student-athletes as candidates for the 2020-21 Lowe's CIAA Senior CLASS Award©. An anacronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School©, the award recognizes the total student-athlete and encourages student leaders to use their platform in athletics to positively impact their communities.

Each of the nominees must be classified as a senior has made notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character, and competition. Voting for the 2020-21 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award can be done at

"The Lowe's CIAA Senior CLASS Award shows the company's continued commitment to support the CIAA mission while showcasing our student-athletes through community, classroom, character and competition," said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. "Their involvement on our campuses, and seeking opportunities to expand the program, helps us to recognize and celebrate the overall academic and athletic NCAA Division II student-athlete experience and the BEST IN CLASS."

Rams' softball senior Nyla Howard earned the nomination after a successful four-year career at Winston-Salem State University. She is a CIAA all-conference selection and she earned a spot on the CIAA All-Rookie team as a true freshman.  She was also a starter on the Rams' 2019 CIAA Softball Championship team. In addition to her efforts on the diamond, she also made some great accomplishments in the classroom where she earned a spot on the Winston-Salem State University Dean's List six times during her academic career. She has also made a terrific impact in the Winston-Salem, N.C. community, including several initiatives at local elementary schools.

Rams' men's basketball senior Justin Ross has had an equally impressive career as well. He has been one of the top academic performers at Winston-Salem State University throughout his career. He has earned the Athletic Director's Cup for the highest student-athlete grade-point average at Winston-Salem State University in back-to-back years. In the community, he has been a part of several service initiatives, including assisting at the Trinity Glenn Adult Care Center and the Project Red H.E.A.R.T.  As a teammate, he earned the Outstanding Teammate Award for his calming presence and willingness to provide advice to teammates at every turn. His efforts helped the Rams to claim the 2019 Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Men's Basketball Championship.

Lowe's is a proud partner of the CIAA and supports the conference's mission and values in helping student-athletes reach their full potential in both competition and the surrounding community. Award winners will be determined through a three-pronged balloting system that includes CIAA fans, media members representing the conference and other HBCU's, and the CIAA Management Council.

Fan balloting will take place from March 3 - April 4, 2021 at, the award website that contains information about each candidate and the program. The overall male and female winners will be announced later in April and presented with the prestigious Senior CLASS Award trophy.

For more information on Winston-Salem State University athletics, contact the WSSU Office of Athletic Media Relations at (336) 750-2143 or log on to