BRIDGEPORT, Pa. -- The Collegiate Water Polo Association (CWPA) mourns the loss of former Director of Membership Services and Knox College water polo alum Lexie Kamerman following a terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan last evening.
Employed as a Student Development Specialist at American University in Kabul, Afghanistan since June, she was killed at a Lebanse restaurant, Taverna du Liban, as a suicide attacker detonated his explosives at the gate of the restaurant in the evening. Two armed men rushed in and opened fire at patrons, many of them from overseas, said Afghanistan Deputy Interior Minister Mohammed Ayoub Salangi.
There were 13 foreigners in total among the 21 dead, including four women, the Afghan Interior Ministry said. Eight Afghans were killed in the attack, including one woman. Two other people were wounded.
"We are devastated by the news," American University President Michael Smith said in a prepared statement. "Our deepest sympathies go out to the families and to the AUAF community."
The university said it was planning a memorial service and moment of silence.
"Such senseless violence flies in the face of the sentiments of our students and the Afghan people who share our grief," Smith said. "We will pause to honor the courageous service of our colleagues as we continue to provide the high quality university education for which our students are so grateful."
Prior to joining the staff at American University, Kamerman worked as the Assistant Director of Resident Life at Elon University in Elon, N.C. from June 2012-to-June 2013 after graduating from the University of Arizona in 2012 with a Masters of Arts in Higher Education. While at Arizona, she served as a graduate assistant in the club sports office during the 2010-11 academic year before joining the Resident Life staff as the Graduate Community Coordinator for the 2011-12 academic year.
"The CWPA family lost a wonderful person in Lexie and we are all grieving at this point," said league commissioner Dan Sharadin. "It is difficult to get your mind around such a senseless tragedy."
"Her friendship and personality had such an impact on me, as well as the rest of the staff, not only while she was here (in Bridegport), but when she was at the University of Arizona as well."
"Our prayers and condolences are with her family, friends and her past teammates at Knox College."
Named the Director of Membership Services at the CWPA during the Summer of 2008, the Chicago native served in the position until June 2010 when she left to pursue a Masters Degree in Higher Education at Arizona.
A four-year All-Heartland Division selection on the Knox College (Galseburg, Ill.) co-ed and women's club water polo teams in the CWPA, she earned first team All-Conference honors in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and was named an honorable mention selection on the 2007 National Collegiate Club All-America team.
She came to the league with past experience in collegiate event administration as she served as team captain of the Knox co-ed and women's teams during the 2007-08 academic year. Further, she served as a member of the league's administrative staff at the 2008 CWPA Women's Championship at the University of Michigan in May, 2008 assisting in merchandising and customer relations.
A 2004 graduate of the Latin School (Chicago, Ill.) and a three-time Illinois All-Conference selection (2001, 2003-04), she helped the Romans to Top 20 rankings in Illinois from 2001 through 2004. As a senior in 2004, she earned Illinois All-State and Most Valuable Player honors in leading Latin to second in the state sectional tournament.
An active member of the Pi Beta Phi fraternity while at Knox, she served in various administrative roles including the Policy and Standards (2005, 2006) and Leadership and Nominating (2008) committees. In 2007, she was elected Vice President of Fraternity Development for the Illinois Beta-Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Phi overseeing the history and traditions of the fraternity branch.
Active in community service in Chicago and Galesburg with Hands Without Guns (2003), St. Peter's Soup Kitchen (2003), Praireland Animal Welfare Shelter (2005-08) and Special Olympics Polar Plunge (2006-08), she also assisted in the post-Katrina clean-up in the Gulf Coast traveling to New Orleans (La.) in Spring 2006 to assist in community work and the demolition of uninhabitable houses in the wake of the hurricane.
A 2008 graduate of Knox College with dual Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology/Sociology and Environmental Studies, she received the 2007 Richter Grant for Student Research in addition to earning Creative Writing and Founders Scholarships from 2004 through 2008. In addition, the Chicago native studied abroad at University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania during the summer and fall of 2006. While in Tanzania, she studied human evolution, ecology, Kiswahili and conducted research on tourism.
Her family released this statement via an email from Kamerman's aunt Julie Pfeffer:
"First of all the world called her Lexie-
She was an amazing young woman –smart, strong, beautiful, funny, stubborn and kind. And fearless.
She took the job at the American University of Afghanistan to help the young women of Afghanistan get an education and take their rightful place as leaders in Afghan society.
As you could probably guess, Her death is a shock to us all and we can't imagine a moment going forward when she won't be desperately missed."