|Awards and Academics » Emerson Excellence Award Winners|
MVC Announces Emerson Post-Graduate Scholarship Winners
Jenny Van Kirk of Bradley University and Scott Keeney of Indiana State University have been named 2010 Missouri Valley Conference female and male postgraduate scholarship "Emerson Excellence Award" winners, respectively, commissioner Doug Elgin has announced. The Missouri Valley Conference Faculty Athletics Representatives Committee voted to award postgraduate scholarships to both Van Kirk and Keeney, due to their exemplary academic and athletic performances. Both student-athletes will receive a $10,000 postgraduate scholarship from the Conference.
The only Bradley women's basketball player to start all 31 games this past season, Van Kirk helped the Braves to their first-ever postseason tournament, a second-round showing in the Women's Basketball Invitational. Sporting a perfect 4.0 GPA in an individualized major program geared toward medical school preparation, Van Kirk was a candidate for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award and earned first-team status on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District V and MVC Scholar-Athlete Teams. She is the second player in program history to twice earn a spot on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District V team. She was recently selected to the 2010 Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association Scholar-Athlete Team for the second-straight season.
Van Kirk, a native of Waconia, Minn., was a three-year starter and two-time team captain. At the 2010 Bradley women's basketball post-season banquet, she was named the squad's Most Valuable Player in addition to garnering the Positive Mental Attitude Award. Van Kirk was fourth on the team in scoring at 6.3 points per game and was second on the team in rebounding at 5.0 boards per game. She was a three-time MVC scholar-athlete selection, taking first-team honors in 2010. A three-time recipient of Bradley's Carl Grose Service Award, Van Kirk also boasts a lengthy list of volunteer service activities. Notably, she volunteered more than 100 hours in various intensive care units, as well as the emergency room, at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center the last two summers. She was a co-recipient of the 2010 Charles Orsborn Award, which is presented annually to the senior Bradley University student-athlete who best combines athletic and academic success with community service.
Keeney, who holds a 3.96 cumulative grade point average in mathematics, while minoring in chemistry. He recently received Indiana State's Presidential Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, which recognizes athletic accomplishments, academic achievements, qualities of leadership and service to the University and the community. This award also distinguishes an individual who will use the experiences of intercollegiate athletics participation to make a positive contribution to his and her profession and the community. In 2008, he was honored as Indiana State's Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
Keeney was the first-ever Indiana State cross country male to earn first-team all-MVC four-straight years (2006-09), and he was a three-time MVC scholar-athlete selection, twice earning ESPN The Magazine all-district honors, while earning NCAA Cross Country Academic All-America honors in 2008. A three-time team captain and two-time team MVP, he has twice earned the Indiana State cross country team Leadership Award, while helping Indiana State to two MVC team cross country titles in his four years. A member of the MVC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (treasurer), Keeney has spent the past year working as a House Nursing Assistant at Union Hospital in Terre Haute and has also volunteered at St. Ann's Clinic -- a clinic established for individuals with low income or no health insurance.
To be eligible for consideration, recipients must have achieved a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.00, participated with distinction in a Missouri Valley Conference championship sport for at least two seasons at the nominating institution and must graduate from their institutions within 18 months following selection at the spring meetings of the Faculty Athletics Representative Committee.
Also, the recipients must be accepted for postgraduate studies at an institution of higher learning at the time of receipt of the scholarship. And, the recipients must have completed eligibility for participation in intercollegiate athletics in the academic year in which nominated.