Thursday, May 22, 2008 | Athletics
MVC Recognizes State Farm MVC Good Neighbor Award Recipients

In an effort to honor model student-athletes, the Missouri Valley Conference has partnered with State Farm Insurance in creating the MVC Good Neighbor Award.  Ten student-athletes have been named by Commissioner Doug Elgin as the honorees for this spring.

The honorees include Eitan Barbalat, Bradley; Shelby Takeshita, Creighton; Olivia Lansing, Drake; Katherine Shoener, Evansville; Tiffany Prager, Illinois State; Kyle Walsh, Indiana State; Chris Playter, Missouri State; Chris Lawson, Northern Iowa; Mark Kelly, Southern Illinois; and Krista Hrdlicka, Wichita State.

In order to be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must be in good academic standing, must demonstrate good citizenship through good sportsmanship and significant community service, and must participate in a sport, during the season of recognition.   The Valley will recognize 10 student-athletes three times annually (fall, winter, spring), for a total of 30 honorees.  Institutions select their Good Neighbor Award honorees.

Eitan Barbalat, Bradley, Sr., Baseball
• 2008 Candidate for the Lowe’s Senior Class Award
• 2008 Inductee into the Phi Kappa Bradley University Academic Hall of Fame
• 2007 1st Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American
• 2007 1st Team ESPN the Magazine Academic All District
• 4.0 GPA Cell & Molecular Biology Major• 2007-08 MVC State Farm Just Read Program
• 2006-08 Buddy with the Braves Mentor Program
• 2007-08 Vice President of Mortar Board
• 2007-08 Serves as student representative on the Peoria United Way Board of Directors and also on United Way Youth Committee
• Member of LINCS-(Leaders Instilling Knowledge through Cooperative Service)-a capstone program for seniors who are interested in leadership and community involvement after graduation
• 2006-07 OSF Medical Center-volunteered for 6 months in the emergency room

Shelby Takeshita, Creighton, So., Women's Crew
• 3.73 GPA
• Dean’s List 3 semesters
• 2007-08 recipient of D.J. Hero’s Award.  The award is given to a male and female athlete who was the top community service volunteer. 
• Completed 220 hours of community service (Creighton University Medical Center, Campfire USA, Habitat for Humanity, Latino Students Association, Jay Jamboree, Austin Parks Department, and Hui O’ Hawaii)

Olivia Lansing, Drake, So., Women's Golf
• 3.52 GPA
• Journalism Major
• Volunteers for the Drake Athletic Creative services team
• Tutors underprivileged students
• Assisting with the development NCAA track and field championship designs
• Volunteers at the Senior Citizen Center

Katherine Shoener, Evansville, Sr., Women's Golf
• 3.492 GPA
• Dean’s List 4 times
• Accounting Club President
• Read Across America
• Healthier Evansville
• SAAC Rep
• Toys for Tots
• MVC State Farm Just Read Program Participant
• United Caring Shelter Volunteer
• Pen Pal with Elementary School
• Youth Clinic Volunteer
• Boo at the Zoo Volunteer

Tiffany Prager, Illinois State, Sr., Softball
• 3.64 GPA
• Business Administration Major
• 2007 State Farm Academic Excellence Good Neighbor Award
• 2007 MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team
• 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All District V
• 2007 Prairie Farm /MVC Female Athlete of the Week
• AFNI Athletics Honor Roll (Every Semester)
• MVC State Farm Just Read Program
• Reggie Fun Zone
• American Red Cross Evening with the Stars
• Katrina Relief Program
• Habitat for Humanity
• SAAC Member

Kyle Walsh, Indiana State, Sr., Men's Track
• 3.91 Cumulative GPA
• 4.0 GPA 4 semesters in a row
• 2007-08 Paul Wolf PE Scholarship
• Dean’s List every year
• 2005-07 MVC Scholar-Athlete Team
• 2006-07 MVC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award
• AD Honor Roll every semester
• 2006-07 Presidential Scholar-Athlete Nominee
• Verizon Scholar-Athlete every year
• Happiness Bag Volunteer
• Children’s Ministries at Oakbrook Community Church
• Volunteer Assistant with Western High School Cross Country Team
• Lighthouse Mission Volunteer
• Red Cross Volunteer during the Christmas season
• Boys and Girls Club Volunteer
• Mentor to Freshmen Student-Athletes

Chris Playter, Missouri State, Sr., Baseball
• 3.81 GPA
• Dean’s List for 7 semesters
• Member of Honors College
• Presidential Scholarship Recipient
• MVC State Farm Just Read Program Participant
• Adopt-A-Street
• Baseball Youth Clinic
• Youth Autograph Day for Local Benefit
• Participated in Celebrity Day-Local Elementary School
• Assisted with Habitat for Humanity
• Assisted with Adopt-A-Family
• Assisted with Games at Bass Pro Rock n’ Ribs

Chris Lawson, Northern Iowa, Sr., Men's Track
• Marketing Major
• Pi Sigma Epsilon (Marketing) and Rho Epsilon member
• Created and participated in Panther Book Club-read 5 books with Lincoln Elementary School and then give books to the kids
• Collected $600 for purchasing Christmas presents for families in Waterloo
• 2004-06 collected shampoos, conditioners, etc. for the Battered Women’s Shelter
• MVC State Farm Just Read Participant
• Volunteered at running camps
• Spoke against drug use in the Cedar Valley elementary schools during red ribbon week

Mark Kelly, Southern Illinois, Jr., Baseball
• 2007 James Mundo Baseball Memorial Award
• 2007 MVC All Academic First Team
• 2006 Saluki Scholar-Athlete
• 2005, 2007 Trick or Treat for Can Good
• MVC State Farm Just Read Program Participant
• 2006-07 Santa’s Shoebox
• 2007 Homecoming Decoration Volunteer
• 2007 Red Ribbon Week Speaker
• 2007 Jonesboro School Saluki Day Speaker
• 2007 Women’s Center Christmas Party Volunteer
• 2007 Boys and Girls Club Halloween Carnival Volunteer & Programmer
• 2008 Saluki Kids Night Out

Krista Hrdlicka, Wichita State, Jr., Women's Golf
• 3.512 GPA Secondary Education/History and Government Major
• Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
• Heartspring “Pedalfest”
• Fellowship of Christian Leadership Camp
• “Rock with the Shocks” Character Education Workshop
• Reading at elementary school