Tuesday, February 26, 2013 | Athletics
MVC Leadership & Service Winter Awards Announced

In an effort to honor the achievements of exceptional student-athletes, the Missouri Valley Conference has created the MVC Leadership & Service Award (formerly the Good Neighbor Award).  Ten student-athletes have been named by Commissioner Doug Elgin as the honorees for the 2012-13 winter season.

This year’s winter honorees include Michelle Young, Bradley, Women's Basketball, Sophomore; Ally Jensen, Creighton, Women's Basketball, Senior; Cara Lutes, Drake, Women's Basketball, Sophomore; Taylor Ware, Evansville, Women's Basketball, Senior; Cecilia Holmes, Illinois State, Swimming & Diving, Sophomore; Rachael Johnson, Indiana State, Indoor Track & Field, Junior; Jared Roberts, Missouri State, Men's Swimming & Diving, Junior; Riley Banach, UNI, Wrestling, Junior; Melissa Larocque, Southern Illinois, Women's Swimming & Diving, Senior; Chynna Turner, Wichita State, Women's Basketball, Senior.

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 MVC Leadership & Service Award honorees.

Michelle Young, Bradley, Women's Basketball, Sophomore

  • Athletic Director's Honor Roll (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012)
  • Dean's List (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012)
  • MVC Honor Roll (Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012)
  • SAAC Women's Basketball representative
  • 2012 WALK MS Peoria participant
  • Pen-Pal Program with 3rd grade class at Rankin Elementary School
  • 2012 & 2013 Student-Athlete Day Planning Committee
  • 2012-13 Ethnic & Diversity Athletics Committee Member
  • Student-athlete representative at Bradley University Board of Trustees meeting

Ally Jensen, Creighton, Women's Basketball, Senior

  • 2012-13 MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week (Jan. 8)
  • 2011-12 MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention
  • 2011-12 National Academic All-Jesuit Women's Basketball Team
  • Dean's List (2010-11 & 2011-12)
  • Friends of Jaclyn
  • Abide Network
  • Siena Francis House
  • Boy Scouts volunteer
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation
  • Hope Center for Kids
  • Omaha Area School Visits
  • Together Inc. volunteer
  • Bluejay Jamboree volunteer

Cara Lutes, Drake, Women's Basketball, Sophomore

  • Student-Athlete 3.0 Recognition (Fall '11, Spring '12, Fall '12)
  • Dean's 4.0 List (Spring '12, Fall '12)
  • Women's Basketball Team Community Service Coordinator
  • Boys and Girls Club volunteer
  • Girl Scout volunteer
  • Volunteer work with InterVarsity at Salvation Army
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Western Iowa Facebook page coordinator/volunteer
  • FCA Student Leader
  • Seeds of Success (Middle school outreach)

Taylor Ware, Evansville, Women's Basketball, Senior

  • 3.725 GPA in Mechanical Engineering
  • Dean's List (five consecutive terms)
  • Athletic Honor Roll
  • Academic Excellence Recognition Breakfast Invitee
  • Missouri Valley Honor Roll (2009-10, 2010-11)
  • James M. Hall, Jr. Outstanding Engineering Student Scholarship Award
  • 2012 MVC Women's Basketball Scholar Athlete - Second Team
  • 2011-12 Member of the UE Student Launch Initiative Rocket Team
  • Susan G Komen Race for the Cure (four years)
  • United Way Day of Caring (four years)
  • Main Street Trick or Treat (four years)
  • SAAC Monster Mash (three years)
  • Mesker Park Zoo - Boo at the Zoo (two years)
  • Riley's Children Hospital
  • Habitat for Humanity - Women's Build
  • Family Day in the Park
  • Family Fun Night
  • Adopt a Family
  • Hebron school Walk-a-thon (two years)
  • Lincoln Elementary School mentoring program
  • Just Read Program
  • Dogs N Suds Event
  • YMCA 15K Run/Walk
  • Lose the Training Wheels Program with children

Cecilia Holmes, Illinois State, Women's Swimming & Diving, Sophomore

  • 3.10 GPA
  • Honor Roll (Fall '11, Spring '12)
  • College Swim Coaches Association of America Scholar-Athlete Team
  • SAAC Representative (2012-13)
  • Diversity Advocacy
  • Recess Buddies
  • Reggie Fun Zone
  • SAAC Trick or Treat
  • Hudson Family Reading Night
  • Taste of Redbirds
  • Special Olympics
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Diversity Advocacy Kick Off

Rachael Johnson, Indiana State, Indiana State, Junior

  • Majoring in Business - Financial Services
  • Athletic Director Honor Roll
  • Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society Member
  • Dean's List
  • SAAC Vice President
  • MVC Female SAAC Representative
  • Race for the Cure participant
  • NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship Special Olympics Event
  • Indiana Special Olympics
  • Vigo County School Corporation Backpack Program - Appointed Section Leader
  • Terre Haute Women's Club Pack the Bus Program - Appointed Section Leader
  • Habitat for Humanity - Coordinated talent show
  • Catholic Charities - helped collect more than 16,000 pounds of canned goods
  • March of Dimes - Grant writer for and assisted in the planning and execution of Sycamore Parents Night Out
  • Ryves Hall Youth Center - Raised funds at numerous Indiana State University sporting events
  • Indiana State University Athletics Academic Enrichment Center Student Assistant

Jared Roberts, Missouri State, Men's Swimming & Diving, Junior

  • Athletic Director's Honor Roll (Fall '10, Spring '11, Fall '11, Spring '12, Fall '12)
  • Missouri State Dean's List (Fall '11)
  • Mid-American Conference Academic All-MAC Team 2012
  • Meals-A-Million Volunteer
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringer
  • Halloween in the Halls Volunteer
  • Ozark Food Harvest Volunteer
  • Student Athlete Advisory Council - Secretary/Treasurer
  • Student Government Association - Senator
  • Civic Advancement Committee in the Student Government

Riley Banach, UNI, Wrestling, Junior

  • Athletics Director Honor Roll (Fall '10, Spring '11, Fall '11)
  • Western Wrestling Conference Coaches Honor Roll (2010-11, 2011-12)
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes member since 2009 
  • FCA Event Leader (Fall 2012-present)
  • Boys and Girls Club volunteer
  • USA Wrestling tournament and camp volunteer
  • Waterloo Grout Museum volunteer
  • UNI Junior Panther Day volunteer
  • Bike and Helmet Day at Irving Elementary School
  • Irving Elementary School Counseling Group Mentor
  • UNI Wrestling Camp coach and mentor

Melissa Larocque, Southern Illinois, Women's Swimming & Diving, Senior

  • 3.748 GPA in Elementary Education
  • Women's Swimming SAAC Representative
  • Dean's List (five semesters)
  • MVC Honor Roll (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12)
  • MVC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award (2010-11)
  • MVC Scholar-Athlete Team (2010-11, 2011-12)
  • Co-Community Service Chair for SAAC (2013)
  • MVC/State Farm "Just Read" Participant (2010, 2011)
  • Parrish Elementary School Pumpkin Festival (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • SIU Santa's Shoeboxes (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Cairo Upward Bound (2010)
  • Giant City Elementary Family Fun Night (2011)
  • March of Dimes (2011)
  • Doc Spackman Triathlon (2011)
  • Relay for Life (2011)
  • SIU Athletics Thank-A-Thon (2012)
  • Valient Player Hospital Visitor (2012, 2013)
  • American Heart Association Car Wash (2012)
  • Natalie's Toy Drive (2012, 2013)
  • Holiday Adopt A Family (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)

Chynna Turner, Wichita State, Women's Basketball, Senior

  • 3.446 GPA in Sport Management
  • Dean's List (three semesters)
  • Shocker Scholar (four semesters)
  • Athletic Director's Honor Roll (seven semesters)
  • MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week (1/2/12 and 1/15/12)
  • MVC Scholar-Athlete (2010-11, 2011-12)
  • SASO Student-Athlete of the Game (Feb. 2011 and Jan. 2012)
  • MVC Just Read Program (April 2011, October 2012)
  • Shocks, Cops and Kids (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Susan G Komen Race for the Cure Volunteer (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Allen Elementary WAlk-A-Thon (April 2012)
  • WSU Athletics Pen Pal Program (2009-2011)
  • Lord's Diner volunteer (November 2009)
  • Kansas Humane Society Woofstock volunteer (2009)
  • Lynette Woodard Recreation Camp (2009)