MVC Leadership & Service Fall Awards Announced
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
MVC Leadership & Service Fall 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 2013-14 Fall season.

This year’s Fall honorees include Nathan Davis, Bradley, Men's Cross Country; Conor Wells, Drake, Men's Cross Country, Kevin Schafer, Evansville, Men's Soccer; Kristen Zillmer, Illinois State, Women's Cross Country; Zakee Bashir, Indiana State, Football; Tricia Stonebraker, Loyola, Women's Soccer; Caleb Schaffitzel, Missouri State, Football; David Johnson, UNI, Football; Juan Avila, Southern Illinois, Football; Justin Scott, Wichita State, Men's Cross Country.

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.

Nathan Davis, Bradley, Men's Cross Country, Senior

  • MVC Scholar-Athlete (2013 - Outdoor Track & Field)
  • Bradley Country Financial Scholar-Athlete of the Week (September 14)
  • Bradley AD Honor Roll (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013)
  • Holds a 3.85 GPA in Political Science (major) and Sociology (minor)
  • Co-organizer of the Bradley Athletics Shoe Drive
  • Student leader for the Bradley Athletics Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Course Organizer at the eLUKEp 5k (September 2013)
  • Volunteered as a tutor for political science (2012)
  • Volunteered as a note-taker for a student with disabilities in various classes (2010-13)
  • Member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Advisory Board (2011-13)
  • Student-Athlete Counselor for the Banner Elementary School Youth Running Club (2010-13)
  • Volunteered at numerous races in the Central Illinois area

Conor Wells, Drake, Men's Cross Country, Junior

  • Mathematics and Computer Science double major
  • Presidents List 4.0 (Fall 2011, Fall 2012)
  • Dean's List 3.5 (Spring 2012, Spring 2013)
  • Math Club Treasurer (2013)
  • Head of Committee of Public Outreach, Student Athlete Advisory Committee (2012)
  • Organized adopt a family shoe drive program
  • Vice President and events coordinator of Best Buddies Club
  • Organized monthly events for the last two years
  • Helped people who were have issues with their buddies in the Best Buddies Club
  • Volunteer at Capital Pursuit Road Race (2011, 2012, 2013)
  • Volunteer in the math tutoring lab
  • Volunteer at Best Buddies Chef's Challenge Fundraiser event
  • Volunteer at Best Buddies Iowa Friendship Walk
  • Volunteer at Best Buddies Iowa Prom
  • Environmental Chair, Carpenter Hall (2011-12)
  • Organized recycling program and environmental awareness events
  • Helped organize recruiting effort of Everybody Wins! Iowa

Kevin Schafer, Evansville, Men's Soccer, Junior

  • 3.86 Cumulative GPA in Mechanical Engineering
  • Dean's List (Four semesters)
  • Student-Athlete Honor Roll (Four semesters)
  • Member of the National Society of Leadership and Success
  • Member of Pi Tau Sigma - Mechanical Engineering Honor Society
  • Participant in UE Move-in Day for Freshman
  • Boys & Girls Club
  • Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure volunteer
  • Susan G. Komen Kick for the Cure volunteer
  • Aces Spring Break Soccer Camp volunteer
  • ProRehab Score with Aces Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds at Newburgh Elementary
  • University of Evansville's Freshman Service Project
  • Special Olympics Bowling
  • Circle K Special Education Prom
  • Pen Pal Letters with local school children

Kristen Zillmer, Illinois State, Cross Country, Senior

  • 3.56 Cumulative GPA in Special Education
  • USTFCCCA All-Academic Team (2012, 2013)
  • Track and Field MVC Scholar-Athlete (2012, 2013)
  • Cross Country MVC Scholar-Athlete (2011)
  • AFNI Honor Roll (six semesters)
  • Illinois State Impact Award (2013)
  • Vice President of SAAC
  • SAAC representative (2011-present)
  • Coordinated a camping weekend with the Easter Seals and her teammates
  • Participated in SAAC's trick or treat for canned goods in 2012; organized event in 2013
  • Helped welcome and move in new freshman during Curb Birds (2012, 2013)
  • Hog Roast (2012, 2013)
  • Recess Buddies (2012, 2013)
  • Special Olympics (2013)
  • Community Cancer Center - Day of the Dozer
  • Festival of the Trees
  • The Baby Fold

Zakee Bashir, Indiana State, Football, Senior

  • 3.2 GPA in Criminology (major) and Psychology (minor)
  • Philosophy club president (Spring 2013)
  • Football SAAC Member (Public Relations Committee)
  • Designated Research assistant in the Psychology Department
  • Special Olympics
  • March of Dimes
  • Relay for Life
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Church of the Masters (packaging and delivering food baskets)
  • Salvation Army
  • Volunteered for Community Parade setup/teardown
  • Read in Elementary School in local community
  • Worked community business picnic for employee appreciation day

Tricia Stonebraker, Loyola, Women's Soccer, Senior

  • 3.788 GPA in Psychology
  • Dean's List (every semester)
  • Maroon & Gold Society (exclusive honor society for seniors demonstrating a commitment to leadership, academic excellence and service to others)
  • Horizon League Academic Honor Roll (2011, 2012)
  • Mather Pavilion (Alzheimers & nursing care facility) volunteer
  • Misericordia volunteer (community for persons with development disabilities)
  • Christmas on Campus volunteer
  • Athletico Physical Therapy volunteer

Caleb Schaffitzel, Missouri State, Football, Junior

  • 3.92 Cumulative GPA in Wildlife Conservation and Management
  • Dean's List (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013)
  • Maroon & White Scholar (Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013)
  • Member of SAAC
  • Boys & Girls Club Volunteer
  • Assists with Healthy Heroes Program
  • Assists with Habitat for Humanity

David Johnson, UNI, Football, Junior

  • Dean's List - 3.5 or above (Two semesters)
  • 3.0 Honoree (Five semesters)
  • UNI Student-Athlete of the Month
  • Just Read participant
  • Anti-Bullying intervention to schools
  • Special Olympics volunteer (Three years)
  • FCA Fields of Faith

Juan Avila, Southern Illinois, Football, Senior

  • Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Member (Current Vice-President)
  • Dean's List
  • MVFC Conference Honor Roll
  • SIU Saluki Scholar
  • MVFC Commissioner's Academic Excellence Award
  • Creator/Organizer of Every Dawg Has Its Day (children experiencing the football game experience)
  • Student Director of Valiant Player (Student-athlete weekly visits to a local hospital)
  • Good Samaritan House Souper Bowl of Caring Events - collected donations for local food pantry
  • Victory Dream Center (Salukis Kicking It for Hunger)
  • MVC/State Farm "Just Read" participant
  • Southern Illinois Heart Walk - created event to collect donations for American Heart Association
  • SIU Athletics Santa's Shoeboxes - fill shoeboxes with gifts for children attending SIU HeadStart
  • Natalie's Toy Drive - collected toys for children with cancer at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Give Kids a Smile
  • Cairo Upward Bound
  • Good Samaritan House Painting

Justin Scott, Wichita State, Men's Cross Country, Junior

  • 3.688 GPA in Mechanical Engineering
  • Men's Cross Country representative for SAAC
  • Wallace Scholarship for Engineering
  • Project Lead the Way Scholarship for Engineering
  • Top Shocks Scholarship
  • Dean's Honor Roll - 3.5+ GPA (Four semesters)
  • Shocker Scholar - 3.2+ GPA (Six semesters)
  • AD Honor Roll - 3.0+ GPA (Six semesters)
  • Wichita Buddy Walk volunteer
  • Prairie Fire Marathon volunteer
  • WSU Robotics Competition
  • Goddard Intermediate Learning Center Pen Pal Program
  • Allen Elementary Walk-a-thon
  • Fuel up to Play speaker
  • Youth Group speaker
  • Track Clinic volunteer