ST. LOUIS -- Jacqui Kalin of the University of Northern Iowa and Lucas Cherry of Southern Illinois have been selected as the female and male recipients, respectively, of the Missouri Valley Conference’s Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award, Valley Commissioner Doug Elgin has announced. The Missouri Valley Conference Faculty Athletics Representatives Committee selected Kalin and Cherry from a field of league student-athletes who met the Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award criteria, including academic achievement, athletics excellence and service and leadership.
Kalin graduated with her undergraduate degree in Sport Psychology in 2010, posting a 4.0 GPA each year. The sixth-year senior has been defending her thesis for her Master’s in Kinesiology and Sport Psychology this semester, also finishing with a 4.0 GPA. Kalin became the first player in UNI women’s basketball history to be named a finalist for the award Senior CLASS Award and became the first player in UNI history to be named to the CoSIDA All-American first team and also earned a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She is an active member and the MVC representative for the NCAA Division I National Student Athlete Advisory Committee and is an active member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Issues Committee. Kalin was the UNI Co-President of the SAAC from the spring of 2010 to the spring of 2012 and is a member of the UNI Intercollegiate Athletics Advisory Council.
On the court, the Sioux City, Iowa native is a two-time Jackie Stiles Player of the Year and MVC Scholar-Athlete of the year winner. She led UNI and the MVC in scoring with 662 points during the 2012-13 season, averaging 19.5 per game. Kalin was named the MVC Player of the Week five times during the season, including after her career high 37 points against Missouri State on Feb. 10. This season, Kalin was named to the MVC All-Conference first team for the third time in her career. She is now the all-time leader at UNI in scoring (2,081), three-point field goals made (265), free throws made (484), free throw percentage (.920), assists (491), games started (136), games played (136) and minutes (4,352).
Cherry, a senior native of Carbondale, Ill., is a three-time MVC Scholar-Athlete, a two-time All-MVC performer in the 3000 meter steeplechase, a two-time MVC Elite 18 recipient, and a 2012 first-team selection to the CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District team. This spring, Cherry won the 3000 meter steeplechase at the prestigious Kansas Relays. He was a spring recipient of the Missouri Valley Conference Leadership and Service Award. An MVC President's Council Academic Excellence Award winner, Cherry was also honored as the SIU College of Business Outstanding Senior of the Year and SIU College of Business Outstanding Senior of Accountancy.
The accomplished student-athlete was also very active in the community, most recently serving as a Victory Dream Center volunteer. He recently completed his term as President of the SIU Business Leadership Council. He plans to pursue a Masters of Business Administration at Oral Roberts University this fall.
The first-ever recipient of the Honda Award of Merit in 1996 for outstanding achievement in women’s collegiate athletics, Dr. Charlotte West was a driving force for more than 40 years in the area of advancement of women’s sports. On June 30, 1998, she retired from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, after serving in the capacities of head coach, associate athletics director, interim athletics director and senior woman administrator during her 41 years with the Missouri Valley Conference-member institution. West coached five women’s sports from 1957-75 and, in 1982, was among the first group of women inducted into the SIUC Athletics Hall of Fame.
During her tenure at SIUC, she became the first female member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and later served on the organization’s board of directors. West was also a president of the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW). In 1991, she was presented with the Administrator of the Year Award by the National Association of Collegiate Women Administrators. West also received the Administrator of the Year Award, given by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.