PEORIA, Ill. -- For the first time in four years, and just the 10th time in the 60-year history of the award, Bradley University has announced co-winners of its most prestigious student-athlete award. Runner Katie Nowak (Avon Lake, Ohio/Avon Lake H.S.) and women's basketball player Jenny Van Kirk (Waconia, Minn./Waconia H.S.) are co-recipients of the 2010 Charles Orsborn Award, which is presented annually to the senior Bradley University student-athlete(s) who best combines athletic and academic success with community service.
|2010 Athletic Department Awards|
|Charles Orsborn Award||Katie Nowak||Women's Cross Country/Track and Field|
|Jenny Van Kirk||Women's Basketball|
|Orville Nothdurft Lifetime Achievement Award||Hon. Joe Billy McDade||Men's Basketball|
|Megan C. Fong Inspiration Award||Joanne K. Glasser||Bradley University President|
|Carl Grose Service Award||Jenny Van Kirk||Women's Basketball|
|Coach Joe Stowell Awards||Renee Frericks||Women's Basketball|
|Ryan Phillips||Men's Basketball|
Nowak owns the indoor track and field school record for the mile and is a member of the indoor track and field school-record distance medley relay team. Currently boasting the Missouri Valley Conference's fourth-best time this outdoor season in the 800 meters, as well as the sixth-best mark in the 1,500 meters, Nowak was the runner-up in the 1,500 meters during the 2008 MVC Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Sporting a 3.97 GPA while majoring in mechanical engineering (biomedical concentration) with a minor in biology, Nowak has earned a spot on the Bradley Athletic Director's Honor Roll in each of her first nine semesters and is a two-time (2007, 2008) member of The Valley's Track and Field Scholar-Athlete Team, while also garnering a spot on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District V team in 2008.
In addition to her long list of campus and community service activities, Nowak was the team captain for a senior engineering project that resulted in the creation of a control valve to treat human patients with hydrocephalus, a potentially terminal medical condition. Nowak's team designed a device that prevents over-drainage of cerebral spinal fluid, giving patients a better chance at recovery, a device that is currently under review for a patent.
Van Kirk has served as co-captain of the Bradley women's basketball team each of the last two years, helping the Braves to a program-best 21 victories in 2008-09 and the program's first-ever postseason tournament appearance in 2009-10. Tied for 10th in program history by playing in 111 career games, she has helped the Braves to their best four-year win total (62) in nearly 30 seasons. Sporting a perfect 4.0 GPA while working on an individualized major, Van Kirk is preparing for medical school in the fall. She is a two-time (2009, 2010) member of the I-AAA Athletic Director's Association Scholar All-America team and is the second player in program history to twice earn a spot on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District V team.
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.
The presentation of the Charles Orsborn Awards capped the Bradley Athletic Department's annual Senior Send-Off and Athletics Awards Program. The awards portion of the evening began with the presentation of the Carl Grose Service Award to Van Kirk, who became the award's first-ever three-time winner.
Bradley University President Joanne K. Glasser, a breast cancer survivor and the honoray chairperson of Peoria's Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, was presented the seventh annual Megan C. Fong Inspiration Award. In addition to presenting the Charles Orsborn Award, Glasser also introduced former men's basketball player Hon. Joe Billy McDade with the 10th annual Orville Nothdurft Lifetime Achievement Award. A contributing member of Bradley's 1957 NIT championship squad, McDade graduated in 1959 with his degree in economics. Having earned his juris doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School, McDade was appointed a United States District Judge in the Central District of Illinois by President George Bush in 1991. He has served as a federal judge in the Central District of Illinois the past 19 years, including a six-year period (1998-2004) as the Chief United States District Judge.
Prior to the introduction of the candidates for the Alumni B-Club Most Outstanding Athletes, which will be announced at the completion of the 2010 spring seasons later this month, the men's and women's versions of the fourth-annual Coach Joe Stowell Awards were presented to men's basketball senior Ryan Phillips and women's basketball senior Renee Frericks.
For background information and all-time lists of winners for Bradley's annual athletic department awards, visit www.BradleyBraves.com and click the "Awards" tab under the main banner.