Nabal Jefferson (Northern Illinois) and Skylar Chew (Ball State) Recipients of the 2013 Bob James Memorial Award
Jefferson and Chew to receive $5,000 post-graduate scholarship
CLEVELAND, OHIO – Nabal Jefferson (football) of Northern Illinois and Skylar Chew (women’s soccer) of Ball State have been named the recipients of the 2013 Bob James Memorial Award by the Mid-American Conference Faculty Athletics Representatives as announced by the league office today.
In its 25th year, the Bob James Memorial Award recognizes one female and one male student-athlete who have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.50, and have displayed good character, leadership and citizenship. The student-athletes are nominated during the year in which they complete their final season of eligibility. The $5,000 post-graduate scholarship is awarded in honor Bob James, the second commissioner in Mid-American Conference history (1964-71).
Jefferson graduated this past spring from Northern Illinois with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy and a 3.72 cumulative GPA. Jefferson is a National Football Foundation Scholar Award Athlete, a William V. Campbell Trophy Finalist, a Walter Byers Scholarship Finalist and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient. Jefferson earned the Northern Illinois Athletics Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2013 and made the College of Business Dean’s List on five occasions.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Jefferson was a 2012 team captain and was elected to the football team leadership council for three consecutive seasons. Jefferson was named Capital One Academic All-America Second Team in 2012. He also was named Academic All-MAC for three consecutive seasons (2010, 2011 and 2012) and also earned MAC and Northern Illinois Scholar Athlete of the Week accolades during both the 2011 and 2012 football seasons.
Jefferson was a four-year varsity letter winner (2009-12) at nose tackle and was part of a Huskie football team that set school records for consecutive MAC football championships (2011, 2012), earned the school and MAC’s first-ever BCS Bowl invitation (2013 Discover Orange Bowl) and was part of a senior class that appeared in four bowl games and set the record for most wins in school history (41). Jefferson played in a bowl game in each of his four years in DeKalb.
Throughout his collegiate career, Jefferson considered community involvement just as important to his focus in academics and athletics. Jefferson embraced his status as a role model and continued his connection to his church, former school and neighborhood in Chicago as he assisted youth and seniors at St. Margaret of Scotland Church and Marist High School, participated in community service activities with the Northern Illinois football team and volunteered with youth football clinics.
Jefferson is the first Northern Illinois male student-athlete to win the Bob James Memorial Scholarship Award. Jefferson is completing his second summer as an intern at KPMG in Chicago and will attend Northern Illinois University this fall to pursue his master’s in accounting.
Chew graduated summa cum laude from Ball State with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology – Interpersonal Relations (Counseling Psychology) and a 4.00 cumulative GPA. Chew was selected to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and was a Ball State Presidential Scholarship recipient. Chew was a four-year letter winner and ranks among Ball State’s all-time career leaders with 68 starts and 6,187 minutes played.
Chew was named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team (2012), becoming the first women’s soccer recipient in Ball State history to achieve this honor. Chew was selected as a Capital One Academic All-District First Team (2012) and ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V Second Team (2012). She was a three-time Ball State Athletics Scholar Athlete Award (2010, 2011, 2012), a two-time Academic All-MAC Team (2011, 2012) and two-time Commissioner’s Award (2010, 2011) winner.
In addition to her focus to academics and athletics, Chew was very active in campus activities, community service and professional experience. Chew has worked overseas with Leadership Center, as a volunteer in Honduras, and Projects Abroad, as a teaching assistant and coach in Peru. Chew also has volunteered in the Muncie, Ind. community with AseraCare Hospice, Muncie Mission, Hope House Mission, A Better Way canned food drive, Glad Tidings Church and soccer trainer for soccer clinics and camps.
A native of Mason, Ohio, Chew plans to attend Indiana University to pursue a M.S. Ed. & Ed. S. in Counseling & Counselor Education.
Other Female 2013 Nominees:
Taylor Ruper, Akron (basketball)
Madelyn Eccleston, Bowling Green (tennis)
Shante White, Buffalo (track and field)
Bailey Brandon, Central Michigan (soccer)
Brianna Emig, Eastern Michigan (swimming)
Hannah Newhouse, Kent State (soccer)
Leah Thornton, Miami (swimming)
Lindsey Tobias, Toledo (softball)
Kaylee Imel, Western Michigan (golf)
Other Male 2013 Nominees:
John-Martin Cannon, Buffalo (wrestling)
Aaron Sulzer, Eastern Michigan (wrestling)
Spencer Keith, Kent State (football)
Jordan Thompson, Ohio (football)
Bryant Dudzik, Toledo (tennis)
Past Bob James Award Winners
2013 Nabal Jefferson, Northern Illinois (football); Skylar Chew, Ball State (women’s soccer)
2012 Kristin Hoffman, Northern Illinois (volleyball); Briggs Orsbon, Ball State (football)
2011 Jon Edgington, Miami (Baseball); Christine Chiricosta, Bowling Green (Tennis)
2010 Tim Hiller, Western Michigan (Football); Megan Chronister, Bowling Green (Gymnastics)
2009 Gonzalo Barinaga, Ball State (Football); Jillian Wolosiansky, Eastern Michigan (Volleyball)
2008 Wynn Michalak, Central Michigan (Wrestling); Stephanie Swiger, Bowling Green (Volleyball)
2007 Matt Lefeld, Bowling Green (Basketball); Jody Yednock, Northern Illinois (Gymnastics)
2006 David Mitchell, Miami (Cross Country/Track & Field); Marie Zidek, Northern Illinois (Volleyball)
2005 Burke Badenhop, Bowling Green (Baseball); Robin Davidson, Toledo (Soccer)
2004 Travis Barclay, Ball State (Football); Andrea Kremer, Miami (Track & Field)
2003 Brett Faustman, Central Michigan (Wrestling) and Katrina Kerns, Bowling Green (Track & Field)
2002 Anthony Malik, Bowling Green (Soccer); Kate Miller, Kent State (Basketball)
2001 Nick Iagulli, Miami (Track & Field); Jennifer Jarjosa, Bowling Green (Swimming)
2000 Cato Coleman, Miami (Track & Field); Laura Szczepanski, Ball State (Gymnastics)
1999 Justin Millard, Akron (Soccer); Wendy Feldman, Central Michigan (Volleyball)
1998 Desmond Johnston, Akron (Soccer); Janelle Tranquillo, Ball State (Field Hockey)
1997 Joseph Burch, Bowling Green (Soccer); Sarah Mikrut, Ball State (Gymnastics)
1996 Dustin Swinehart, Miami (Soccer); Kristin Gaddis, Bowling Green (Cross Country/Track)
1995 Stephen Fetyko, Eastern Michigan (Swimming); Dana Drew, Toledo (Basketball)
1994 Bob Dudley, Bowling Green (Football); Kris Parks, Ohio (Cross Country/Track)
1993 Sander Scott, Central Michigan (Basketball); Kelly Weir, Ohio (Basketball)
1992 Jeff Bender, Central Michigan (Football); Julie Young, Western Michigan (Volleyball)
1991 Pat Jackson, Bowling Green (Football); Kristin McDaniel, Kent State (Track & Field)
1990 Danny Rieman, Ball State (Baseball); Linda Popovich, Bowling Green (Volleyball)
1989 Rick Winegardner, Ball State (Swimming); Kim Keenan, Kent State (Cross Country/Track)