June 29, 2006
CLEVELAND, OH - It's often difficult for a student-athlete to balance both their athletic and academic lives in college, but none was more up to the task than former Northern Illinois University
volleyball player Marie Zidek (Orland Park / Marian Catholic).
Zidek, who graduated in May of 2006 with a cumulative grade point average of 3.90, was named the female winner of the Mid-American Conference Bob James Memorial Scholarship, as voted by league Faculty Athletics Representatives. This marks the first time in the 18-year history of the award that a NIU student-athlete is a recipient. Miami University's David Mitchell was the male recipient.
"Nobody is more deserving of this award than Marie," NIU head volleyball coach Ray Gooden said. "She has worked hard on both the court and in the classroom, and now she continues to reap the benefits of her efforts. We're very proud of her."
The Bob James Memorial Scholarship is awarded to one male and one female student-athlete who have achieved a minimum grade-point-average of 3.5, as well as shown evidence of good character, leadership and citizenship. Student-athletes are nominated during the academic year in which they complete their final season of eligibility. Winners receive a $1,000 post-graduate scholarship. The award is given in honor of Bob James, the MAC's second commissioner who served from 1964-71.
Zidek, who plans on attending graduate school for health and sport sciences, received several academic honors throughout her tenure at NIU, including: All-MAC Academic Team (2004-05), ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V Women's Volleyball Third Team (2005), Verizon Victor E. Scholar (2003-05) and a Verizon 4.0 Scholar (2005-2006).
The Orland Park native was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma Honors in the fall of 2002. Zidek participated in the High Honor Roll, University Honors Program from 2002-06, was named Outstanding Student for the Department of Kinesiology (2005) and received the NASPE Major of the Year Award (2006).
The 22 year-old Zidek finished her career with the Huskies with the sixth-most assists (2,938) and digs (1,208) in school history.
(For further information, please contact Matt Brendich) - NIU -