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May 21, 2002

Finalists for the 2002 John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards Announced

Cleveland, Ohio - The five winners for the third annual John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards were announced today by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

The winners will each receive a $10,000 grant to be used toward postgraduate studies in athletics administration. Funding for the scholarship program has been provided by adidas America; American Football Coaches Association (AFCA); Eddie Robinson Football Classic; Host Communications; Mellon Private Asset Management; National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC); National Athletic Steering Committee (NASC); National Basketball Association (NBA); Sears, Roebuck and Co.; SpecialTee Events; Sports Media Association of Cleveland and Ohio (SMACO); and NACDA.

The winners will receive their awards at NACDA's 37th Annual Convention, June 16-19 at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon, presented by Sears, will take place on Tuesday, June 18. Spencer Tillman of CBS Sports will serve as emcee.

Minorities who intend to pursue a postgraduate degree in athletics administration are eligible for these scholarships. Students were required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, have senior status and have demonstrated leadership qualities on an institutional or community level.

The winners are:

StudentInstitutionMajor GPA
Uwadiae AirhiavbereBrown UniversityBusiness Economics3.60
Kendra BrackenPurdue UniversityPublic Relations3.20
Christopher HopeFlorida State UniversityCommunications3.72
Burt IwataUniversity of Northern ColoradoFinance/Management/Economics4.00
Derrick RackardUniversity of South FloridaBusiness MIS3.63

Members of the John McLendon Memorial Minority Blue Ribbon Committee were responsible for selecting the finalists. Completing this task were Billye Alexander, senior vice president of communications, Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Daniel Boggan, senior vice president, NCAA; Kofi Bonner, vice president/chief administrative officer; Cleveland Browns; Greg Gumbel, CBS Sports; Wayne Embry, chief executive officer - retired, Cleveland Cavaliers; Curt Hamakawa, director of international relations, U.S. Olympic Committee; Jim Host, chief executive officer, Host Communications; Tom Mercer, director of team sales, adidas America; Robin Roberts, ESPN/ABC Sports; Grant Teaff, executive director, American Football Coaches Association; Claire Van Ummerson, director, Office of Women in Higher Education, American Council on Education; Gene Washington, director of football development, NFL; and Alfred White, president, Asheville Altitude.

John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients

Uwa Airhiavbere, Brown University, Division I
Uwa Airhiavbere earned a 3.60 GPA while studying economics at Brown University. A four-year member of the varsity football team, he was a tri-captain last season and earned numerous academic and athletics awards for his performances. Airhiavbere was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon Honor Society, the Brown Advisory Committee on University Planning and the Brown Disciplinary Committee. He also tutored numerous students through mentoring programs on campus and was an engineering teacher assistant. He created and laid the groundwork for a tutoring program specifically aimed to help incoming freshmen football players achieve academic excellence. Airhiavbere completed three economics internships during his academic career and was invited to participate in the Business Today International Conference. He was also honored with awards for his community service. Airhiavbere plans to seek full-time employment before obtaining his master's degree.

Kendra Bracken, Purdue University, Division I
Kendra Bracken posted a 3.20 GPA in public relations with a minor in English at Purdue University. She was the school's athletics promotions manager for two years and recently completed a community relations internship with the Indiana Pacers. She interned at Fleishman-Hillard Global Communications Firm last summer, working extensively in media relations. Bracken also was the senior writer for the campus Black Cultural Center newsletter and was the Purdue spokesmodel for the NCAA Choices Grant. President of Sigma Gamma Rho, she served as vice president of public relations for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Bracken was a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society and the Public Relations Student Society of America. She will attend Ball State University for her graduate work.

Chris Hope, Florida State University, Division I
A communications major and sociology minor, Chris Hope graduated with a 3.72 GPA from Florida State University. A member of the national championship football team, he served as the squad's defensive captain last season. He earned various academic achievement awards, including an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Hope was an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar and a three-time All-American Scholar. A Dean's List recipient every semester, he was also a member of the Golden Key and WB Dubois honor societies. He was also active in the youth community, assisting with football camps and Christmas activities for the underprivileged. Hope was drafted by the NFL's Pittsburgh Steelers. He plans to play football professionally and return to Florida State and earn his master's degree.

Burt Iwata, University of Northern Colorado, Division II
Perfection in multiple areas was achieved by Burt Iwata, who recorded a 4.00 GPA in three majors - finance, management and economics - and one minor in physical education coaching at the University of Northern Colorado. He was a student assistant for the volleyball team, an intern in the athletics marketing department, a lab consultant for the Monfort College of Business (MCB) and portfolio manager for the MCB Student and Foundation Fund. Iwata, a Dean's List honoree, was named Student of the Year in both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Monfort College of Business Management. He was also a member of the Scholars Program. Iwata served as vice president of Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and was awarded the Outstanding Business Student Award from the organization. He was a tutor in business and assisted the elderly and in community clean-up projects. Iwata plans to attend graduate school this fall.

Derrick Rackard, University of South Florida, Division I
Derrick Rackard earned a 3.63 GPA in business management information systems with a minor in speech communications from the University of South Florida. A member of the football team, he was honored with the USF Football Scholar-Athlete Award and was on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll. Rackard earned numerous academic scholarships during his career, including the Kosove Society Scholarship, the most prestigious scholarship at USF, and was recently the recipient of the N4A Student-Athlete Achievement Award. He was a member of Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi and National Collegiate honor societies and received a Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship. He was co-originator of the USF Football Bible Study Program and remains active with his church as president of the youth group, head usher, vice president of community efforts, choir member and bible study organizer. Rackard was a youth speaker at various community schools about the importance of education. He plans to begin graduate studies in the spring of 2003.

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Contact: Laurie Garrison
 Assistant Executive Director, Communications
 440/892-4000
 440/892-4007 (Fax)
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