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May 23, 2000

Winners For The Inaugural John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards Announced

CLEVELAND - The five winners for the inaugural 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, the American Football Coaches Association, the Eddie Robinson Football Classic, Host Communications, Sears and NACDA.

The winners will receive their awards at NACDA's 35th Anniversary Convention, June 11-14 at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, Florida. The NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon, presented by Sears, will take place on Tuesday, June 13. Michele Tafoya of ESPN will serve as master of ceremonies.

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:

StudentInstitutionMajorGPA
Nigel BurtonUniversity of WashingtonBusiness Administration3.28
Simon ChocronFlorida State UniversityMultinational Business Operations3.19
Jamila DembyUniversity of California-DavisRhetoric & Communications3.07
Carey DornUniversity of ConnecticutSports Marketing3.74
Kyle JohnsonIthaca CollegeSports Management3.55

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; Greg Gumbel, ESPN; Wayne Embry, chief executive officer, Cleveland Cavaliers; Curt Hamakawa, Director of Athlete Support, 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; Isiah Thomas, Isiah Thomas International; Claire Van Ummerson, president, Cleveland State University; Gene Washington, director of football development, NFL; and Charles Whitcomb, professor of recreation/leisure studies, San Jose State University.

John McLendon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients

Nigel Burton, University of Washington, Division I
Nigel Burton graduated from the University of Washington with a 3.28 GPA in accounting and human resource management. A defensive back, Burton was captain of the Huskies' football team in 1998 and was a two-time CoSIDA Region VIII Academic all-American. While at Washington, Burton was a sports information and sports marketing intern. In his latter role, he developed a fall sports festival event "Paint the Town Purple." He served as chair of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was the SAAC's representative to the Management Council. As a member of Washington's SAAC, Burton donated toys to the Adopt-A-Family Christmas gift program, served meals to homeless, and spoke to children at the local elementary school about drug abuse. Additionally, he recently served as an intern at the NCAA in the championships department and at the University of Florida.

Simon "Danny" Chocron, Florida State University, Division I
A member of the men's swim team at Florida State University, Danny Chocron graduated with a 3.19 GPA in multinational business operations, with a second degree in marketing. An open water swimmer, Chocron has won four national titles and had two runner-up finishes. He is a 12 time all-American and was a silver medalist at the 1999 Pan Pacific Games. He has been named to the Dean's List two times and has been on the Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll. Born in Venezuela, where his family still lives, Chocron conducts swimming clinics for under-privileged children in his home country. He has been a motivational speaker for several groups in Florida, where he talks about the importance of a balanced lifestyle and pursuing dreams. He plans to defend his national title in November, then begin graduate studies at FSU in sports administration in January 2001, graduate in December 2001 and train for the 2004 Olympics.

Jamila Demby, University of California-Davis, Division II
A 1999 graduate of the University of California-Davis, Jamila Demby earned a GPA of 3.07 in rhetoric and communications with a minor in sociology. A member of the track and field team, Demby was selected as the 1999 NCAA Woman of the Year, presented to the female athlete who best excels in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. She is the first woman from the state of California and the first from Division II to win the award. She also received the Hubert Heitman Award for Female Athlete of the Year in 1999 from UC-Davis. A seven time all-American and eight-time conference champion, Demby received the school's Award for Outstanding Senior Leadership and was a two-time recipient of the team's Most Inspirational Award. Demby was further honored when she was invited to speak at the grand opening of the NCAA Hall of Champions. Demby is also involved in Special Olympics, ACT Games - for physically challenged youth.

Carey Dorn, University of Connecticut, Division I
As a member of the University of Connecticut's women's soccer team, Carey Dorn earned a 3.74 GPA in sports marketing. The 1999 team captain was also a NSCAA all-American. She is part of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, as well as the NCAA Athletics Certification Committee and is involved in the NCAA Youth Education through Sports (YES). A member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Dorn received the John W. Vlandis Scholar-Athlete Award (for an upperclassman in 1998 and has been a four-time Big East Conference Academic All-Star. She was also the recipient of an NCAA Women's Enhancement Scholarship and received the school's senior student-athlete award. As an intern in the athletics department, Dorn worked on eligibility status, scholarships and the NCAA Self-Certification book. She will remain at Connecticut for graduate school.

Kyle Johnson, Ithaca College, Division III
A graduate of Ithaca College, Kyle Johnson earned a 3.55 GPA in sports management with a minor in marketing. He is listed in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities Oracle Society, which involves the students who are in the top 10 percent of their school. A presenter at the North American Society for Sports Management Conference, Johnson was an office of multicultural affairs leadership conference chair and peer counselor for the Ithaca Opportunity Program. He was a student member of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees and was a student assistant for the women's basketball team. He was also involved in designing the marketing plan for the athletics department. As an intern with Cornell University athletics department, Johnson assisted in the planning of the 25th Anniversary of Ivy League Women's Championship symposium. He was also an assistant to the corporate relations manager at the Women's Sports Foundation.