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2017 John McLendon Postgraduate Scholarship Winners Announced

July 14, 2017

CLEVELAND - The six winners of the 18th annual John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards were announced today by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation
The winners are:

Student Undergraduate Institution Undergraduate Major
Brett Bell University of North Texas Sports Management
Chardae Greenlee University of Memphis Sport and Leisure Management
Javonte Henderson Indiana University Recreational Sports Management
Mia Mazon Arizona State University Communication
Marissa Robinson Kean University Special Education & Psychology
Frances Rodriguez Bowling Green State University Sports Management

Through the support of the Fiesta Bowl's endowment commitment to the Foundation, a sixth John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship will be awarded this year to a student from an Arizona based four-year institution who meets the scholarship criteria. The McLendon Scholarship, presented by the Fiesta Bowl, is being awarded to Mia Mazon from Arizona State University.

"The Fiesta Bowl is dedicated to enhancing organizations that support youth, education and sports. Mia's tremendous academic and athletic achievements make us proud to help propel her to a future career in athletics administration."

In addition to the Fiesta Bowl, the National Association of Academic and Student-Athlete Development Professionals (N4A) has continued its sponsorship of two of the $10,000 scholarships. N4A is proud to announce that it is honoring Chardae Greenlee and Marissa Robinson as its selections for this year's McLendon Scholarships. A portion of this contribution to the Foundation is in memory of Curtis Jones, former associate athletics director for academic support at West Virginia, who passed away suddenly in September 2013. Jones was a N4A Board Member at the time of his death.

"In memory of the late Curtis Jones, N4A is pleased to honor Marissa Robinson and Chardae Greenlee as McLendon Scholars," said N4A Past President Kenneth Miles, assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs and executive director for the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes at Louisiana State University.   "We congratulate both Marissa and Chardae on their outstanding portfolios, and we are honored to support their commitment to careers in athletics administration. We certainly expect that they will continue to impact the lives of student-athletes and others by raising the bar." 

The McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship winners will each receive a $10,000 grant to be used towards postgraduate studies in athletics administration. Funding for the scholarship program has been provided in part by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA); the Cleveland Cavaliers; Major League Baseball (MLB); the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC); the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA); the National Basketball Association (NBA); the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA); Capital One; and Sears, Roebuck and Co. As of the 2016-17 academic year, the John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Program has now awarded over 100 scholarships, totaling over $1 million.

Minorities (as defined by federal guidelines) 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 3.2 on a 4.0 scale and have demonstrated leadership qualities on an institutional or community level.

Biographies on each of the winners and more information about the McLendon Scholarship Award can be found below.

Brett Bell graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Texas in May 2016 with a bachelor of science in sports management. Graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.92, he recently completed an internship with the Big 12 Conference and is currently serving as a graduate assistant with the TCU Student-Athlete Development Department. As a member of the Mean Green men's basketball squad, Bell was named Southern Collegiate Athletics Conference Newcomer of the Year en route to receiving all-conference laurels. Named to the North Texas Dean's and President's Lists, Bell was recognized as the first student in the history of the sports management program to earn a perfect 4.0 semester GPA. He has been decorated as a University of North Texas Delmark Scholarship recipient, a scholarship given to sports management students who hold a GPA of 3.0 or higher and exemplify excellence within the program. He also received the UNT Rita Pilkey Scholarship, and was a Media General Minority Scholarship finalist. Bell has been accepted to the Educational Leadership Master's Program at TCU. He would be the first member of his family to earn a postgraduate degree. 

Chardae Greenlee a two-time All-American Athletic Conference outdoor triple jump champion, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Memphis in May with a bachelor of science in education. Majoring in sport and leisure management, Greenlee finished her undergrad with a cumulative grade point average of 3.73 as a University of Memphis Track and Field Scholarship Student-Athlete. A two-time All-American Athletic Conference All-Academic honoree, she was named to the Dean's List three times. A member of the Memphis chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Greenlee is a Donald K. Carson Leadership Scholarship recipient and a six-time member of the Tiger 3.0 Club. Out of the classroom and off the track, she has volunteered her time with St. Jude's Target House Fun Carnival, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Jump Rope for Heart and as a reader at Treadwell Elementary in urban Memphis, Tenn. In her final year of undergrad, Greenlee was named to the Tiger Academic Thirty and recognized as Outstanding Senior by the university. She will be attending the University of Memphis, pursuing a master of science in education with a sports commerce focus.

Javonte Henderson will graduate in three years with his bachelor of arts in recreational sports management at Indiana University in August. Maintaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.78, he will be graduating with honors as a first-generation college student. A student-manager for the IU women's basketball team, Henderson was named to the Dean's List three times and was recognized as a University Division Scholar of Distinction in the spring of 2015. Henderson is a member of the 21st Century Scholars program, has been recognized as a GROUPS Scholar, and is also a member of the Hudson & Holland Scholars program, a highly selective program serving as a scholarship and support network for high achieving underrepresented minorities. Following his time as a Hoosier, Henderson will be pursuing a master's degree in sports administration at the University of Miami.


Mia Mazon
is a graduate of Arizona State University where she earned a bachelor of arts in communication with a minor in media analysis. A member of the indoor and sand volleyball teams, Mazon served as a captain for the Sun Devils indoor squad for the 2016 season. While at Arizona State, she was named a Scholar-Baller by the ASU athletics department for holding a grade point average of over 3.0 every semester. Through the Scholar-Baller program, Mazon served as a mentor at Cesar Chavez High School, teaching students from low-income families the benefits of a college education. Graduating with a cumulative GPA of 3.57, she was a named to the Dean's List five times and is a recipient of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Award. She has volunteered with Chicanos Por La Causa and the Hispanic Women's Corporation. Mazon plans to pursue a post-graduate degree in athletics administration with hopes of working in public relations or communications.


Marissa Robinson is a 2016 graduate of Kean University, where she completed a bachelor of arts in special education and psychology. During her time at Kean, Robinson was a four-time varsity letter winner for the Cougars field hockey program, serving as team captain for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. An NCAA Woman of the Year top-30 finalist in 2016, she received all-conference laurels twice, while being selected first team all-region and second team College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) All-American. A four-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Scholar of Distinction, Robinson was named to the Dean's List all eight semesters, and was an active member of the Kean University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), serving as President for both Kean and the New Jersey Athletics Conference. A member of the NFHCA Academic team, Chi Alpha Sigma and Psi Chi honors societies, she boasts a cumulative grade point average of 3.96. Following graduation, Robinson was awarded a NCAA post-graduate internship, and plans to attend the University of Arkansas to pursue an executive MBA for recreation and sports management following her internship.


Frances Rodriguez attended Bowling Green State University, where she earned a bachelor of science in education and human development; majoring in sports management. As a Mid-America Conference Presidential Award recipient in the spring of 2017, Rodriguez graduated magna cum laude, maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.96. A four-year member of the BGSU women's golf team, she is a MAC Commissioner's Award recipient and two-time selection to the Academic All-MAC Team. For the 2015 and 2016 academic years, Rodriguez was named a Women's Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) All-American Scholar, awarded for high academic achievement, participating in 50% of varsity competitions and demonstrating high moral character. A member of Chi Alpha Sigma Student-Athlete Honor Society, BGSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Sigma Mu Omicron, the National Society of Scholar Athletes and Alpha Lambda Delta-Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, Rodriguez was awarded the MAC Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award in the spring of 2016. Off the course, she volunteers with the Salvation Army, the RallyCap Sports Kickoff and at a high school golf camp in Lewisville, Texas. Rodriguez will be attending Texas A&M University this fall to pursue a master of science in sports management.


About the John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Program: The John McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship Awards are presented to minority students who intend to pursue a graduate degree in athletics administration. If you have any questions regarding this program, please visit www.mclendonminorityfoundation.com.

About the Fiesta Bowl: The Fiesta Bowl's vision is to be a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit organization, it believes in the importance of community outreach and service. Through charitable giving, the organization strives to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that contribute to the success of communities through youth, sports and education. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year-round, during and outside of bowl season. For more information about its local impact and how to get involved, visit FiestaBowl.org.

About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 53rd year, is the professional and educational Association for more than 12,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 6,500 athletics administrators annually attend NACDA & Affiliates Convention Week. Additionally, NACDA manages 17 professional associations and three foundations.  For more information on NACDA, visit www.nacda.com.