Zajic and Johnson named NSIC Honor Student-Athletes
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Zajic and Johnson named NSIC Honor Student-Athletes

ST. PAUL, Minn. —The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference today announced its list of 2009 Honor Student-Athlete and Scholarship award winners. Bemidji State University’s Gunther Zajic (Sr., Linz, Austria, Men’s Basketball) and Mara Johnson (Sr., Bemidji, Minn., Softball) were among its list of recipients.

The league also announced that Concordia University, St. Paul’s Mary Slinger and Kirk Ingram were named the 2009 Willis R. Kelly and Dr. William Btitton Scholar-Athlete Athletes of the year.

The Kelly Scholar-Athlete Award, in its 24th year, is presented to the NSIC’s top female student-athlete, while the Britton Scholar-Athlete Award for Academic Excellence, is in its 25th year and recognizes the NSIC’s top male student-athlete.

The Kelly Award is named in honor of Willis R. Kelly, an associate professor of physical education at the University of Minnesota, Morris. A member of the NSIC Hall of Fame, Kelly also coordinated the Minnesota-Morris Physical Education Department from 1970-87. She became the first director of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Minnesota-Morris in 1976 and was later promoted to athletic director for the whole department. Kelly passed away in 1988.

The Britton Award was created in 1985 in honor of Dr. William Britton, a longtime faculty representative at Bemidji State University.

NSIC member institutions can nominate one male and one female student-athlete for the Britton and Kelly Awards. The nominees must carry a grade point average of 3.2 or better (on a 4.0 scale), exude evidence of academic excellence beyond the minimum grade point average (scholarship prizes and other academic recognition), participate in the life of the institution beyond athletes and participate in at least two-thirds of the varsity events of the individual’s primary sport.

The 26 student-athletes nominated for the NSIC’s two most prestigious awards are honored as NSIC Male and Female Honor Student-Athletes of the Year at their respective institutions. Slinger and Ingram will be recognized Friday, July 31 at the 2009 NSIC Hall of Fame Banquet at the Best Western Kelly Inn and Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minn. Slinger and Ingram will each receive a $2,500 post-graduate scholarship.

2008-09 NSIC Men’s Honor Student-Athlete Award Winners
Jason Donnelly Augustana College Sr. Football Elk Point, S.D.
Gunther Zajic Bemidji State University Sr. Basketball Linz, Austria
Kirk Ingram Concordia University-St. Paul Jr. Baseball Woodbury, Minn.
Zach Dosch University of Mary Sr. Basketball / Golf Bismarck, N.D.
John Vaudreuil UMD Sr. Basketball/Baseball Bloomington, Minn.
John Putman Minnesota State, Mankato Sr. Wrestling Oak Lawn, Ill.
Tyler Tubbs Minnesota State, Moorhead Sr. Wrestling Chokio, Minn.
Tim Baustian Northern State Jr. Cross Country Dell Rapids, S.D.
Greg Laughlin Southwest Minnesota State Sr. Baseball Eden Prairie, Minn.
Ryan Kees St. Cloud State University Sr. Football Eagan, Minn.
Brian Solemsaas Upper Iowa University Sr. Baseball Bismarck, N.D.
Luke Hoffman Wayne State College Sr. Football Wakefield, Neb.
Travis Whipple Winona State University Sr. Basketball Woodbury, Minn.

2008-09 NSIC Women’s Honor Student-Athlete Award Winners
Amy Puthoff Augustana College Sr. Basketball Hartford, S.D.
Mara Johnson Bemidji State University Sr. Softball Bemidji, Minn.
Mary Slinger Concordia University-St. Paul Jr. Volleyball Faribault, Minn.
Jessica Janusz University of Mary Sr. Soccer Bismarck, S.D.
Lindsey Clairmont Minnesota Duluth Sr. Volleyball Long Lake, Minn.
Alex Andrews Minnesota State, Mankato Sr. Basketball West Concord, Minn.
Kelci Guenther Minnesota State University Moorhead Sr. Volleyball Williston, N.D.
Jill Rasmussen Northern State University Sr. Volleyball Sioux Falls, S.D.
Abby Oakland Southwest Minnesota State Sr. Basketball/Golf Fulda, Minn.
Katie Tacheny St. Cloud State University Sr. Basketball Woodbury, Minn.
Jennifer Lee Upper Iowa University Sr. Soccer Kenosha, Wis.
Brittany Van Beek Wayne State College Sr. Volleyball Sanborn, Iowa
Amelia Kasten Winona State University Sr. Soccer 0, Minn.