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Becca Changstrom
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Softball's Changstrom Wins Good Neighbor Award
Release: 05/15/2012

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- In an effort to honor the achievements of exceptional student-athletes, the Missouri Valley Conference, in partnership with State Farm, has created the MVC State Farm Good Neighbor Award.  Ten student-athletes have been named by Commissioner Doug Elgin as the honorees for the 2012 spring season.

This year’s spring honorees include Mariah Cole, Bradley, Softball, Soph.; Becca Changstrom, Creighton, Softball, Soph.; Gabi Demos, Drake, Women's Tennis, Sr.; Kelsey Costales, Evansville, Women's Tennis, Soph.; Hannah Esker, Illinois State, Women's Tennis, Sr.; Lindsay Beisser, Indiana State, Softball, Sr.; Emily Beaver, Missouri State, Women's Track & Field, Jr.; Jarred Herring, Northern Iowa, Men's Track & Field, Sr.; Thomas Heffernan, Southern Illinois, Men's Track & Field, Jr.; Courtney Reinke, Wichita State, Women's Track & Field, Jr.

In order to be eligible for the award, the student-athlete must be in good academic standing, must demonstrate good citizenship through good sportsmanship and significant community service, and must participate in a sport, during the season of recognition.  The Valley will recognize 10 student-athletes three times annually (fall, winter, spring), for a total of 30 honorees.  Institutions select their Good Neighbor Award honorees.

State Farm Insurance is a long-time sponsor of the Missouri Valley Conference and serves as title sponsor for all 18 MVC championship events. Also, State Farm is a prominent sponsor of the league's television network and a sponsor of the Missouri Valley Conference's community outreach program, "Just Read!"

Mariah Cole, Bradley, Softball, Sophomore

  • Health Science Major with a 4.00 GPA
  • MVC Honor Roll
  • Dean's List (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011)
  • Bradley Athletic Director's Honor Roll (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011)
  • Julie Fundraiser
  • Trinity Food Pantry
  • Big Brother Big Sister Halloween Party
  • NCAA Leadership Forum - Made blankets for the less fortunate
  • MVC Just Read Participant
  • Student-Athlete Day
  • Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Festival of Trees
  • Megan Fong Blood Drive
  • BU Dance Party Clean Up
  • Loaves and Fish
  • Fundraiser for Kelly
  • Carl Grose Service Award
Becca Changstrom, Creighton, Softball, Sophomore
  • Biology and Chemistry Majors with a 3.810 GPA
  • Dean's List (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011)
  • Children's Art Museum
  • Sports for Kids Benefit
  • Southwood Lutheran Church
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringing
  • Wells Fargo Family Festival
  • North Omaha Police Prescient Cops and Bobbers Event
  • Jays Helping the Homeless
  • Christmas Eve Usher
  • Softball League Volunteer
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association Event
  • Special Olympics Softball Umpire
Gabi Demos, Drake, Women's Tennis, Senior
  • Marketing Major (Law & Business Concentration) witha  3.80 GPA
  • Scholar-Athlete First Team (2009-10, 2010-11)
  • Drake Athletics Marketing and Promotions Intern
  • Management Trainee Summer Intern at Enterprise Rent-A-Car
  • Alpha Phi Social Sorority
  • American Marketing Association
  • Co-President of Drake SAAC
  • MVC SAAC Representative
  • Meals from the Heartland Volunteer
  • Blankets from Bulldogs (youth activity - tied blankets for Iowa Homeless Youth Centers)
  • Organized SAAC Toys for Tots Collection
Kelsey Costales, Evansville, Women's Tennis, Sophomore
  • Communications/Public Relations Major with a 3.3 GPA
  • Dean's List (Fall 2011)
  • SAAC Representative
  • Relay For Life - UE Student-Athlete Coordinator
  • SAAC Cookbook Organizer
  • Toys for Tots
  • Just Read Participant
  • Haynie's Corner Art Festival
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • United Way
Hannah Esker, Illinois State, Women's Tennis, Senior
  • Actuarial Science Major with a 4.00 GPA
  • Nomianted for the Bone Scholar Award (highest academic award at Illinois State)
  • Recess Buddies (go to local elementary schools to interact with students at recess)
  • Just Read Participant
  • Home Sweet Home Missions
Lindsay Beisser, Indiana State, Softball, Senior
  • Athletic Directors Honor Roll (Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010)
  • MVC Honor Roll (Spring 2009)
  • MVC Pitcher of the Week (March 5, April 16)
  • Special Olympics
  • Ryves Hall
  • Terre Haute Catholic Charities
  • Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure
  • Toys for Tots
  • Take Back the Night
  • Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club
  • Terre Haute Light House Mission
  • Casey Crafts
Emily Beaver, Missouri State, Women's Track & Field, Junior
  • 4.00 Cumulative GPA
  • Dean's List (Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011)
  • Athletics Director Honor Roll (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12)
  • Maroon & White Scholar Athlete (Spring 2011, Spring 2012)
  • MVC Scholar-Athlete Team (Track & Field - 2011, Cross Country - 2010, 2011)
  • MVC Elite 18 Winner for Cross Country (2011)
  • MVC Just Read Participant 
  • Adopt-a-Street Participant
  • Field Day Champion Athletes of the Ozarks
  • Springfield Habitat for Humanity
Jarred Herring, Northern Iowa, Men's Track & Field, Senior
  • Dean's List (5 semesters)
  • 3.63 Cumulative GPA
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa Mentor for 11 year old boy
  • Black Hawk County Boys and Girls Club Volunteer
  • Kenya Mission Trip to help the men of the Community
  • Prairie Lakes Church Welcome Team Volunteer
  • Leads Large and Small Group Bible Study
Thomas Heffernan, Southern Illinois, Men's Track & Field, Junior
  • 3.831 Cumulative GPA
  • Dean's List (6 consecutive semesters)
  • Student Athlete Advisory Committee Treasurer (3 year member)
  • Family Reading Night at Carrurthers Elementary School (Spring 2012)
  • Natalie's Toy Drive (SAAC and Saluki Athletics donates over 2,000 toys for Natalie and her toy drive at Cardinal Glenon Hospital in St. Louis - Spring 2012)
  • Directed the Third Annual SIU SAAC Talent Show - raise money for local Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale (Spring 2012)
  • Read Across America Day at Carrurthers Elementary School (Spring 2012)
Courtney Reinke, Wichita State, Women's Track & Field, Junior
  • Social Work Major with a 3.53 GPA
  • Dean's Honor Roll (4 semesters)
  • AD's Honor Roll (5 semesters)
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • Rakeya's Place
  • A Home for Girls
  • Front Porch Alliance
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church Youth Group
  • Eastmister Presbyterian Church Fall Retreat Sponsor
  • Star Family
  • GoZones
  • Brotherhood Presbyterian Summer Camp
  • FUSE Retreat
  • Shocks, Cops & Kids
  • Pen Pal Program with Goddard Intermediate Learning Center
  • Prairie Fire Marathon
  • Village Voices Choir Tour
  • Village Voices Choir Lockin
  • Church On the Street

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