INDIANAPOLIS -- Green Bay’s Rowan Isaaks and Valparaiso’s Rita Craven are recipients of the Horizon League Post-Graduate Scholarship Award, as voted on by the League’s Faculty Athletics Representatives Committee.
“We are honored to recognize Rowan and Rita as our Horizon League Post-Graduate Scholarship Award winners,” said Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone. “These students exemplify our values and they are the embodiment of our goal to support the college educational experience through sports. We are proud of their achievements and wish them the best as they pursue their graduate degrees.”
In its third year of inception, the Horizon League annually provides a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship apiece to a male and a female student-athlete from a Horizon League member institution to be used for graduate school expenses.
Isaaks majored in economics at Green Bay and graduated with a 3.978 grade point average. He plans to pursue a master of science in agricultural and resource economics at the University of Arizona.
“I would first like to thank the Horizon League for this award, and for continuing to promote excellence not only in athletics, but also in the classroom and in the community,” said Isaaks. “I also want to give my appreciation to the Green Bay athletic department, especially to Coach Vescio, Coach Thomas, and Coach Kline for giving me the opportunity to pursue my goals in the United States. Additionally, I would like to thank my family, friends, teammates, and the economics faculty at Green Bay for their continued support and guidance during my time there. I am now looking forward to beginning graduate studies at the University of Arizona in the Agricultural and Resource Economics department, where I will be completing my master’s degree and working as a research assistant. I hope in the future to produce economic research that has a real impact on policy making, and will hopefully make a positive contribution to society. This award will certainly provide me help in pursuing that goal.”
Isaaks was a member of the Phoenix men’s tennis team that won back-to-back Horizon League championships in 2014 and 2015 in addition to runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2016. He went on to compile a career 33-20 record in singles and 31-24 mark in doubles over his four years at Green Bay.
“Rowan is exactly what every coach and administrator hopes for in a student-athlete,” said Associate Athletic Director and Sport Administrator Craig Sandlin. “He has been both a leader on the court and in the classroom ever since he stepped on campus. This is a well-deserved honor and I congratulate Rowan as well as the Horizon League and the committee on selecting such a phenomenal recipient for the scholarship. I have no doubt that Rowan will go on to accomplish all of his goals in life.”
Craven graduated from Valparaiso with a 3.937 GPA while majoring in Biology and was a CoSIDA First Team Academic All-American. She plans to attend Trevecca Nazarene University and become a physician’s assistant.
“I am so honored and thankful to have been chosen as the recipient for the Horizon League Post-Graduate Scholarship,” said Craven. When thinking about how many other talented and well-qualified athletes there are in this league, I am humbled and reminded of the hard work that my coaches, teammates, parents, professors and others have done to help me achieve this. I am forever grateful for these amazing individuals that made my experience in the Horizon League, and more specifically at Valpo, nothing short of amazing.”
On the field for the Valparaiso women’s soccer team, Craven was a two-time First Team All-League honoree. In addition, she was named to the NSCAA Third-Team All-Great Lakes Region in 2015 and was on the Third Team All-America in 2014. Craven finished her career ninth in program history in goals, tied for fourth in assists and eighth in points.
“I am extremely excited for Rita being recognized by the Horizon League for her excellence not only on the pitch and in the classroom but also her efforts in our community,” said head women’s soccer coach John Marovich. “Our conference has a great deal of outstanding student athletes and for Miss Craven to be awarded this prestigious honor is something we are all extremely proud of and privileged to have been a part of her journey. I have spoken to her recently about the start of her Physician Assistant’s program and she is handling this new venture with the same energy and determination she attacked her Valpo Experience. The medical profession is getting one of the Horizon League and Valparaiso University’s best.”
To be eligible for the scholarship, student-athletes must meet criteria in four distinct categories - academics, athletics, service and leadership. The recipient must have an overall minimum GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent, have competed with distinction as a member of a varsity sport, exhibited quality time working in the community/university in providing service to others, and demonstrated leadership qualities as a student at their institution and as a member of their intercollegiate program.
2016 Post-Graduate Scholarship Award Nominees:
Cleveland State University - Dayna Roberts, Volleyball
University of Detroit Mercy - Alex Mendonca, Men’s Soccer
University of Illinois at Chicago - Laura Swan, Softball
Oakland University - Amanda Baker, Volleyball
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay - Rowan Isaaks, Men’s Tennis; Taylor Kasal, Volleyball
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Luke Meeter, Baseball
Valparaiso University - Daniel Oakes, Men’s Tennis; Rita Craven, Women’s Soccer
Wright State University - Samantha TenEyck, Swimming & Diving
Youngstown State University - Jonathan Hutnyan, Cross Country / Track & Field