Student Pride

Endurance takes Boren scholar to South Africa

Abby TranelAbby Tranel of Lincoln was a hospital patient when she discovered she was also a Boren scholar. A lung infection—a complication of her cystic fibrosis—kept her at the University of Nebraska Medical Center for five days. But it wouldn’t keep Tranel from going where the Boren Scholarship could take her.

The U.S. State Department-funded award provides up to $20,000 for a year of undergraduate study in areas of the world critical to U.S. interests. Tranel is using hers to study Zulu and South African culture and history at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

Her goal is to work as a foreign service officer at U.S. embassies in sub-Saharan Africa. She’s already built valuable experience at the State Department, working its Kosovo desk in Washington, D.C.

As for the prospect of dealing with her cystic fibrosis in South Africa, Tranel isn’t worried. The disease didn’t stop her from finishing the New York City Marathon in 2009; she doesn’t see it holding her back overseas, either. “It’s never really seemed like an insurmountable hurdle,” she said.

Student-athlete gives elite effort

Kevin JanataAn almost undetectable extra effort helped push Kevin Janata to an All-America Award at the NCAA Division III outdoor track and field national championship meet in Berea, Ohio. He and two other competitors crossed the finish line in the 110 meter hurdle finals with a time of 14.31 seconds. Scrutinizing the finish to the thousandth of a second revealed Janata’s thinnest edge, and earned him a fourth place finish and All-American status.

But an effort that no stopwatch could measure won Janata an even more selective honor: the NCAA Elite 88 Award. New in the 2009-2010 academic year, the Elite 88 Award is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average competing at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 88 championships.

The senior history/social science education major from Howells, Neb., bested more than 300 of his competitors with a GPA of 3.82.

Performance in two sports and two majors yields two top awards

Brian CopleySuccess comes in twos for Brian Copley (’10) of Syracuse, Neb. His 4.0 grade point average speaks to his perfect performance as a history and political science double major.

Success followed Copley out of the classroom and onto the Prairie Wolves’ cross country and track and field teams. Copley competed all four years at the NCAA Division III championships in cross country. In track and field, Copley took home 12 All-GPAC awards.

His athletic and academic successes have made him a 2010 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and an NCAA Postgraduate Scholar.

Prairie Wolves have now won 107 Academic All-America Awards, which ties NWU with Ohio State for 13th nationally. The men’s track and field team has produced Academic All-Americans for six consecutive years.

NWU also ranks fifth among Division III schools with 40 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships. Copley will use his scholarship to attend the University of Nebraska College of Law.