Tue, May 19, 2009 - [AAC]
Leah Anderson-Milligan, Kryia Johnson-Covenant and John Sullivan AAC Commissioner
The AAC on Monday announced the individual Champions of Character awards.
The female Co-Champion of Character honorees were Leah Anderson, Milligan College and Kryia Johnson, Covenant College.
The male Champion of Character honoree was David Villanueva, Bryan College.
Leah Anderson, Milligan College
Leah Anderson was captain of Milligan's women's basketball team this past year. This team has won the AAC Champions of Character Award each of her four seasons. She also served on Vespers Committee, on Chapel Teams, and was the primary student leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She served for three years as a Residents' Assistant and volunteered at The Melting Pot and the John Sevier Center, Johnson City. She has organized and participated in prayer vigils on behalf of soldiers and displaced members of the community. She has traveled to Mexico and New Orleans on student mission trips during spring breaks. She participated in a summer mission trip to Jordan with Sports Reach in the summer of 2006.
She has been a four-year starter. She was named to the AAC All-Freshman team in 2005-06. She earned All-Conference status in 2008-09. She has been among the top ten in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage each of the last two seasons. Earlier this season, she joined the 1,000 point club.
While taking challenging course loads every semester, she has earned Dean's list honors three of her seven semesters at Milligan. She has been a two-time member of the AAC's All-Academic Team.
A Milligan professor sums up Leah's impact on the Milligan campus: "As the father of five children, three of them daughters, I can say without hesitation that Leah is the kind of woman of integrity that all parents worth their salt hope and pray their daughters grow up to be. Leah makes all of us better people just by being around her."
Kryia Johnson, Covenant College
Our Female Co-Champion of Character is a four-year senior soccer player who has served as the team captain this past year. She graduates with a 3.94 GPA and a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. A member of the French Club and the Covenant Chorale, she has been active as a volunteer to underprivileged kids and windows in the Chattanooga area and served on a mission team to Costa Rica. Her awards and achievements include AAC All-Conference three years, AAC All-Academic three years, NAIA Academic All-American two years, and NAIA Honorable Mention All-American for 2007-2008. Additionally, she was selected for the NAIA Region XII First Team for 2007-2008.
The following statement from a Covenant professor sums up this athlete: "In my forty years of teaching at the high school and college levels, I have had many fine students and athletes. However, the combination of both academics and athleticism is no better seen than in this candidate."
David Villanueva, Bryan College
David Villanueva is a senior men's soccer player who also serves as the chaplain. The year before David came to Bryan he spent a year travelling full-time with a ministry that included working with people of all ages in churches throughout the eastern U.S., with kids and teenagers at a camp in PA, and with youth in Zambia, Africa. In the fall of 2007, David founded Lifeblood Ministries, a student group that has partnered with Banjara Tribal Ministries Orphanage in Hyderabad, India and ZLB Plasma Services in Chattanooga, TN to provide financial support for orphans in India. In March 2007, David and several members of Bryan College's men's soccer team went to Honduras to play soccer against village teams and share their faith with the people. The summer of 2008 he spent five weeks with seven nursing and premedical students in Tanzania where they served in health clinics in fishing camps and villages on the islands of Lake Victoria. While on campus, David serves with the Practical Christian Involvement Team working with local high school students about making life decisions and pursuing sexual purity. He also serves as a science tutor and spent his spring break working with inner city youth in Chicago. He will be married after graduation and plans on attending medical school after one year.
His awards and honors include: 3.75 GPA, Who's Who Among American Colleges and Universities, NCCAA Scholar Athlete, NAIA-Daktronics Men's Soccer Scholar-Athlete, and AAC Academic All-Conference.
His Athletics Director described David: "He is a quality young man of strong character who consistently leads by example. He is disciplined, purpose-driven, dependable, and committed to excellence both on and off the field of play. Above all, he has a servant's heart, looking for meaningful ways to invest in the lives of people. He is ministry-oriented, unselfish with his time and talent, and humble in attitude."