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NCAA names 2019 Jim McKay Scholarship winners

Northwestern’s Jennifer Haskel and Iowa’s Benjamin Colin to receive $10,000 each toward postgraduate studies

Two student-athletes on track to graduate in the coming weeks each will receive a $10,000 Jim McKay Scholarship, awarded by the NCAA to college athletes who demonstrate achievement in sports communication or public relations or hope to contribute to the field.

This year’s recipients are Jennifer Haskel, a women’s soccer player at Northwestern who plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree, and Benjamin Colin, a swimmer at Iowa who will pursue a Master of Science degree in sport and recreation management.

The scholarships recognize student-athletes’ outstanding academic achievements and their potential to make major contributions to the sports communications industry. The scholarship was created in 2008 to honor pioneer sports journalist Jim McKay, and the recipients are selected by the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship Committee.

Jennifer Haskel

Jennifer Haskel

Jennifer Haskel majored in journalism and economics and expects to earn her bachelor’s degree in June. At the time she applied for the scholarship award, she had not yet decided where she will attend graduate school to pursue an MBA.

Haskel has earned a 3.5 GPA in her undergraduate career. She credits Northwestern women’s soccer coach Michael Moynihan with encouraging her team to grow continually, both athletically and mentally. Meanwhile, Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism has exposed her to working professionals and mentors who have helped her hone her communication skills.

“To our team, having a growth mindset means learning every day: learning from our mistakes, experiences and being intellectually curious,” Haskel wrote about the soccer program in her scholarship application. “Much of my personal and professional growth has been nurtured and stimulated from our team’s growth mindset.”

On the soccer pitch, Haskel made appearances in 17 games her senior season and in 2016 was part of the women’s soccer team that brought the Big Ten championship to Northwestern for the first time. She is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and in 2017 was one of five Northwestern student-athletes who won the Irving Kabiller Memorial Award, which recognizes multidimensional excellence on and off the field.

Benjamin Colin

Benjamin Colin

Benjamin Colin, a swimmer at Iowa, will complete his undergraduate studies in May. At Iowa, he studied journalism and mass communication and sport and recreation management. He plans to remain at Iowa to pursue his graduate studies.

Colin is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. He has a 3.66 GPA and is chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee at Iowa.

In his scholarship application, Colin noted he plans to pursue a career in college sports administration. He would like to one day be a college athletics director or an event manager based at the NCAA national office.

“An all-encompassing understanding of the collegiate athletics realm will make success within a specific department more accessible, especially since it will enhance my ability to understand that each aspect is a gear in a larger process,” Colin said of his upcoming graduate studies.