The Mid-American Conference announced Ball State’s Tanner Barton and Miami’s Kelsi White as the recipients of the 2017 Bob James Memorial Scholarship Award. Barton and White will both receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship.
In its 29th year, the Bob James Memorial Scholarship Award recognizes one female and one male student who have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.50 and have displayed good character, leadership and citizenship. The students are nominated during the year in which they complete their final season of eligibility. The $5,000 post-graduate scholarship is awarded in honor of Bob James, the second commissioner in Mid-American Conference history (1964-71).
Barton graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ball State in May of 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in both health science and Spanish. He was able to compete at a high level while maintaining a 4.0 cumulative grade-point average along with being on the Dean’s List all eight semesters as a Cardinal. This is the third award Barton has received this year. He received the 2017 Provost’s Prize given to an outstanding graduating senior for excellence in the classroom and in the community along with a 2017 NCAA post-graduate scholarship.
Throughout his time at Ball State, Barton has been extremely active on campus. He was a part of the MAC Council of Student-Athletes, an executive board member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, and served as both the Vice President and Treasurer of the Spanish Club during his tenure at Ball State. Barton also co-founded the College Diabetes Network at Ball State, which serves as a community for all students dealing with Diabetes. He was also specially invited to be the keynote speaker at Novo Nordisk’s World Diabetes Day in Denmark in 2015.
The Dublin, Ohio native is a three-time Academic All-MAC recipient and was also a three-time MAC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete (2015, 2016, 2017). In the pool, Tanner was a two-time team captain, and recorded 60 individual top three finishes throughout his career. He was the three-time top team scorer in butterfly events for the Cardinals, and holds the second-best time for a 200-yard butterfly in school history.
Barton is now working toward his Master’s degree in exercise science at Ball State. He is also serving as a graduate assistant coach for the Ball State men’s swimming and diving team. Barton hopes to one day become a Certified Diabetes Educator to help diabetic athletes manage their disease.
Barton is the 10th Ball State athlete to receive this prestigious award and only the second male swimmer to earn such an honor.
Additional Female 2017 Bob James Memorial Award Nominees:
Hannah Plybon, Akron (Women’s Basketball)
Gabrielle Veldman, Ball State (Women’s Soccer)
Madeline Garda, Bowling Green (Volleyball)
Christen Leigh Chiesa, Central Michigan (Women’s Soccer)
Sydney McEachern, Eastern Michigan (Gymnastics)
Mary Grace Kelly, Northern Illinois (Volleyball)
Hannah Wishart, Ohio (Women’s Track & Field)
Sophie Reecher, Toledo (Women’s Basketball)
Additional Male 2017 Bob James Memorial Award Nominees:
Tyler Sanda, Akron (Men’s Soccer)
Joe Sullivan, Bowling Green (Men’s Soccer)
Barrett Kemp, Buffalo (Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field)
Richard Hall, Northern Illinois (Men’s Soccer)
Joel Shump, Ohio (Wrestling)
Josh Cales, Toledo (Baseball)
Past Bob James Award Winners
2017 Kelsi White, Miami (Field Hockey); Tanner Barton, Ball State (Swimming & Diving)
2016 Julia Lombardi, Eastern Michigan (Soccer); Jordan Italiano, Kent State (Football)
2015 Stephanie Haugh, Kent State (Soccer); Dustin Page, Northern Illinois (Soccer)
2014 Lindsey Butterfield, Bowling Green (Volleyball); Kyle Smith, Central Michigan (Track & Field)
2013 Skylar Chew, Ball State (Soccer); Nabal Jefferson, Northern Illinois (Football)
2012 Kristin Hoffman, Northern Illinois (Volleyball); Briggs Orsbon, Ball State (Football)
2011 Christine Chiricosta, Bowling Green (Tennis); Jon Edgington, Miami (Baseball)
2010 Megan Chronister, Bowling Green (Gymnastics); Tim Hiller, Western Michigan (Football)
2009 Gonzalo Barinaga, Ball State (Football); Jillian Wolosiansky, Eastern Michigan (Volleyball)
2008 Wynn Michalak, Central Michigan (Wrestling); Stephanie Swiger, Bowling Green (Volleyball)
2007 Matt Lefeld, Bowling Green (Basketball); Jody Yednock, Northern Illinois (Gymnastics)
2006 David Mitchell, Miami (Cross Country/Track & Field); Marie Zidek, Northern Illinois (Volleyball)
2005 Burke Badenhop, Bowling Green (Baseball); Robin Davidson, Toledo (Soccer)
2004 Travis Barclay, Ball State (Football); Andrea Kremer, Miami (Track & Field)
2003 Brett Faustman, Central Michigan (Wrestling) and Katrina Kerns, Bowling Green (Track & Field)
2002 Anthony Malik, Bowling Green (Soccer); Kate Miller, Kent State (Basketball)
2001 Nick Iagulli, Miami (Track & Field); Jennifer Jarjosa, Bowling Green (Swimming)
2000 Cato Coleman, Miami (Track & Field); Laura Szczepanski, Ball State (Gymnastics)
1999 Wendy Feldman, Central Michigan (Volleyball); Justin Millard, Akron (Soccer)
1998 Desmond Johnston, Akron (Soccer); Janelle Tranquillo, Ball State (Field Hockey)
1997 Joseph Burch, Bowling Green (Soccer); Sarah Mikrut, Ball State (Gymnastics)
1996 Kristin Gaddis, Bowling Green (Cross Country/Track); Dustin Swinehart, Miami (Soccer)
1995 Dana Drew, Toledo (Basketball); Stephen Fetyko, Eastern Michigan (Swimming)
1994 Bob Dudley, Bowling Green (Football); Kris Parks, Ohio (Cross Country/Track)
1993 Sander Scott, Central Michigan (Basketball); Kelly Weir, Ohio (Basketball)
1992 Jeff Bender, Central Michigan (Football); Julie Young, Western Michigan (Volleyball)
1991 Pat Jackson, Bowling Green (Football); Kristin McDaniel, Kent State (Track & Field)
1990 Linda Popovich, Bowling Green (Volleyball); Danny Rieman, Ball State (Baseball)
1989 Kim Keenan, Kent State (Cross Country/Track); Rick Winegardner, Ball State (Swimming)