Story first appeared in the Jan. 29 edition of the Spectator.
All too often student-athletes receive praise solely for what they achieve on the field or the court, which makes it refreshing when one gets noticed also for what he or she does in the classroom. It is even better when that person is a Fighting Scot.
Bryan Baumgartner, a spring 2014 graduate, received the NCAA Jim McKay Scholarship at the annual Faculty Athletics Representative Association’s conference in New Orleans in late November.
The award, named after McKay, one of the most revered sports reporters, is given to one male and one female student-athlete each year and is in the sum of $10,000 for graduate studies in the field of sports journalism.
Kimberly Borza, a former member of the University of Pittsburgh’s women’s tennis team, was the female recipient.
“I feel incredibly honored and humbled to receive an award named after Jim McKay who was a model professional for any aspiring sports journalist,” Baumgartner said.
The General McLane product earned a cumulative 3.7 GPA and is a former General Manager for Edinboro Television and also a one-time Sports Editor for this publication.
Athletically, Baumgartner was a member of both the cross country and the track and field teams at Edinboro and was a PSAC-qualifier in the 5,000 meter run. He was a four-time PSAC and Edinboro scholar-athlete.
“Words can’t adequately describe the pride I feel when an Edinboro student is recognized for a national award while at Edinboro or after graduation,” Roy Shinn, Edinboro’s NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative said. “This award is a testament to the extraordinary efforts of Bryan, his family, the faculty in the department of journalism and public relations, and Bryan’s coaches, and should inspire others to become the best version of themselves.”
The Mckay Scholarship was established in 2008 and is awarded to two candidates who have an overall undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better, competed as a member of a varsity team in the NCAA and are enrolled in graduate study at an NCAA member institution or be a graduate who is committed to enrolling in a graduate study program within five years of winning the award.
Baumgartner, who is the son of four-time Olympic medalist and Edinboro Athletic Director Bruce Baumgartner, realizes that the Boro made his successes and the recognition of them, possible.
“This award is not just about my efforts as a student athlete but, is also a testament to the amazing professors and students in Edinboro University’s journalism department,” he said. “The guidance of Dr. Jim Wertz, Dr. Melissa Gibson and Dr. Anthony Peyronel along with the support of the friends I made working at ETV created a fantastic environment for me to learn and grow as a journalist. Likewise, I experienced and learned so much running for Doug Watts and I will treasure the memories of competing alongside my cross country and track & field teammates forever.”