Janelle Brown, a senior track and field student-athlete at Cornerstone University (Mich.), has been named the 2011-12 recipient of the NAIA Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award.
The Dr. LeRoy Walker Champions of Character Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the NAIA and is named after Walker, who was the first African-American president of the NAIA and also president of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC).
The award is given annually to an NAIA student-athlete who has outstanding academic achievement, campus and community leadership, and who embraces the five core values of the Champions of Character program-integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
An international business major and a race walker, Brown also is a six-time NAIA All-American in indoor and outdoor track and field, and she has qualified for three USA Track & Field championships. She has received invitations to the Penn Relays the past three years, and she finished sixth overall in the Penn Relays 5000-meter race walk last month with the fastest time in NAIA women's race walking history.
"Janelle is not just a student-athlete," said Rod Worley, cross country and track coach at Cornerstone. "She is a mature person who seeks to use her skills to effect significant, positive change in others' lives."
Brown is an academic All-American in track and cross country, and she is planning to pursue a career in international law. She is the president and founder of the Cornerstone chapter of the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program, and she has spent two summers teaching English in China.
Brown was nominated by the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference, and she was the Wolverine Hoosier conference-level award winner. Brown will accept her award at the 2013 NAIA Convention in Kansas City, Mo.
To learn more about the namesake of this award, former NAIA and USOC president Dr. LeRoy Walker, who died earlier this year, click here.