Janelle Brown, CU'12, was presented the Dr. Leroy Walker Champions of Character Award during the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics convention in April, although she received the award last year.
The annual award, created to honor Dr. LeRoy Walker, a former president of the NAIA and president emeritus of the United States Olympic Committee, recognizes a student-athlete with at least a junior academic status who has demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, campus and community leadership embracing the five core character values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative, athletic achievement and future ambition.
"I feel very honored to receive the award," said Brown, who spent the past year in China working for Women At Risk International. "The five core values of the Champions of Character programs are values that Jesus demonstrated for us. Therefore, it was a natural step to incorporate them into my life as an athlete."
Brown holds five school records for indoor and outdoor track and field in the race walk, and qualified for the NAIA national championships every year at Cornerstone.
She served as co-captain of the track and field team during her senior year and is a six-time NAIA All-American. She also qualified for three USA Track and Field championships.
Her last three years at CU she was invited to the Penn Relays.
While at Cornerstone, Brown founded Cornerstone's Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program – now called Enactus. As president of the chapter at CU, the group earned two regional championships and a national rookie of the year award.
"Janelle is not just a student-athlete," said Rod Wortley, Cornerstone's cross country and track coach. "She is a mature person who seeks to use her skills to affect significant, positive change in others' lives."
But, she doesn't pretend to be perfect.
"I made mistakes and failed many times along the way, but living out these values and being around others who were living them out in sports and in everyday life helped strengthen my Christian walk and I hope I was able to influence others as well," said Brown.
Brown was nominated by the athletic department, Wortley and her teammates.