PASADENA, Calif. – As the 2012-13 academic and athletic year wraps up a number of awards and honors are still rolling in. Announced recently by the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC), seniors Cortney Jordan and Chad Kimmelshue were named the Cal Lutheran SCIAC Female and Male Scholar Athletes, respectively.
The announcement to the CLU community came at the Scholar Athlete Induction on May 11, but the complete league office release is now available.
Both student-athletes were four-year letter winners in their respective sports and made indelible contributions to the institution between 2009-13. Each was selected by the CLU Faculty Athletic Policies Committee.
Jordan, a Liberal Studies major, was not only a collegiate athlete while at Cal Lutheran, but she is a two-time Paralympian competing in Beijing (2008) and London (2012) and is an S7 American Record Holder in 17 events, 11 of which were set while swimming for the Regals.
Never thinking she would be able to participate in swimming at the college level, Jordan, born with cerebral palsy, described her experience as “an honor to have been a member of the swim team.” Not only was she a member, but she was voted as a team captain and made some of her best friends as part of the program. Jordan expanded her involvement at CLU beyond the pool. She was a Student Director at the Writing Center, a member of numerous clubs, including the triathlon club, Club Teach, MyLife, Phi Alpha Theta, History Club and has volunteered much time to working in the local elementary schools and coaching young swimmers. Immediately following graduation, Jordan will be relocating and training in Colorado Springs at the US Olympic Training Center for the Paralympic World Championships in Canada this summer. She has also signed on as a US Paralympic ambassador for the US Olympic Committee with the main goal of spreading awareness of the opportunities for disabled athletes. Once her professional career comes to a close, Jordan aspires to become a teacher.
At the induction ceremony, Jordan addressed those inside the Gilbert Arena for one of her first speeches by talking to the following four points:
- The gift of being in the moment.
- Passion for what you are doing.
- Focusing on teammates and how others will remember you and how you can make others feel good.
- Never-Ever giving up!
During her speech she also touched on the notion of cherishing differences, respecting others, assuming responsibility and having no regrets.
While Jordan was at the podium, Kimmelshue was in Florida competing at the NCAA Division III Men’s Golf Championships for the second consecutive year.
Though Kimmelshue initially had his sights set on trying to obtain a scholarship to a Division I or II school, he credits his choice to attend CLU and become a Kingsmen golfer to be, “the best decision I could have made.” Choosing a college and career path is a hard decision and juggling the rigorous academic programs and participate in a time consuming sport makes the accomplishment all that much more rewarding.
Kimmelshue turned his focus to being able to play golf for the love of the game while also working closely with his professors to accomplish success in both facets. Surely student-athletes want to win and bring home a championship, but he described not having to worry about the pressures of losing a scholarship by saying, “I believe that frees us up as athletes, to play as well as we can and feel satisfied with having given it out best shot without having to look over our shoulder all the time.”
Kimmelshue took it upon himself to perform the best he could in both areas. His professors have worked closely with him and also encouraged his athletic endeavors. He proved that he was not just passing classes, but learning the materials and applying it. On the course, he was spending extra time at the driving range and putting greens to assure himself he was able to compete at the highest level. Because of the number of hours that go into his sport and his studies, Kimmelshue was forced to learn time management skills, as all student-athletes are. “As I worried about whether I would be able to fit everything into my schedule, it always seemed to work with the help of both Coach [Jeff] Lindgren and my professors,” he said.
Not only did he participate in athletics at CLU, but he was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) with whom he volunteered reading to local elementary school children, at the Ventura County Rescue Mission and cooking and serving food to the homeless. On campus he was part of the Intramural Sports program as well. Off campus, he has spent countless hours teaching golf to young golfers and his family is very active at the Faith Lutheran Church in Chino where he has volunteered at a pair of homeless shelters, the Jesus Center and Torres Shelter, for as long as he can remember.
A Bioengineering major, Kimmelshue, who grew up on a farm in Northern California would like to apply his degree to either the agricultural or medical field. Because of the time he spent focusing on academics and athletics at Cal Lutheran, he plans to obtain an internship after graduation to get some more hands on and real-world experience before settling on a graduate school in the coming years. When he looks to the future, however, he shared that, “Ultimately I am fascinated by the possibility of enhancing production agriculture through bioengineering or working to make life easier for human beings through medical technology.”
The quality and diversity of students that Cal Lutheran attracts is unique. A large portion of the student body doubles as athletes each year. The passion, drive and commitment of those student-athletes make the Kingsmen and Regals who represent CLU, the SCIAC and Division III on a whole a successful and honorable group.