MOUNT PLEASANT - Two Central Michigan student-athletes were presented with the prestigious Wilma Rudolph Award at the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A) convention in Dallas over the weekend.
Whitney Johnson, a member of the Chippewas' track and field program, and Armond Staten, a linebacker on the CMU football team, were two of just six student-athletes from across the country recognized with the award. They are the first CMU student-athletes to receive the award, and CMU is just the third institution in the award's 21-year history to have multiple winners in the same year.
The Wilma Rudolph Award honors student-athletes who have overcome great personal, academic, and/or emotional odds to achieve academic success while participating in intercollegiate athletics. Johnson and her younger sister were raised by their grandmother in Saginaw, Mich. while their mother battled a cocaine addiction, while Staten spent most of his childhood in foster care in Detroit.
Johnson is a four-year letterwinner as a thrower on the track and field team. She scored in the weight throw at the Mid-American Conference Indoor Championships in three different seasons.
Staten enters his senior season as one of the leaders of CMU's defense. He made a career-high 78 tackles in 2010 and tied for second nationally with five forced fumbles.
Both Johnson and Staten were on hand in Dallas to formally accept the award.
"The N4A Luncheon was a phenomenal event, and these two individuals represented CMU extremely well," said Jason Holtman, Associate AD/Academics/Student Development. "We are all so proud of Armond and Whitney for what they have overcome and accomplished so far, and we hope their stories inspire others in the future. It was an honor to be with them at the event."
Watch the CMU Sports Zone videos to hear Johnson and Staten's firsthand accounts of their personal stories.
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