2012 Scholar-Athlete of the Year Nominees – Western Illinois

Western Illinois' Jeffery Liles and Jenna Verity
Western Illinois' Jeffery Liles and Jenna Verity

Each day, The Summit League will feature one institution’s male and female student-athlete nominees for The Summit League Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, the highest award bestowed by the league.  The award honors the outstanding academic achievement, athletic achievement, attitude and leadership of one male and one female student-athlete.  The award is voted on by the league’s faculty athletic representatives and will be announced on Thursday, June 28.

Western Illinois’ Scholar-Athlete of the Year Nominees


Jeffery Liles, Track & Field
Sr. // 4.0 GPA // Major: Biological Sciences // Minors: Chemistry

Academic Achievements
Three-time Distinguished Scholar … Named to the 2010-11 Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence … Graduate cum luade … Honors scholar department of biology … Named the Papa John’s Scholar-Athlete of the Week in 2011.

Athletic Achievements
Recorded the second fastest 400-meter hurdles time in program history at the 2012 Outdoor Summit League Championships … Holds personal best in the outdoor 400 meters of 50.42 and in the 800 meters of 2:00.08 … Indoor personal bests include 800 meters (1:58.62), 200 meters (23.77), 400 meters (52.28) and 60-meter hurdles (9.11).

Other Campus Curricular or Extracurricular Activities
Member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society … A peer mentor in the First Year Experience Program … Volunteered for Western’s All Volunteer Effort and Move in Crew … Was a part of the Learning to Lead Scholar’s Program and the 2009 Homecoming Parade Committee … Three-year member of the Student Government Association, including roles as the Student Body Vice President and Senator at Large … Guided tours for prospective students and family through Discover Western.

Liles’ complete WIU bio.


Jenna Verity, Track & Field
Sr. // 3.93 GPA // Major: Political Science // Minor: Pre-Law

Academic Achievements
Western Illinois’ first Rhodes Scholarship finalist … Named to the 2011 Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence and Distinguished Scholar … Recipient of the Ernest J. Codilis, Jr. Centennial Honors College Pre-Law Scholarship, Keith Webb Memorial Scholarship, WIU Presidential Scholarship, the Marcy and Lulu Bodine Scholarship and Charles Leonard Memorial Scholarship … WIU Harry S. Truman Scholar nominee … Five-time Dean’s List honoree … Two-year Provost Academic Achievement Award Winner.

Athletic Achievements
Holds personal best indoor marks include shot put (37’0.25”) and weight throw (49’11.75”) … Outdoor person best marks include discus (134’5”), hammer (156’9”) and shot put (35’8.5”)

Other Campus Curricular or Extracurricular Activities
Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Phi Alpha Delta … Participated in the WIU student government association, scuba club, Students Today, Leaders Forever, Habitat for Humanity and Rocky’s Reach.

Verity’s complete WIU bio.


Previously Highlighted Nominees:

IPFW - Drew Imel & Lauren McCracken
IUPUI - Perez Agaba & Elizabeth Bourgeois
UMKC - Cosmas Ayabei & Kaelene Curry
NDSU – Zach Wentz & Amy Anderson
OU – Timothy Montague & Alyssa Vela
ORU - Shadrack Koech & Kristen Radcliff
SDSU - Jacob Schneller & Jill Young

2011-12 Year in Review
June 29, 2012 2011-12 Year in Review
Diamond Gems
May 16, 2012 Diamond Gems
Queen of the Court
May 3, 2012 Queen of the Court
Playing on the PGA Tour
April 25, 2012 Playing on the PGA Tour