The 2016 Heart & Soul Award Winners were honored for their continued dedication to making a difference at the Lied Center for Performing Arts in April.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications


By Nebraska Athletics


HERO Leadership Awards

The HERO Leadership Award honors student-athlete leaders from each varsity sport. The criteria for the HERO Award include exceptional leadership, consistent and dedicated community service, and positive influence on the team. Nominees are identified by the Life Skills staff with approval from the Academic staff and Head Coaches. HERO recipients are announced at the annual A Night at the Lied student-athlete recognition event held at the Lied Center for Performing Arts every April.

2016 HERO Leadership Award Recipients

Connor Adamsick, Gymnastics

Jaylyn Odermann, Soccer

Freedom Akinmoladun, Football 

Erin Oeltjen, Swimming & Diving

Oladapo Akinmoladun, Track & Field

Madelyn Osmundson, Track & Field

 Alicia Armstrong, Softball 

Alli Peterson, Soccer

Josh Banderas, Football

Austin Post, Cross Country

Hollie Blankse, Gymnastics

Sam Shaw, Track & Field

Melanie Blum, Track & Field

Bonnie Smith, Cross Country

Brody Cleveland, Football

Joel Sneed, Golf

Melanie Crawford, Bowling

Cassidy Stelzmiller, Golf

Kristen Dowell, Track & Field

Jamie Sutcliffe, Football

Caroline Flynn, Soccer

Tori Sutter, Track & Field

Sam Foltz, Football

Sydney Townsend, Volleyball

Mary Hanna, Tennis

Krista Van Wie, Swimming & Diving

Lindsay Helferich, Swimming & Diving

Andrew White III, Basketball

Collin Jensen, Wrestling

Austin Wilson, Wrestling

Bo Kitrell, Football

Emily Wood, Basketball

Marissa Major, Rifle

Ford Zitsch, Tennis

Jake McSteen, Baseball 


Click here for past winners.




Heart and Soul Award

Formerly known as the Gerard Life Skills Award of Excellence, the Heart and Soul Award is presented annually at A Night at the Lied to Nebraska student-athletes who have consistently gone above and beyond with community service and outreach initiatives throughout their college career. Dubbed the "Heisman of Life Skills," each recipient must be a senior student-athlete who is in their final season of athletic eligibility. Honorees are determined by Life Skills and Academic Support staff as well as coaches.

Heart and Soul Award Recipients

2016 - Mattie Fowler (Softball), Levi Gipson, (Track & Field), Ethan Lottman (Men's Gymnastics), and Nate Wong, (Men's Golf)

2015 - Samantha Areman (Soccer); Devandrew Johnson (Track & Field); Rebekah Land (Swimming & Diving); Ian Ousley (Wrestling); Desire' Stephens (Gymnastics)

2014 - Amanda Burau (Bowling); Caleb Kolb (Wrestling); Sunny Russell (Rifle); and CJ Zimmerer (Football)

2013 - Ben Cotton (Football); Kelsey Larson (Swimming & Diving); and Mary Weatherholt (Women's Tennis)

2012 - Ashley Guile (Softball)

2011 - Jordan Burroughs (Wrestling); Erin Hannon (Track & Field); and Alex Henery (Football)

2010 - Blake Lawrence (Football)

2009 - Betsy Miller (Cross Country; Track & Field)

2008 - Matt Senske (Football)


Brook Berringer Citizenship Team

Created after the passing of quarterback Brook Berringer, the Citizenship Team recognizes Husker football players who have demonstrated a passion for service and involvement. To be named to the Team, football student-athletes must complete a minimum of six service projects, be in good academic standing, and have demonstrated excellent conduct. Recipients receive an award and are honored at the annual Spring Football game.

2016 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team

Freedom Akinmoladun Sam Foltz Chris Long
Avery Anderson D.J. Foster Joel Lopez 
Fyn Anderson Trey Foster Wyatt Mazour 
Tommy Armstrong Nick Gates Greg McMullen 
Josh Banderas Christian Gaylord Alonzo Moore 
Jalin Barnett Nate Gerry Graham Nabity 
Mohamed Barry Luke Gifford A.J. Natter 
Ty Betka Sam Hahn Marcus Newby 
Alex Boryca Austin Hemphill Peyton Newell 
Drew Brown Blake Holtmeier De'Mornay Pierson-El 
Jared Brugmann Lane Hovey Garrett Poppen 
A.J. Bush Matt Jarzynka Gabe Rahn 
Brett Classen Dwayne Johnson Brad Simpson 
Brody Cleveland Noah Johnson Jamie Sutcliffe 
Sam Cotton Harrison Jordan Chase Urbach 
Zack Darlington Joshua Kalu Dylan Utter 
Alex Davis Reid Karel Chris Weber 
Carlos Davis  Bo Kitrell Jacob Weinmaster 
Khalil Davis  David Knevel  Jordan Westerkamp 
Michael Decker  Chongo Kondolo  Kieron Williams 
Tanner Farmer  Eric Lee   Dedrick Young II 
Tyrin Ferguson Spencer Lindsay  


Click here for past winners.


Tom Osborne Citizenship Team

Newly created and implemented for the first time in the 2013-2014 academic calendar year, the annual Tom Osborne Citizenship Team pays tribute to legendary Nebraska Head Football Coach and Athletic Director, Tom Osborne. Under Osborne, Nebraska was among the first institutions nationwide to implement a comprehensive Life Skills program. To be named to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team, student-athletes must complete a minimum of six new service projects, and/or mentor in the academic calendar year, while being in both good academic and athletic standing. In it's third year, Nebraska proudly named 347 student-atheltes to the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. Honorees were recognized at A Night at the Lied with a newly designed Osborne medallion. 

Click here to view this year's recipients.


Unsung Hero Award

Started in 2013-2014, the Unsung Hero Award was presented annually to at least one student-athlete who, through humility and selfless dedication, has consistently been a part of the Life Skills program demonstrating a passion for service and volunteerism. The Unsung Hero also displays a strong passion for Nebraska Athletics, supporting student-athlete peers from all sports and is recognized department-wide as a positive, energetic and engaging individual committed to making a difference in the lives of others.


2014 - Nate Wong, Golf


Postgraduate Scholarships

Life Skills facilitates all student-athlete postgraduate nominations. Opportunities are available at both the conference and national level; student-athletes who are in their final season of athletic eligibility and meet a minimum grade point average along with excellence in the community are eligible to apply. Award amounts range between $5,000 and $10,000 per scholarship. To apply, students must secure letters of recommendation, complete a personal statement and summarize all athletic achievements, academic honors and community service.


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