NewsMVNU's Kot Earns Prestigious NAIA's A.O. Duer Award
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - Laura Kot, a member of the Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s fastpitch softball team, was recently selected as the female recipient of the A.O. Duer Award presented by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Duer award, which is presented annually to a junior men’s and women’s student-athlete in any sport who has excelled in character, playing ability, and scholarship, has been awarded by the NAIA since 1967 in honor of the late former NAIA executive director A.O. Duer, who was responsible for the NAIA’s role as the first collegiate organization to be fully integrated.
The award recipients are selected by the NAIA Council of Faculty Athletics Representatives from a field of nominees from NAIA member institutions. Candidates must achieve a minimum grade point average of 3.75 on a 4.00 scale. The recipients’ universities also receive a $1,000 scholarship award from Daktronics in the name of the winners.
Kot, a junior outfielder from Tallmadge, Ohio, has posted a .414 career batting average in three seasons with the Lady Cougars. She has been named to the American Mideast Conference South Division Second Team twice and the AMC South Division Honorable Mention list once. She was the AMC South Division Freshman of the Year in 2004 as well as being a two-time National Christian College Athletic Association All-American.
In the classroom, Kot has posted a perfect 4.00 grade point average as a Mathematics major with minors in English and Print Communications. She has been named to the MVNU Dean’s List all six semesters and has been selected twice to the ESPN The Magazine© Academic All-District Team as well as being named to the ESPN The Magazine© Academic All-America Second Team in 2006. Kot was also named to both the NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete Teams in 2006.
Away from the softball field and the classroom, Kot has been very active in various forms of campus and community activities. She has been a small group Bible study leader at MVNU for two years as well as speaking at her high school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter in each of the past three years. She has served as a basic algebra tutor at MVNU for two years, spent one year on the MVNU judicial council, and served as a volunteer mentor at The Harbor, a Salvation Army ministry to the kids of downtown Mount Vernon during the spring of 2005. She was inducted into Alpha Chi National Honor Society and currently serves as the secretary, and she is currently spending this summer traveling with Competitive Edge International using softball as a means to spread the gospel in East Asia.
"Laura is the ultimate team player,” said MVNU softball coach Jeana Howald. "She is very self-motivated, works hard, and is a student of the game. Of the field, Laura is very dedicated and driven in her studies and everything she does. Her perfect grade point average in a demanding major is one example of this diligence. She is very involved in campus and community activities and exhibits the type of character and servant leadership that represents the institution well.”
Kot, who is the first MVNU recipient of this award, joins Kyle Kattke, the 2006 male recipient of the A.O. Duer Award from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Kattke is a member of the cross country and track teams and also maintains a perfect grade point average while majoring in Engineering.