Women’s Basketball Player Melissa Williams and Track & Field Standout Jordan Arakawa Win Scholar-Athlete Awards from Big Sky Conference

Women’s Basketball Player Melissa Williams and Track & Field Standout Jordan Arakawa Win Scholar-Athlete Awards from Big Sky Conference

Both biology majors, recent graduates are honored for athletics accomplishments and academic achievements at EWU

Big Sky Conference News Release

A pair of recent graduates with degrees in biology – women’s basketball player Melissa Williams and track and field standout Jordan Arakawa -- have been selected as Eastern Washington University’s recipients of the Big Sky Conference Scholar-Athlete Award for the 2014-15 school year. Williams is a 2011 graduate of Camas (Wash.) High School and Arakawa graduated in 2010 from Capital HS in Olympia, Wash.

The Scholar-Athlete Award honors the "best of the best" of the conference's more than 3,500 student-athletes. One senior male and one senior female from each school in the league are recognized for their athletic and academic achievements.

To qualify for the award, a student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale), be a member of the graduating class and/or have completed their last year of intercollegiate athletic eligibility, have completed at least two years of intercollegiate competition at the institution and be a letter winner.

A veteran of 122 games as an Eagle, Williams completed her biology degree with a 3.77 grade point average. Arakawa was an Academic All-American and three-time conference champion, and received his pre-medicine/biology degree with a 3.93 GPA.

Williams spent her senior season as EWU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) President, and was also one of three Social Media Ambassadors for the athletic department. She was the organizer for the Toiletry Drive fundraiser, and participated in the Penny Drive for the Guild School. She also was a leader in on-campus student-athlete meal plan discussions.

On the court, she was a second team All-Big Sky selection and had 12 double-doubles in helping EWU to a NCAA Division I best 21 victories. She earned four Big Sky All-Academic honors in her career.

Williams finished her career tied atop the Eagles’ NCAA Division I career games played list with 122 total appearances in an EWU uniform. She ranks second all-time with 832 rebounds while her career average of 6.8 boards per game ranks sixth. She also ranks eighth all-time with 86 blocked shots and is tied for 10th all-time with 128 career steals.

Arakawa achieved another first for the EWU Track & Field program when he was selected to the 2014-15 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country Team. He is the first Eastern student-athlete to be selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) on the Academic All-America team, after becoming the first to be named to the Academic All-District VIII team back in May. A total of 45 student-athletes were selected to the squad, and Arakawa was among the 15 chosen for the second team.

Arakawa won the Big Sky Conference championship in the hammer throw in May. He concluded his career on May 29th with a 26th-place finish at the NCAA West Preliminary Round in Austin, Texas, coming up short in his bid to return to the NCAA Championships.

After placing second in the hammer throw at the past two conference championships, Arakawa won his first Big Sky outdoor title with a season-best toss of 218-1, winning the event by over four feet. His personal best of 219-3 ranks second in school history behind David Paul (226-2, 2007).

The Olympia, Wash., native won two consecutive Big Sky titles indoors in the weight throw at the 2014 and 2015 conference championships. His personal best of 66-1 1/2 ranks second in school history, also behind David Paul (68-8 1/2, 2007).

Arakawa will end his career a perfect 8-for-8 in Big Sky All-Academic honors and was selected as the Most Outstanding Performer at the 2015 outdoor conference meet. Six times he earned All-Big Sky honors with finishes in the top three -- a trio as champion and three more as runner-up. He also earned Big Sky Athlete of the Week honors 11 times in his career.

Listed below is a yearly listing of EWU’s recipients of the Big Sky Conference Scholar-Athlete Award.




Female Athlete, Sport

Male Athlete, Sport


Melissa Williams, Basketball

Jordan Arakawa, Track & Field


Ashley Wright, Volleyball

Ashton Miller, Football


Cora Kellerman, Volleyball/Track & Field

Jeff Minnerly, Football


Shene Davis, Track & Field

Bowe Ebding, Track & Field/Cross Country


Julie Piper, Basketball

Matt Martin, Football


Christy Borders, Track & Field

Jacob Kragt, Football


Bonnie Berscheid, Track & Field

Marcus Walker, Football


Camille Moseley, Track & Field/Cross Country

Tom McAndrews, Football


Joanna Chadd, Basketball

David Paul, Track & Field


Beth Russell, Soccer

Joey Cwik, Football


Keva Sonderen, Volleyball

Ty Weingard, Track & Field


Kathleen Nygaard, Basketball

Kyler Randall, Football


Christie Kight, Track & Field

Kurt Kraemer, Track & Field


Robyn Felder, Volleyball

Mike Oien, Track & Field


Angie Hall, Volleyball

Lance Ballew, Football


Kim Maxwell, Volleyball

Ryan Hansen, Basketball


Kim Exner, Volleyball

Mike MacKenzie, Football


Lora Botha, Volleyball

Jeff Ogden, Football


Jaime Dotson, Volleyball

Jason Baerlocher, Track & Field


Resa Watterson, Basketball

Jesse Hardt, Football


Lori Napier, Basketball

Noah Chambreau, Track & Field


Andrea Pochman, Volleyball

Tony Brooks, Football


Angela Grant, Volleyball

Trevor Westlund, Football


Kari McKay, Track & Field/Cross Country

Kurt Schulz, Football


Nancy Kuiper, Track & Field

John Garrison, Basketball


Suzanne Vick, Volleyball

Jack Folger, Track & Field/Cross Country


Lorna Barr, Volleyball

Jeff Mickel, Football


Sonya Gaubinger, Basketball

Hogan Wrixon, Track & Field