May 6, 2011

The NCAA has selected Texas A&M's Julia Wilkinson and Hiram College's Chris Sabo as recipients of the 2011 Jim McKay Scholarships.

Established in 2008 to honor the contributions of pioneer sports journalist Jim McKay, the program annually awards $10,000 to one female and one male student-athlete in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement and potential to make a contribution in the sports communication industry.

Wilkinson, a swimmer and member of the Canadian National and Olympic teams, graduated in May 2010 with a 3.875 grade-point average in communication and a minor in sports management and English. She plans to pursue a master's degree in broadcasting and journalism.

She has appeared on Fox Sports Network and co-hosted the Aggie Fan Zone Broadcast. She was captain for her team and competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

"For as long as I can remember, I have only ever had two major goals: to swim in the Olympics and to work in broadcasting," she wrote in her application essay. "Working in the communication industry has taught me skills and shown me how much I enjoy broadcasting, but swimming at the Beijing Olympics has also given me experience from the other side of the camera."

Sabo played football for four years at Hiram, where he majored in communications with a 3.7 GPA. Sabo will complete his undergraduate career this May.

He plans to attend UCLA where he will enroll in the master of arts program in cinematography. Sabo has interned for NFL Films and has done video work for Hiram.

"When I was in eighth grade, I received my first camcorder as a birthday present," he wrote in his application essay. "Since then, I have been infatuated with media arts."

McKay Scholars demonstrate a unique aptitude and commitment to the sports communication industry. They exhibit the highest level of professional integrity, including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability with the element of compassion that was the hallmark of its namesake.

Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher and have competed in intercollegiate athletics as a member of an NCAA varsity team. They must be currently enrolled in graduate study or be committed to enrolling in a degree program within five years of being awarded the scholarship.

The scholarship is open to student-athletes in all three NCAA divisions, participating in all sports. Go to NCAA.org for more information and application deadlines.