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David Gift and Mollie Fowler Recipients of Coleman Lew & Associates Leadership Awards

May 27, 2008

CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Coleman Lew & Associates Leadership Awards Announced Coleman Lew & Associates, Inc., a national executive search firm, and the Southern Conference, the nation's fifth oldest NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association announced today that Western Carolina's David Gift and Mollie Fowler are two of the 21 Southern Conference student-athletes to be selected for the Third Annual Coleman Lewis Leadership Award.

The award recognizes scholar-athletes from each of the Southern Conference's 11 member institutions. Coaches, faculty athletic representatives and senior woman administrators nominate prospective candidates based on leadership, academic excellence and athletic achievement in both the college environment and the community. Athletic directors and representatives from Coleman Lew & Associates conducted one-on-one interviews with the finalists before determining the award recipients.

Gift is a junior with the Catamount track and field team. He has a 3.754 GPA in Science Education/Biology and was recently accepted the position of president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He was also named to the Southern Conference Winter Academic All-Conference Team.

Fowler is a redshirt sophomore with the Catamount softball team. She has a 3.814 GPA in Elementary Education and was recently voted as the SAAC Secretary for the 2008-09 school year. Fowler was named to the 2008 Southern Conference Spring Academic All-Conference Team. On the field, Fowler led the 2008 club with seven homeruns and 30 RBI and ranked second on the team with a .290 batting average.

The award winners are given congratulatory plaques to recognize their achievements. During their search for post-graduation employment, each of the award winners has access to Coleman Lew consultants for advice and counseling. Coleman Lew prepares the students' profiles based on their individual interviews and resumes, and provides this information to a list of well respected companies. To these companies, the award winners represent the pre-screened, highly-qualified group of successful student-athletes graduating from fine educational institutions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.

Recipients will be recognized at the Southern Conference Honors Dinner on Wednesday, May 28 at the Crowne Plaza Resort in Hilton Head, S.C.

According to Kenneth D.Carrick, Jr., partner-managing director, "Our firm, as an education partner with the Southern Conference, is proud to present the Coleman Lew Leadership Award to these outstanding student-athletes. These individuals represent the best in academic performance, athletic skill and leadership ability."

John Iamarino, conference commissioner said, "We are proud to once again work with Coleman Lew & Associates to recognize the bright young leaders of tomorrow who populate Southern Conference teams. These young men and women represent the leadership qualities that all collegiate institutions strive to instill in their students."