Being an Illinois State athlete has long been synonymous with academic success. Former Redbird Anna Stinson, who just recently graduated after a brilliant four-year career playing soccer at Illinois State, added to that legacy last week by being named for the Dr. Charlotte West Scholar-Athlete Award. Stinson became the fifth Redbird to be presented the prestigious award after displaying exceptional levels of both academic and athletic achievement.

First presented in the year 2000, the award is named in honor of one of the most prominent figures in Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)history. Defining an era of Southern Illinois-Carbondale University athletics, Dr. Charlotte West served a variety of positions at the university for over forty years, including overseeing as head coach for five different sports. Dr. West was the first woman to ever serve on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and received several decorations throughout her career, including Administrator of the Year by both the National Association of Collegiate Women Administrators.

To receive an award named after such an important individual is an incredible honor and Stinson’s career at Illinois State certainly was worthy of the distinction. Consistently amongst the most elite players in the MVC since her freshman year, Stinson helped lead ISU to a historic 2013 campaign that included a record 14 wins and an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, a first for the conference.

Along with all the success of her team, individual accolades are no stranger to Stinson. Among other distinctions, the star player has twice been named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team and has been a three-time recipient of the Elite 18 Award. Stinson also leaves Illinois State with a career mark of 19 assists, the fourth most in ISU program history.

“Receiving this award is a tremendous honor, and I am thankful to be able to represent Illinois State. I was given so many incredible opportunities at the school both athletically and academically.” A humble Stinson told the Vidette. “This award is a testament to the support of teammates, coaches, professors and administration who have worked hard to make the experience at Illinois State the best it can be.”

While Stinson certainly didn’t need any more awards to validate her incredible career at ISU, the Dr. Charlotte West award does cement her place among the best soccer players to ever play for the Redbirds.

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