Student-athlete honored for his success beyond sports
WAYNE, NJ & BEREA, OH - FEB. 10, 2016 - Jesse Gunter, the senior captain of the Baldwin Wallace University wrestling team, has been selected as a recipient of the Haier Achievement Award, presented to deserving student-athletes for their accomplishments beyond sports. The announcement of this year's seventh Haier Achievement Award recipient was made by John Homlish, Senior Vice President and Business Unit Leader of Digital Living for Haier America and Doug Vance, Executive Director of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
"The Haier Achievement Award program brings to light those student-athletes who have achieved success beyond sports," said Homlish. "By recognizing eight student-athletes with inspirational stories throughout the year, we hope to further motivate other young people to achieve and succeed both on and off the field. By bringing Jesse's incredible story to light, we hope to inspire other young people."
Jesse displays courage and excellence every day. The senior from Akron, OH (Coventry H.S.) is totally blind in one eye and 90% in a second eye but has still managed to achieve a 3.3 GPA majoring in both education and accounting. He plans to pursue his master's degree in accounting next year. On the mat he is a two-time Division III All-American wrestler and a two-time NWCA Scholar All-American compiling at a 126-13 career record thus far. Additionally, Jesse volunteers and works with special needs children.
"I want to thank my parents, coach Jamie Gibbs, my teammates, SID Kevin Ruple and God," said Gunter. "None of this is possible without every single one of them. I am very grateful to share this award with Baldwin Wallace University and the BW wrestling program. Both have created wonderful opportunities for myself and others and I am grateful to have the opportunity to represent BW and its wrestling program. I also would like to thank CoSIDA and Haier for being the first Division III recipient this year. I hope I can represent all Division III student-athletes who work so hard, are so dedicated and committed to their academics, their sport and their teammates, and who represent the Division III philosophy of the student-athlete."
Haier will officially recognize Jesse with an on-court presentation at the February 17th Baldwin Wallace University men's basketball game. In addition to awarding him with a plaque, Haier will donate $2,000 to the Baldwin Wallace University general scholarship fund and award a Haier 48-inch LED HD television to the school's athletic department.
"Jesse is outstanding in every facet of his life and an outstanding role model for both our wrestlers and anyone who has to overcome any kind of hurdle in their life," said fifth-year BW Head Wrestling Coach Jamie Gibbs. "Jesse is one of the hardest workers and best leaders I have ever coached. I am most grateful he is staying at BW next year, working towards his master's degree in accounting, to help coach because Jesse will be an even better coach due to his genuine passion to help others break barriers to achieve success. This award confirms the type of place Baldwin Wallace is and the resources that it has to help Jesse and other students achieve greatness."
Student-athletes from all sports, all schools, and all divisions are eligible for the Haier Achievement Award. Members of CoSIDA and fans can nominate student-athletes at www.HaierAchievement.com. Haier will announce eight (8) honorees throughout the year and in March invite fans to vote online for the Haier Ultimate Achievement Award winner. The winner will earn his/her school a $5,000 donation to the general scholarship fund and a Haier 48-inch LED HD television. Additionally, all fans who vote will be entered into a drawing to win a Haier 48-inch LED HD TV. Kelly Thomson (Kansas State University), a junior women's basketball player; Megan Fish (University of Central Florida), a senior women's soccer player; Malcolm Mitchell (University of Georgia), a senior football player; senior swimmer Emily Fogle (Purdue University); and Femi Hollinger-Franzen (Indiana University), a senior men's soccer player; and Imani Boyette (University of Texas), a senior women's basketball player are the other Haier Achievement Award honorees recognized thus far this year.
ABOUT HAIER: Haier America (www.haieramerica.com) is a subsidiary of Haier Group, the world's No. 1 major appliance brand as ranked by Euromonitor International 2014, and a global leader in consumer electronics. Haier employs more than 60,000 people around the world and distributes products in more than 100 countries and regions with global revenues reaching $32.6 billion in 2014.
ABOUT CoSIDA: CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America,www.cosida.com) was founded in 1957 and is a 3,000-plus member national organization comprised of sports public relations, media relations and communications/information professionals throughout all levels of collegiate athletics in the U.S. and Canada. CoSIDA has two primary missions: 1) Assist communications and public relations professionals at all collegiate levels with professional development and continuing education, 2) Play a significant leadership and resource role within the overall collegiate athletics enterprise, thus helping other management groups and their respective memberships deal with the set of communications-based issues that is the most complex and challenging in history.