Three Valparaiso University student-athletes were recognized on Tuesday as the Missouri Valley Conference unveiled its 2020-2021 State Farm MVC Good Neighbor Awards.
Women’s tennis senior Claire Czerwonka (Kenosha, Wis. / Saint Joseph Catholic Academy), women’s soccer senior Tahelah Noel (Buffalo, N.Y. / Christian Central Academy) and women’s swimming junior Chiara Robinson (Castle Pines, Colo. / Rock Canyon) received the recognition, which is awarded to model student-athletes who are also outstanding citizens.
Czerwonka has been a member of SAAC including being a part of the community-engagement subcommittee. She helped revise the #oneValpo promise. She organizes a student-led nursing study session with peers. The team captain volunteers at St. Teresa (Café Mana), St. Agnus adult day care, the Boys and Girls Club of Chesterton, TradeWinds, Valparaiso Nazarene Church, Phil’s Friends and Hilltop House.
The owner of a 3.51 GPA in Nursing, Czerwonka was recognized in the MVC Scholar-Athlete Spotlight this season. She is a three-time member of the Valpo Dean’s List, a member of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and recipient of the Valpo Presidential Academic Honors Award. She was named a 2019-2020 ITA Scholar Athlete.
Noel has volunteered at Valpo Care and Rehab as a social worker. She has worked as an unpaid intern at Northwest Health Porter as a social worker in case management. She has been a Valpo Parks soccer camp volunteer and a summer coach for elementary-aged children. While at home, she volunteers at the Buffalo City Mission. She participated on a mission trip to Costa Rica during which she helped build and paint a school.
Noel will be pursuing a Master’s of Social Work in the Fall of 2021. She has been recognized on the MVC Academic Honor Roll.
Robinson volunteers at many places both at Valpo and in her hometown. At Valpo, she has participated in the Dance Marathon to raise money for Lurie Children’s Hospital, beautified the campus and areas of Indiana Dunes during collection days and volunteered as a freshman move-in helper. She is also involved in WAVES (Working Across Vocations Everywhere through Service), Girl Scouts of America and has volunteered at Buffalo Ridge Elementary School. During the pandemic, she wrote thank-you letters to healthcare workers on the frontlines and valentine cards to hospitalized children and senior citizens. She also traveled to Guatemala to help install solar panels, run basic health checkups and survey a water filtration system for local schools.
Robinson has a cumulative 3.65 grade point average in civil engineering with an environmental engineering minor. She was part of the MVC Scholar-Athlete Team and MVC Honor Roll. She is a member of the Dean’s list and has been a member of SAAC.