A pair of Pittsburg State student-athletes have been nominated for the MIAA’s student-athlete of the year award.

A pair of Pittsburg State student-athletes have been nominated for the MIAA’s student-athlete of the year award.
Among this year's list of hopefuls are three past finalists — Pittsburg State's Caleb Farabi and Washburn's Jessica Mainz were in the top three last year, while PSU's Venessa Lee was a finalist in 2006-07 before sitting out last season.
A total of 18 student-athletes — seven men and 11 women — have been nominated for the 2008-09 Ken B. Jones Award as MIAA Student-Athlete of the Year.
This marks the 16th year for the award. It is named in honor of the man who served as the MIAA's first full-time commissioner for 16 years, before retiring in 1997. He passed away in May 2004.
One male and one female will be selected for the honors, with the announcement of the three men's and three women's finalists coming on June 1.
The finalists will be invited to the MIAA Awards Banquet, scheduled for June 11 in Kansas City, Kan., at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, where the winners will be announced.
A 12-member panel of athletics directors, senior women's administrators, faculty athletics representatives and sports information directors representing each school and the conference office selects the winners.
Judging is done in four areas for each nominee, 2008-09 Athletic Accomplishments, 2008-09 Academic Accomplishments, 2008-09 Campus/Community Service and Career Athletic, Academic and Service Achievements.
To be nominated, a student-athlete must have a 3.00 cumulative grade-point average as of April 1, and complete at least their junior season of eligibility in the 2008-09 season.
Southwest Baptist football student-athlete Nick Smart and Emporia State basketball student-athlete Michelle Stueve won the 2007-08 awards.

2008 KEN B. JONES NOMINEES
Men's Nominees
* Caleb Farabi, senior, Pittsburg State University, football, Pittsburg.*
* Eric Gilliland, senior, Fort Hays State University, baseball, Concordia.
* Troy Kush, senior, University of Nebraska-Omaha, football, Gretna, Neb.
* Joel Osborn, senior, Northwest Missouri State University, football, Harlan, Iowa
* Michael Pierce, senior, Southwest Baptist University, track & field, Gladstone, Mo.
* Dustin Strickler, senior, Missouri Western State University, football, Bellevue, Neb.
* Zach Watkins, junior, Washburn University, football, Independence, Mo.

Women's Nominees
* Miranda Campbell, junior, Emporia State University, softball, Bogata, Texas
* Danielle DeVader, senior, Missouri Southern State University, basketball, Holton.
* Danna Kelly, senior, Truman State University, cross country/track & field, Boone, Iowa
* Venessa Lee, senior, Pittsburg State University, cross country/track & field, Cleveland, Mo.+
* Jessica Mainz, senior, Washburn University, soccer/ basketball, Topeka.*
* Hallie McMillen, senior, Fort Hays State University, softball, Topeka.
* Amanda Nocita, senior, Missouri Western State University, softball, Omaha, Neb.
* Holly Ramaeker, senior, Northwest Missouri State University, soccer, Omaha, Neb.
* Brittanie Roldan, senior, University of Central Missouri, track & field, Frisco, Texas
* Ellen Thommes, junior, University of Nebraska-Omaha, volleyball, Omaha, Neb.
* Caitlin Tull, junior, Southwest Baptist University, soccer, Yuba City, Calif.

* = 2007-08 Ken B. Jones Award nominee
+ = 2006-07 Ken B. Jones Award nominee