In its 26th year, the Bob James Memorial Award recognizes one female and one male student-athlete who have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.50, and have displayed good character, leadership and citizenship. The student-athletes are nominated during the year in which they complete their final season of eligibility. The $5,000 post-graduate scholarship is awarded in honor Bob James, the second commissioner in Mid-American Conference history (1964-71).
Smith earned Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in May, 2014 and was on the Dean's List and President's List all eight semesters and finished graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 4.0 GPA. Smith was a three-time Academic All-MAC selection (2011, 2012, 2014) and was named the Pat Podoll Award Winner, given annually to the highest GPA among graduating Central Michigan student-athletes. He was also recognized as a four-time Central Michigan Scholar-Athlete Award Winner for Outstanding Academic Achievement (2010-2014).
Smith began his collegiate career as a quarterback and strong safety on the football team for three seasons (2010-12) and was appointed to the Football Leadership Committee. In addition to football, Smith also competed as a member of the track and field team for his first three seasons and following a career ending football injury, was able to continue to compete in track and field for the remainder of his collegiate career. He earned NCAA All-American in the javelin in 2014 and was the MAC Outdoor Championships runner-up in the javelin in both 2011 and 2014.
Through his undergraduate research, Smith has already had a paper published in the annual conference of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and another paper published in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) North Central Section Conference. During his time in Mount Pleasant he also worked with the Dow Chemical Company and completed a summer internship at the FDA regulated Pharmaceutical and Nutritional Manufacturing site for Bayer Health Care.
A native of Leola, Pa., Smith will pursue law school at the University of Virginia School of Law.
Lindsey Butterfield (volleyball) of Bowling Green was the female recipient of the 2014 Bob James Memorial Award.