July 18, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Patriot League has selected one male and one female as its Outstanding Leadership and Character Award winners for the 2012-2013 academic year, and both come from Lehigh University as Michael Colvin (Football) claimed the men's honor and Rebecca Guman (Basketball) the women's in a vote of the League's senior woman administrators.
The Patriot League has established an Award of Leadership and Character to recognize and honor those who demonstrate excellence in leadership and service while participating in Patriot League athletics. All Patriot League student-athletes and a team as a whole associated with a member institution's intercollegiate athletic program are eligible for the award. Lehigh student-athletes claimed the honor for a second year in a row after Chris Lum (Football) and Jana Basubas (Women's Soccer) won the inaugural awards last year.
Ironically, the award goes from Lum to Colvin in the same way the Lehigh starting quarterback position did in 2012. Lum put up a historically strong season as a senior in 2011, and Colvin shined in his chance as the starter last year when he led Lehigh to a 10-1 record while completing 227-of-396 passes for 3,108 yards with 19 touchdowns and rushing for 479 yards and 11 scores in his senior season. Colvin helped the Mountain Hawks finish among the top 20 teams in the FCS and was among the national leaders in total offense.
After serving as a backup for three years, Colvin approached his starting opportunity as a personal responsibility to perpetuate the winning tradition of Lehigh football after the Mountain Hawks had made the playoffs for two straight seasons. Colvin's attitude about his opportunity to shine was mature and grateful, as he stated: "It has been a blessing in disguise to work behind Chris because I saw someone do it the right way day in and day out."
Colvin continued the trend and emerged as a truly dependable team leader and captain. He worked all summer long to get bigger, stronger, faster and more precise in his technique. He ended up as a second-team All-Patriot League selection and earned the MVP award after the Lehigh-Lafayette football game, which he played in with a broken hand (unbeknownst to his teammates and fans). Colvin also won the top department leadership award which recognizes character, scholarship and leadership effectiveness.
Guman averaged 7.1 points and 5.1 rebounds while starting 29 games and leading a young Lehigh team to a 14-16 overall record and 6-8 Patriot League mark in 2013. She was called on as a leader on and off the court during the season, using her ability to develop meaningful relationships with a diverse constituency to positively influence others to achieve a goal. She organized her senior class to work together for the best interests of the team and served as a voice of communication in the locker room.
Guman was selected as both a junior and a senior to participate in Lehigh's most selective leadership development program. She received feedback that she scored highest in areas of communication and showing respect and care for others which allowed her to successfully serve as an influence for her team in any circumstances.
Guman had a number of achievements throughout her career at Lehigh, including making the Dean's List and Patriot League Academic Honor Roll, winning the Patriot League title and earning the school's top department leadership award. She was also accepted into an AIDS research program in Africa.
"The basketball court is our classroom, and I could think of no one who is more respectful, honest or mature to others," Lehigh Head Coach Sue Troyan said. "Becky is the consummate leader and learner, and is someone who is always looking to make herself better. In her terms of character, you are not getting a better person to be a role model and mentor to others."
The candidate list also included Holy Cross' Gary Acquah (Football) and Melanie Forte (Women's Track and Field) and Navy's Michaela Bilotta (Women's Rowing), Stefanie Ton (Women's Tennis) and Kara Pollinger (Women's Basketball).