Villanueva named AAC Champion of Character
May 05, 2009

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Senior David Villanueva has been awarded the men's 2008-2009 AAC Champion of Character Individual Award. Only one male and one female in the AAC are selected for this award each year. This is the second year in a row that Bryan College has had a student-athlete receive this award, with Christy Noel winning last year.

In order to receive the award, the nominee must clearly demonstrate the true spirit of competition by living out the five core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship. The nominee must also demonstrate outstanding involvement in the community, which results in positive character development through sports. Each AAC member institute sent in their nomination to the Chair of the Awards Nominating Committee. The Awards Nominating Committee reviewed all nominations and chose the most outstanding male and female players. The top nominations were then sent to the Chief Executive Officers for review and selection. Each CEO had one vote for each award winner.

David will graduate with a degree in Biology (Premed) and a minor in Biblical Studies. He currently has a grade point average of 3.738. His scholarships include Dean's Scholarship (2005-2008), Men's Soccer Athletic Scholarship (2005-2008), and PCI Leadership Grant (2007-2009). David has received the following awards while at Bryan: 2008 Who's Who among American Colleges and Universities, 2008 NCCAA Scholar Athlete DI Men's Soccer Team, 2008 NAIA-Daktronics Men's Soccer Scholar-Athlete, and 2006-2008 AAC Academic All-Conference.

David is not only an extremely active young man on the Bryan College campus, but has accomplished much across the world. The following is a list of activities that David has contributed to over the last several years:
  • Before coming to Bryan, David spent a year traveling full-time doing volunteer ministry work with people of all ages in churches throughout the eastern U.S., kids and teenagers at a camp in PA, and youth in Zambia, Africa.
  • Summer 2007 - Volunteered as a camp counselor for Mt. Lou San Bible Camp in Harrisburg, PA.
  • Fall 2007 - David founded Lifeblood ministries and is currently the co-president. Lifeblood is a student group that has partnered with Banjara Tribal Ministries Orphanage in Hyderabad, India, and ZLB Plasma Services in Chattanooga, TN, to provide financial support for the orphans. Lifeblood transports students to donate blood plasma at ZLB Plasma, ZLB reimburses the students, and Lifeblood sends the money to India. One blood plasma donation=$25=1 month of life. Through Lifeblood, students are encouraged and empowered to make a difference around the world, helping them form a lifelong habit of sacrificial giving. Some of David's responsibilities include formulating and communicating the vision to get others involved, recruiting and training leaders, scheduling trips, and keeping financial records. Lifeblood is currently undertaking the 90/90 campaign: their goal is to take 90 students to give plasma twice in 90 days, raising at least $4500, which would sponsor 50 orphans for the 90 days.
  • March 2007 - Break for Change Trip to Honduras - Several members of Bryan College's men's soccer team went to Honduras to play soccer against village teams and share their faith with the people.
  • Spring 2008 - David flew to Chicago with two Bryan professors to a Council for Christian Colleges and Universities roundtable discussion about whether to undertake a giant overseas mission project. He spent a whole day in meetings and small group discussions with students and professors from around the country to come to a solution.
  • Summer 2008 - David spent five weeks with seven nursing and premedical students in Tanzania, where they served in health clinics in fishing camps and villages on the islands of Lake Victoria. He said he got a good taste of both the dramatic and mundane sides of medicine, and the time there strengthened his desire to become a doctor.
  • David is currently serving with Bryan College Practical Christian Involvement's L.I.F.E. Club. The group meets with Rhea County High School students once a month to talk with them about wise life decisions and sexual purity.
  • Spring Break 2009 - Volunteered with Inner City Impact in Chicago.
  • David currently works as a Science Tutor in the Bryan College Academic Support Center.
  • Future plans: David is getting married this May, and he and his wife will both enroll in medical school in the fall of 2010. They wish to provide medical care for underserved people in the inner city, rural areas, or overseas and hope to practice full time in Africa or India sometime in the future.
Dr. Sandy Zensen
, Dr. Martin Hartzell, and Dr. Stephanie Hartz each wrote a letter of recommendation for David. "David is a quality young man with strong character qualities. In short, he consistently leads by example. He is disciplined, purpose-driven, dependable, and committed to excellence both on and off the field of play. Above all, he has a servant's heart, looking for meaningful ways to invest in the lives of people. He is ministry-oriented, unselfish with his time and talent, and humble in attitude," noted Dr. Zensen, David's soccer coach.
Dr. Hartzell, one of David's professors and his advisor, commented, "In the classroom, he does not miss classes very often and pays good attention to lectures and is willing to ask questions if he does not understand. In the labs, he catches on very quickly and has good technique in dissection and in cellular micromanipulations. His project in the advanced molecular lab was well done and his project presentation was superior." Dr. Hartz, one of David's professors, stated, "David is a young man with a high level of integrity, who deeply cares and desires to serve others. There is humility about him. His attitude is positive with a posture of one who desires to be a servant-leader."

David has had an incredible impact on many lives both here at Bryan and in the numerous places that God has led him. Bryan College is proud to have David Villanueva honored with the men's AAC Champion of Character Individual Award.