Mule logo  
Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 - page 2

 December 23  | January 2  3  4  5  6  7  8  10  11  12  13  14  15  17  18  19  20  21  22  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31 | February 1
 

tozer, cook honored as scholar-athletes

Evan Tozer Three years ago, Evan Tozer's parents never thought he would make it at Muhlenberg.

A freshman on the Mule basketball team, Tozer struggled to find a balance between gym time and study time during his first year in Allentown. He ended up on academic probation and was in danger of being kicked out of school.

That rude awakening made Tozer realize that if he wanted to succeed at Muhlenberg he would have to put in as much, if not more, effort off the court as he would on the floor.

Jump ahead to his senior year and Tozer has transformed himself into such a solid student that he was honored as a member of the Lehigh Valley Small College Basketball Scholar-Athlete Team. Classmate Sheila Cook represented the Muhlenberg women's team at the second Lehigh Valley College Basketball Media Organization luncheon of the season.

"This is a great honor because I kind of started off a little slow in my academic career here at Muhlenberg," Tozer said. "But the past couple years I've been really putting it together.

"I was very immature when I first came in and didn't Sheila Cook do the things I was supposed to. But now I've gotten a handle on things and am working hard. It's a really rewarding award after what I went through."

The entire journey has taught Tozer many valuable lessons. Chief among them was learning that hard work and determination truly can pay off. For the first time in his life Tozer had to commit himself to an academic plan. And by fully embracing his role as a student and managing his time, he was able to succeed.

He made himself a better student through hard work and hours of studying. And for Mule coach Scott McClary, Tozer's success story is the epitome of how athletics can enhance the collegiate learning process.

"He has used his college experience and his learned responsibility of being on an athletic team to completely turn things around," McClary said. "He is an example of what the college education should do for its students, and I am proud of the growth the he has shown."

And while Tozer, a business administration major, has received awards and accolades during his playing career, he had never been honored for his work in the classroom. And that, he said, makes this academic award the most meaningful.

"I'm really proud and my parents are very proud. They didn't expect me
Scholar Athletes Get Out Grading Pens

Muhlenberg's two Lehigh Valley Scholar-Athletes know how to get good grades, but what kind of grades would they give to their own teams?

Evan Tozer gave the men's team a B-minus. "We have some days where we're bad and some day where we're good, but we're really starting to click together a little bit, and we just have to go out and focus for a full game because when we do that we can beat any team.," he said.

Sheila Cook, the future teacher, also gave a B-minus. "We're 9-2, and we don't like having the '2' on our record," she explained. "We have a lot of individual talent, and I think we're going to start to get some big conference wins."

The Mules fell to No. 19 in the D3hoops.com poll and are tied for 20th in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association poll.

to last all four years here but I've turned things around," Tozer said. "After everything I went through this is the greatest award I've ever received; I'd take it over every basketball award any day."

Cook has also been successful in academics and athletics, and she hopes some of the lessons she's learned along the way will rub off on others. An English major, the center is pursuing her secondary education certification and plans to return to her native Long Island to become a teacher after graduating from Muhlenberg.

She got a taste of what it would be like last semester, and while every aspect of her student teaching experience wasn't entirely to her liking, it was enough to solidify her career choice.

"Getting up at 5:30 every day was totally exhausting," she said. "But it was the most rewarding thing to get up in front of juniors or seventh-graders and have them understand what I was teaching. It was amazing."

Cook split her time at William Allen High School and Whitehall Middle School, where one of her students was Alex Rohn, the nephew of Mule head coach Ron Rohn. When Alex comes to the Mule games, he makes sure to say hi to Miss Cook.

"Sheila just loves being a teacher," said Ron Rohn. "She'd always come to practice [after student teaching] with a story to tell and excited about something that happened that day. She's like that across the board - she's so positive and brings so much to everything she does."

Cook, who also is an active member of her sorority, attributes her success on and off the court to "hard work and dedication. You have to be willing to do all your schoolwork and then go to practice and work hard on the court for two hours.

"And you have to have a positive attitude, because you're not always going to have your best day."

Muhlenberg® Collegeempty2400 Chew St.emptyAllentown, PA 18104-5586empty484.664.3100empty484.664.3623  (TTY)