Senior Wins Prestigious NCAA Award

May 9, 2011

Chris Sabo and his parents; Photo by Kasey Samuel Adams

Graduating senior Chris Sabo wants to “do big things and put Hiram back on the map.”

With a week still left of college, he’s already well on his way.

Sabo, a communication major from Akron, is the 2011 winner of the prestigious Jim McKay Scholarship, awarded by the NCAA to one man and one woman student-athlete each year. With this recognition, he has received a $10,000 scholarship for his academic achievement and potential to make a major contribution in the sports communication industry.

Sabo’s passion is video production, and throughout his time at Hiram, he has seized every opportunity possible to gain experience.

“It’s just what I love to do,” he said. “I came to Hiram, and they didn’t really have a major that fit me perfectly, but I’m very entrepreneurial in my mindsets.”

Throughout his four years at Hiram College, Sabo has helped produce a number of videos for the college. Watch some of his contributions:HC by Jay Steele

Dirty Laundry

Hiram College’s New Dorm

Hiram College Football 2007

Interview with Judson Laipply before Debut of Evolution of Dance 2

He started by entering a video contest for Admissions, which he won. When he picked up his check, he offered his services, should the department ever need any other help with videos.

That can-do attitude is what Jon Gordon, associate professor of communication, says has gotten Sabo to where he is.

“It’s his drive,” Gordon said. “He’s made sure that every chance he has, he finds ways of working with the video component of communication.”

In addition to making videos for Admissions, College Relations, the football team and class, Sabo had the chance to intern at NFL Films last summer, in Mount Laurel, N.J. He applied to the internship as a long shot, thinking he didn’t really have a chance. But in the end, he was selected for one of 18 positions, from a pool of 1,000 applicants.

Sabo, who has been an offensive lineman for the Terriers football team, said playing college-level football has been a driving force behind his success.

“Football builds character,” he said. “It requires a great amount of discipline. It takes a great level of commitment. You have to be on the ball 100 percent of the time when it comes to football and grades.”

“Chris is a hard-working young man both on the playing field and in the classroom,” said Head Football Coach Randy Moore.  “He always gave his best on the football field and with his projects outside his athletic career and this scholarship is a testament to that hard work.”

Communication instructor Audrey Cunningham called him the epitome of a scholar-athlete.

“It has been a pleasure to teach him, to supervise his internship last summer at NFL Films, and to help him prepare for this prestigious and highly competitive award,” she said.

Each college or university in the NCAA has the chance to nominate one student-athlete to receive the Jim McKay Scholarship. After Sabo was nominated by Hiram faculty and staff, he submitted a letter of interest, along with five or six letters of recommendation.

Sabo said it was a real honor to be selected out of such a large pool of candidates, including many from Division I and II schools. For him, this award is more than symbolic – it’s the reason he’s able to go to graduate school.

“I wasn’t planning on going to grad school,” he said. “I had been applying for jobs frantically, and I wasn’t having much luck.”

Now, he’s focusing his efforts on applying to graduate programs, in hopes of starting during spring 2012. He plans to study cinematography, and said his dream job would be working in video production for the Cleveland Browns or NFL Films.

“I’m just glad that I believed in the beauty of my own dreams,” Sabo said. “I was glad I could stick to my gut and do what I want to do instead of copping out. It’s really rewarding to have a good payoff.”

Sabo will graduate with honors on May 14. He is currently featured on the NCAA website.


7 Responses to “Senior Wins Prestigious NCAA Award”

  1. Barb Sabo on May 9th, 2011 8:02 pm

    Thank you Hiram College for recognizing this accomplishment.
    Mr. & Mrs. Al Sabo

  2. Aunt Rachelle on May 10th, 2011 8:54 am

    Christopher – DUDE! This is a great recognition! I couldn’t agree more that the level of your drive is outstanding. Few young aduults I meet understand the importance of goals – but not you Buddy! Executing your strategies and tactics to meet your end goal is a life skill that you will use throughout your upcoming professional career and personal life. I am so proud of you. Aunt Rachelle

  3. Leo Lewis, Associate Director of Admission on May 10th, 2011 9:17 am

    Chris is a great guy and it has been wonderful watching him grow. I cannot wait to see what he does next.

  4. Donna McLeod on May 11th, 2011 6:28 pm

    Thank you for recognizing the drive and determination in my nephew. I believe he has what it takes to succeed to life.
    Donna McLeod

  5. Michael Del Medico Sr. on May 13th, 2011 3:16 pm

    Congratulations Chris! What a wonderful accomplishment. Have to say I am not surprised at all…you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Good luck. The Hoban Family is very proud of you. (So is the Del family).
    Love, Mr. D.

  6. Robert Woods on June 11th, 2011 10:56 pm

    Good Job Chris..Make the Terriers and Your Parents Proud ..Wheres my Video of Bobby ? Good Luck in the Future I know Youll do Great

  7. Greg Mitchell on July 14th, 2011 12:14 pm

    Congratulations Chris! I am very proud of the work you have done and believe this is a sign of great things to come.

    Keep this attitude and don’t be discouraged when times get tough – because they will! Stay positive and keep moving forward. If Hiram Football has taught you anything, it should definitely be to keep moving forward!

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