David Burnett
David Burnett

UTSA's Burnett nabs Steve McCarty Citizenship Award

By Kyle Stephens
UTSA Sports Information Director

(May 24, 2006)--UTSA senior track and field student-athlete David Burnett (Corpus Christi, Texas/Carroll HS) and Amelia Mayeaux of Stephen F. Austin were chosen as the first recipients of the Southland Conference's Steve McCarty Citizenship Awards. The pair will be recognized at the SLC Honors' Ceremony at 7:15 p.m., June 1 in Galveston, Texas, at the San Luis Resort Spa and Conference Center.

The Steve McCarty Citizenship Award recognizes a Southland Conference male and female student-athlete who exhibits outstanding qualities in citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership and community service. In addition to the overall conference recipients, others nominated will also be honored with campus awards.

McCarty retired from SFA on August, 31, 2005. The Alto, Texas, native had been with SFA for 21 years, the last 15 as athletics director. McCarty is a two-time graduate of the university and is also a member of the SFA Alumni Association's "Football Coaches Hall of Honor." In addition, he will be inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor on June 1.

"In the first year of this award, it's appropriate that David and Amelia were selected," league commissioner Tom Burnett said. "Their eagerness to fulfill community service and give back to others is exemplary, and is indicative of the type of student-athletes this award was intended."

From day one on campus, Burnett, a senior sprinter on the UTSA track and field team, demonstrated his willingness to adjust for the benefit of others by switching from the 100- and 200-meter dashes to the 400-meters.

At last week's SLC Outdoor Championship, Burnett scored three points for the second-place Roadrunners by placing sixth in the 400 with a time of 47.65. He also ran the anchor leg of the 4x100-meter relay team which placed fourth with a time of 40.59 seconds.

In 2005, Burnett was the SLC Indoor champion in the 400-meter run with a time of 49.19 and finished fifth outdoors at 48.28. He has scored points (top eight) in the 400m at the last three SLC Indoor and Outdoor Championships and helped the 4x400-meter relay team to top-three finishes at two outdoor meets.

Credited as a "team leader" by head coach Aaron Fox, Burnett is also labeled as a gracious winner who never gloats in any way about his performance. After races, he can always be seen shaking hands with his competitors. He has been recognized by others for this character as he was a finalist for the John Wooden Golden Cup Citizenship Award.

Off the track, Burnett has worked his way up the ladder to the coordinator of intramural programs position with UTSA Campus Recreation, where he is responsible for entries, scheduling and officials training for more than 10 sports.

Burnett also stands out within the Roadrunner athletic department as a leader and willing volunteer of his time to help with many community service projects. Included was the inaugural "Swipe for Kidsake!" program where UTSA student-athletes donated swipes from their on-campus meal program towards a free meal for 75 children at the Roy Maas Alternative Center, a refuge for abused or run-away children.

Burnett has also volunteered at the Elf Louise Christmas Gift Wrapping Project, the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina Relief Program, Roundball Ruckus, NBA Hoop It Up and the HEB Buddy/UTSA Christmas Project.

As part of his job with the UTSA Campus Recreation Department, Burnett works freshman orientation camps, helping with team-building activities. He is also an active member and praise and worship leader with UTSA's FCA and served as chair of the public relations sub-committee on the UTSA SAAC in 2004-05. He was elected by his peers to serve as SAAC President for the 2005-06 academic year.

The kinesiology major was recently asked to be on the UTSA Dean's Advisory Council. In that role, he meets with campus administrators to discuss student needs and helps with incoming freshman class advising.

A volleyball student-athlete from League City, Texas, who graduated this month with a degree in marketing, Mayeaux serves as the president of the SFA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and secretary of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group at the university.

In September, before the volleyball season was underway, Mayeaux suffered a career-ending injury and was not able to don a Ladyjack uniform for what was going to be her final season as a Ladyjack. At a time when many would have folded and walked away, Mayeaux continued her 'Jack ways, showing up and supporting her team.

As president of the SFA SAAC, Mayeaux is dedicated to the concerns and welfare of all student-athletes. She worked to establish programs to bolster student-athlete attendance at as fans at all SFA sporting events.

Over the years, Mayeaux has been very instrumental in establishing various community support projects for all student-athletes and students alike, In the fall of 2004, Mayeaux learned about a local church program looking for a way to provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged youth in their "Glory Gang" program. She stepped in with the "Blessing Tree" program where student-athletes, coaches and staff were able to select a youth and provide a "blessing" for that youth's Christmas. The Blessing Tree has provided almost 300 Christmas gifts in the last two years.

The SFA student-athlete Bowl-4-Cans program was also started under Mayeaux' leadership. The annual event has student-athletes donate canned goods for a local homeless shelter in return for a night of bowling and fun.

In addition to the SLC honor, Mayeaux also earned the first-ever SFA Steve McCarty Citizenship Award.

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