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Pac-12 Announces Leadership Award Recipients

Dec 9, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO - ARIZONA senior gymnast Danielle Buchanan and STANFORD senior distance runner Justin Brinkley have been named recipients of the 2015 Pac-12 Leadership Award, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.

Buchanan, who hails from Lancaster, Calif., has accumulated a 3.45 grade point average in physiology. A three-year letterwinner, she served on the Student-Athlete Athletics Advisory Committee (SAAC), twice attended the Pac-12 SAAC Conference in San Francisco and was invited to participate in the Pac-12 Leadership Conference to explore student-athlete time demands in April. As a member of SAAC, she served on the Unity and Community Service subcommittees, earning UofA’s Team Community Service Award four times. Buchanan has maintained over a 3.0 GPA throughout her academic career, earning the school’s Golden Eagle Academic Champion honor three times and Arizona’s Academic Excellence Award. She has volunteered at events such as Ben’s Bells, Make A Wish Walk and various Boys and Girls Clubs, logging more than 100 community service hours. Expected to graduate in the spring, Buchanan has been accepted to Northwestern University and will pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.

A native of Kingwood, Texas, Brinkley earned three letters in cross country and track & field at Stanford and was a three-time NCAA West Regional qualifier at 1,500 meters. A 2013 USA Junior 1,500-meter Champion and member of Team USA at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships, Brinkley is co-chair of the Cardinal Council (Stanford’s SAAC) and served as co-chair of the Student-Athlete Welfare Committee last year. Brinkley was a two-time first team Pac-12 All-Academic team honoree for track & field. He won the school’s Lawrence Berman Prize for Best Undergraduate Essay in religious studies. Boasting a 3.826 grade point average, he is expected to graduate in June 2016 with a communications degree and intends to focus on religious studies in graduate school.

The Pac-12 Leadership Award is selected by members of the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and is a $3,000 postgraduate scholarship designed to recognize leadership and service on student-athlete advisory committees at Pac-12 member institutions. Applicants were required to be in their final year of intercollegiate athletics eligibility during the 2014-15 academic year and were on track to graduate in the 2015-16 academic year when nominated.