INDIANAPOLIS, IN (December 15, 2016) — The winners of the 2016 Student/Essay Scholarship were announced at the December 10, 2016, Opening General Session of the National Athletic Directors Conference. The conference, conducted from December 10 through 13 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, was a joint production of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association and the National Federation of State High School Associations. 2016 marked the 10th year for the NIAAA Student Scholarship/Essay presentations. Students from 50 state athletic administrator associations, plus the District of Columbia, was able to submit a nomination form and essay. The male and female winners were then screened by one of the eight Sections in which their state resides, creating eight male and eight female Section winners. The NIAAA Board of Directors then evaluated the finalist’s scholastic record, athletic participation accomplishments, citizenship and leadership credentials on its way to selecting one male and one female national recipient. Both recipients were on hand in Nashville to receive their national scholarship of $2500, a personal trophy, a plaque for their high school and to read their winner essay entitled: How High School Athletics Have Impacted My Life. The total scholarship earned by the two national recipients was $4000. Following are the two 2016 recipients:
Erin Elaine Houchens – Warren East High School, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Erin’s parents are Larry Houchens and Traci Houchens. Erin graduated from Warren East High School in Bowling Green, Kentucky with a grade point average of 4.13 on a 4.0 scale. She is attending the University of Louisville studying Exercise Science/Health and Human Performance with an emphasis in Physical Therapy. The Athletic Director at Warren East High School is Jonathan Vincent, CAA.
Erin earned ten varsity letters in her high school career playing the sports of basketball and fast-pitch softball. She was captain of each of these teams during her junior and senior seasons. Erin was very active in her school as
president of Beta Club, Class Secretary, and a member of Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor
Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
In the community, Erin was a volunteer working with elementary students; she worked with veterinary services
as a volunteer, donated time for a local nursing home and assisted with youth sport instruction. She participated in
angel tree ministry, food drives and clean-up days, while also assisting staff in the annual book fair event.
Ian Saum – Central Cass High School, Casselton, North Dakota
Ian is the son of Paula Mehmel, and the late Steven Saum. He graduated with a grade point average of 4.0 on
a scale of 4.0. Ian is attending Harvard University with a dual major in Sociology and Women’s, Gender & Sexuality
Studies. The athletic director at Central Cass High School is Travis Lemar.
Ian earned 9 varsity letters participating in football, track, and baseball, while also serving as team manager for
the basketball team. He was class president, student council representative, editor of the school newspaper and a
Wendy’s Heisman National Finalist. Ian was involved in band, choir, speech and theatre, while participating in the
Fellowship of Christian Athletes and attending North Dakota Boys State. Scholastically, Ian was academic all-state, a
nominee for the US Presidential Scholar from North Dakota and the recipient of numerous awards in journalism,
science and fine arts.
Ian’s community activities included youth sport volunteer, helping through church, nursing home and
organizations for the homeless in areas that included a children’s Christmas party, fundraising, serving meals, vacation bible school, food drives, blood drives and relay for life