Bachrodt is the first-ever Drake player to be picked MVC Defensive Player of the Year. Earlier this week, she was named to the All-MVC First Team following All-MVC Honorable Mention accolades as a sophomore and being named to the MVC All-Freshman team her first season. This season, Bachrodt is averaging impressive stats across the board with 10.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 2.0 steals per game. Bachrodt, who was selected to the Preseason All-MVC First Team with Hittner, leads the Valley in assists with 117 and is second in steals with 60. Hittner’s MVC Player of the Year award is a league-leading tenth for a Drake player. She is part of an impressive set of former Bulldog stars who were named MVC Player of the Year. Wanda Ford (1985, 1986), Jan Jensen (1991), Kristi Kinne (1995), Tricia Wakely (1996), Kiersten Miller (1998), Rachael Hackbarth (2012), Kyndal Clark (2014) and Wendell (2017) have all claimed the league’s top individual award. In just her second season, Hittner is the youngest of the group. Baranczyk is the third Drake head coach to be selected MVC Coach of the Year joining Lisa Bluder (1995, 1997, 1998) and Lisa Stone (2001). Baranczyk, the sixth head coach in Drake women’s basketball history, has a career record of 122-68 and reached 100 wins at Drake faster than any other head coach in program history. Baranczyk is the fifth coach in Valley history to have a career winning percentage above .700 in league games. Currently, Baranczyk sits fourth all-time in winning percentage with a career record of 79-29 (.731) in league contests, including an impressive 65-7 mark in the past four seasons. Baranczyk has the second-most MVC regular season titles among Drake women’s basketball head coaches as she trails Bluder, who claimed three in her 10 seasons. MOLINE, Ill. – Drake sophomore Becca Hittner (Urbandale, Iowa) has been named the 2018 Jackie Stiles Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year while junior Sammie Bachrodt (Wichita, Kan.) was tabbed the MVC Defensive Player of the Year and redshirt sophomore Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.) was selected the MVC Sixth Player of the Year for the second time in her career. Head coach Jennie Baranczyk was chosen the MVC Coach of the Year for the second-straight season. The four were presented their awards at a ceremony on the opening night of the 2018 MVC Tournament at the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Ill. Drake is the top seed at this week’s MVC Tournament and will play either No. 8 Valparaiso or No. 9 Loyola on Friday at 12 p.m. Print Friendly Version Hittner is the second-consecutive Drake player to be honored as MVC Player of the Year after Lizzy Wendell won the award in 2017. Earlier this week, Hittner was selected to the All-MVC First Team for the second-consecutive season and joins Wendell as the only Bulldogs to earn All-MVC First Team honors each of their first two seasons. An excellent student, Hittner was chosen to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team and was named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week four times this year. This season, Hittner has started all 30 games, leads the MVC in three-point percentage at 44.0 percent, ranks second in scoring at 15.7 points per game and third in shooting percentage at 49.2. Hittner, who was the 2017 MVC Freshman of the Year, raised her already impressive play to another level in league play this year. She led the Valley in free throw percentage at 95.7 and three-point shooting at 50.7 percent, narrowly ranked second in scoring at 16.0 points per game and was fourth in shooting percentage at 53.5 percent. Hittner is the first MVC player to post 50-50-95 shooting numbers in league play in 15 seasons. She is currently No.1 all-time in three-point percentage at 47.7 at Drake and No. 2 all-time in career free throw percentage at 84.9. During her tenure, Baranczyk has had seven Bulldogs earn 19 All-MVC selections, seven named to the MVC All-Freshman team, four MVC Freshman of the Year winners, two MVC Player of the Year and Sixth Player of the Year winners and one MVC Defensive Player of the Year. Baranczyk guided Drake to its second-consecutive outright MVC regular season championship following the program’s second-straight 18-0 record. No Valley team has ever gone undefeated in one regular season of league action and Drake is now the only program to go unscathed in two MVC seasons. The program has won a Gateway/MVC record 40 regular season games. Rhine is one of the most accurate shooters in MVC and program history with a 59.1 percent career clip, which ranks third all-time at Drake and fifth all-time in the MVC. Rhine needs to score just 30 more points to reach the 1,000-career point mark. This season, Rhine was selected CoSIDA Academic All-District Team while collecting a league-high five MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week awards. She has started all 96 games in her career and is No. 9 all-time at Drake in career steals with 195. Bachrodt has nabbed a career-high six steals in four career games. This week, Bachrodt was also selected to the MVC All-Defensive Team for the second-straight season and garnered her first career MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention honors. This year, Rhine has played in 28 games, averages 15.6 points per game (4th in MVC) while shooting a league-high 58.4 percent from the floor and pulling down 6.0 rebounds per game (9th in MVC). Rhine’s second career MVC Sixth Player of the Year award caps a week of multiple honors for her as she was named MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First and selected to the All-MVC First Team for the first time in her career. Rhine was named MVC Freshman and Sixth Player of the Year and earned All-MVC Honorable Mention accolades following her freshman season. Rhine, who played in just eight games in 2016-17 due to injury, tied Hittner for most 20-plus point games with six this season.
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares a katz / Shutterstock.comDecember 12, 2014;Office of Senator Tom HarkinThis is part of the text of Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s final speech from the floor of the U.S. Senate. NPQ doesn’t often draw on press releases or reprint speeches, but in this case, given Harkin’s 40 years in Congress, Harkin’s beautiful and moving statement is worth a detailed read. It’s about a man’s faith in the institutions of American democracy and his appreciation of what this country has given to him and his family, particularly his mother, who came to the U.S. after 25 years living in a small house with a dirt floor and no running water in Suha, Yugoslavia (now Slovenia), and his father who, at the age of 53, with only a sixth-grade education and five children (with Tom Harkin himself on the way as the sixth), received a WPA card in 1939, giving him a job, income, meaningful work, and hope for a better future.Just as moving were Harkin’s four challenges for his successors, four overriding issues that he thinks need to be addressed for this country to progress—and to rectify longstanding injustices. Because all four of Harkin’s concerns have been addressed extensively in NPQ’s writing, we are reprinting excerpts from his speech here:“There are four overriding issues that I hope this Senate will address in the coming session. Number one, as I mentioned, the growing economic inequality in America. It is destructive of lives, it slows our progress as a nation, and it will doom broad support for representative government. When people at the bottom of the economic ladder feel the government is not helping them and in fact may be stacked against them, they will cease to vote, or will turn to the siren song of extreme elements in our society. History proves this to be true.“I don’t have a cookie-cutter answer or solution, but it must include more fair tax laws and trade laws, more job training and retraining, rebuilding our physical infrastructure, and manufacturing. And I believe it must include some things, seemingly unrelated, like quality, free, early education for every child in America.“The answer to closing the inequality gap must include rebuilding labor unions and collective bargaining. If you trace the line over the last 40 years of our growing economic inequality and put that over another line showing the loss in the number of union workers, they are almost identical. I do not believe it is a stretch to say that organized labor, unions, built the middle class in America, and they are a part of the answer in strengthening and rebuilding our middle class. “Another part of the answer is raising the minimum wage to above the poverty line and inflation indexing it for the future. We also need new flex-time laws especially for women in the workforce. We need to strengthen Social Security as in Senator Brown’s bill. We need a new retirement system for all workers. Not another 401(k), but a system in which employers and employees contribute, which can only be withdrawn as an annuity for life after one retires, like the Netherlands has. Lack of a reliable retirement is one of the most under reported, unexamined crises on our national horizon, and is a big part of our growing inequality. “Finally, we must continue to build on the Affordable Care Act. The cost and availability of good health care has in the past widened the inequality gap. We are now starting to close that element of inequality. We need to add a public option to the exchange as another choice for people. And we must continue support for prevention and public health—moving us more and more away from ‘sick care’ to real ‘health care.’“The second overriding issue is the destruction of the family of man’s only home—planet Earth—through the continued use of fossil fuels. We know what’s happening. The science is irrefutable, the data is clear, the warning signs are flashing in bright neon red: ‘stop what you are doing with fossil fuels.’ We must shift massively and quickly to renewable energy, a new smart electric grid, retrofitting our buildings for energy efficiency, and moving rapidly to a hydrogen-based energy cycle.The third issue I commend to the Senate for further development and changes in existing laws is the under employment of people with disabilities. “As you all know, ensuring equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities has been the major part of my work in the Senate for the past 30 years. We have made significant strides forward in changing America to fulfill two of the four goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act. These two are full participation and equal opportunity.“The other two goals—independent living and economic self-sufficiency—need more development. I ask you all in the next Congress to do two things to advance these two goals of independent living and economic self-sufficiency.“First, help states to fully implement the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, to more rapidly de-institutionalize people with disabilities and provide true independent living with support services. This will save money, and individuals with disabilities lives will be better and more truly independent. “Secondly, we must do more on employment of people with disabilities in competitive, integrated employment.“We get the monthly unemployment figures. Last month unemployment held steady at 5.8 percent officially, but Leo Hindery has better calculations to show the real rate is twice that figure. Also, we know that unemployment among young African-Americans is 11.1 percent. “But how many of us know that the unemployment rate among adult Americans with disabilities who want to work and can work is over 60 percent?! Yes, you heard me right: almost two out of three people with disabilities cannot find a job. That is a blot on our national character.“Thankfully, some enlightened employers have affirmative action plans to hire more people with disabilities. Employers are finding that many times these become their best employees—they are more productive, the hardest working, most reliable workers.“I ask you to meet with Greg Wasson, CEO of Walgreens, and Randy Lewis, who was Senior V.P., now retired. Walgreens has hired many people with disabilities in Walgreens’ distribution centers, and now has set a goal of 10% of their store employees will be people with disabilities. There are others making strides in this area: Best Buy, Lowes, Home Depot, IBM, and Marriott—to mention some other large companies moving forward in hiring people with disabilities. We need to learn from them what we—the federal and perhaps state government—can do to help in this area. We also need to implement policies to help small businesses employ more people with disabilities.“I dwell on this because perhaps I feel I haven’t done enough on this issue of employment for people with disabilities, and we just have to do better. I will say, however, that our HELP Committee passed this year and President Obama signed into law, a new re-authorization of the old Workforce Investment Act, now named the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act. In the law, there is a new provision I worked on to get more intervention in high school for kids with disabilities to prepare for the workplace through summer jobs, job coaching, and internships…“The fourth issue concerns the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.“I don’t think anything has saddened me more in my 30 years here than the failure of the Senate to ratify the CRPD. This convention was modeled after our own Americans with Disabilities Act. It has been ratified by 150 nations. It has broad and deep support in our country, supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, veterans groups, every disability organization, every former living President, every former Republican leader of the Senate: Senator Dole, Senator Lott, and Senator Frist. In November, we received a letter of support from the National Association of Evangelicals. I also want to point out that Senator Dole has worked his heart out on this. I hope the next Senate will take this up and join with the rest of the world in helping make changes globally for people with disabilities.”Speeches by American politicians—no offense—are generally staff-written PR statements, lacking the authentic voice of the politicians themselves. Harkin’s final speech feels like a heartfelt statement of a great statesman whose top priorities were core issues for much of the nonprofit sector.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares