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Western New England senior Chris Chew receives prestigious Skookum Award from Alumni Association

More news about: Western New England
10-21-11 Chris Chew Skookum
Chris Chew receives his Skookum Award from Western New England University President Anthony S. Caprio (left) and Mat Nelson '93, Immediate Past President of the Alumni Association.
Chris Chew 8-20-11
Chris Chew
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Whether it's making a tackle or making the difference in the lives of others, Western New England senior Chris Chew (Vernon, CT) is the right person for the job.

Chew, a defensive tackle on the Golden Bears football team, was among 15 students to receive the prestigious Skookum Award presented by the Western New England Alumni Association on October 21.

The award recognized student leadership on campus, community service/volunteer experiences, and participation in athletics and co curricular programs. The word Skookum means excellence in Chinook Indian culture.

"Receiving the Skookum Award is significant for me because of the meaning behind it and the people who have won it in the past," said Chew. "The award goes to those who go beyond their normal class requirements and at the same time are able to put in whatever extra time they may have whether it is in the community or campus. I feel this award acknowledges those who have displayed themselves as good representatives of what Western New England strives for."

College students are a busy group and Chew succeeds because of his excellent time management skills.

Chew joined the football program as a freshman in 2008 after earning All-Conference recognition and earning the Defensive Player-of-the-Year award while at Rockville High School. This season, the 6'1", 270-lb. defensive tackle has six tackles and a sack in a reserve role.

Off the field, Chew is a Dean's List student as a Biology major and is the president of the Pre-Med Club. He is an athletics department CHAMPS Life Skills Mentor, a First-Year Seminar Assistant, and a member of the Food Services Committee.

Chew also joined Community Action Rewards Everone (C.A.R.E). and AmeriCorps, which is a government-funded organization for volunteer work. He also was involved in community work with the Springfield Rebuilding Together program while spending numerous hours as a volunteer at Mercy Medical Center in the transport department and with the American Red Cross.

During his sophomore year Chew traveled to Pipestem, West Virginia, to help rebuild houses and last year he went to New York City to assist at the Gay Men's AIDS Crisis Clinic, helping to make safe sex packs and with fundraising.

Next spring he will serve as a team leader during the Alternative Spring Break trip to Greenfield, New Hampshire, where he and other students will work with mostly children suffering from mental or physical illness.

In addition, Chew is a lab assistant in the Biology Department and currently working with Western New England neuroscience professor Jacob Krans on a research project involving hormones to test force generation by muscles, and test a theory as part of a larger project by Krans.

"Chris has invested a great deal into Western New England," said Golden Bears football coach Keith Emery. "He is very active on campus and is outstanding in the class room. I am very happy that he has been recognized for his efforts, he is well deserving of this accolade."

Right now Chew and his teammates are preparing for their biggest game of the season on Saturday (Oct. 29) against Endicott in a battle of unbeaten co-leaders in the New England Football Conference (NEFC) Boyd Division.

After he graduates next spring, Chew plans to attend medical school and focus on either intravenous radiology or intensive care work.
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