Lolia Kienka Receives CIAA Woman of the Year Award
Lolia Kienka's athletic achievements as a member of the Shaw University Tennis Team are a mile long: CIAA Women's Tennis Player of the Year in both 2010 and 2012 as well as tournament MVP during those two seasons; Three-time member of the All-CIAA Women's Tennis Team; and member of the 2010 and 2012 CIAA Women's Tennis Championship teams. In addition, she claimed CIAA Women's Tennis Rookie of the Year honors in 2009 and received the conference's Female Student-Athlete Scholar of the Year Award in 2012. However, it is Kienka's academic accolades, leadership and community service that make her a truly outstanding Shaw Bear and the 2013 CIAA Woman of the Year.
The Award recognizes a student-athlete who has distinguished herself throughout her collegiate career in academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership. Kienka, a native of Lagos, Nigeria, began her studies at Shaw at the age of 16. During her time as a student-athlete, Kienka was the recipient of numerous awards, including: the Shaw University President's Award for Superior Academic Achievement; The Female Student-Athlete Highest GPA Award; the 2012 Business Department Student of the Year and the 2013 Student of the Year for the Social Sciences Department. Additionally, she was a member of the Alpha Chi National Honor Society, Shaw University Honors College, recipient of the UNCF Sara Lee Foundation and National Sales Network Scholarships and listed among "Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges."
In addition to success in the classroom, Kienka stood out as a campus leader, serving as the President of the Shaw University International Students Association, as well as President of the Shaw chapter of Working to Educate, Build and Develop. She was Secretary of the Shaw Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years and Vice President for the Shaw University Honors College Association.
Active in the community, Kienka participated in a variety of engagement activities, including campus clean–up projects, a Make-A Wish Foundation fundraiser, as well as performing community service hours at Shaw's Center for Early Childhood Education, Development and Research. She also participated in drives by the National Bone Marrow Association and the Red Cross.
"If someone had told me that I would be where I am today, having participated and experienced all that I have been blessed to, I honesty do not know if I would have believed," said Kienka. "I have been privileged to serve my peers and younger ones as a leader, confidant, mentor and spiritual guide; more significantly, my experience with others - at the daycare with my kids, as captain of my team, as president of our international students - has allowed me to learn and to grow. They have taught me to be humble, patient, to listen attentively, appreciate the power of compromise, see the value of putting others first and understand that love should be given unconditionally."
Kienka, who served as a Student Assistant Coach for the Shaw Tennis program, graduated summa cum laude from Shaw on May 11 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in Accounting. She finished her studies with a 3.9 grade point average.
Kienka will attend the University of St. Andrews in Scotland this fall to pursue a postgraduate degree in international business.