Senior baseball player Johnny Volk served as the Student-Athlete Advisory Council President for the last two years.
Cal State East Bay's Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) honored Pioneer baseball player Johnny Volk as the Student Leader of the Year at its annual awards banquet on June 3. Held at the New University Union, the ceremony also recognized staff and ASI board and committee members with academic scholarships and acknowledgments for their service.
A senior pitcher from Quartz Hill, Volk has served as the president of CSUEB's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) for the past two years. Over the past few weeks he was also the recipient of the Pioneer Spirit Award, given annually to the Cal State East Bay student-athlete who demonstrates dedication to the athletics department, the community and his fellow student-athletes, and a Student Life and Leadership honoree.
"It was a pretty exciting end to the year for sure, receiving a Student Life and Leadership award, ASI award and the Pioneer Spirit Award in a three-week span,” Volk said. “I'm both proud and humbled to receive such an honor. It has been a tremendous four years and getting awards like this only reinforce my strong passion to have the Student-Athlete Advisory Council continue to support the campus community.
“At the same time, I know that we can still do more to help. There are still a lot of areas where the Student-Athlete Advisory Council can help in our community. There are organizations and people in our community that need financial and physical support, and these are areas where student-athletes can help."
Since the outset of his college career, Volk has been a leader both on the field and within the campus community. As SAAC President, Volk helped the Pioneers to collect the second-highest Make-A-Wish Foundation fundraising total in the CCAA in 2009-10, Cal State East Bay's first year in the conference. He was also selected to attend the NCAA Student-Athlete Development Conference in 2009. Volk was one of 700 student-athletes from across all three NCAA divisions at the conference and the first CSUEB student to attend.
This year, Volk helped to organize several events for SAAC, including a successful Homecoming Pep Rally and dodgeball tournament, both of which raised money for Make-A-Wish. Volk was also involved in other events on campus, including a student flash-mob to open the Recreation and Wellness Center and Relay for Life.
During his four-year career on the mound for the Pioneers, Volk appeared in 60 games, struck out 101 batters and pitched over 158 innings and was a key component to the team's success on the field. With Volk on the pitching staff, Cal State East Bay accumulated 85 wins with a pair of 20-win seasons. Last summer, Volk also played for the Bellingham Bells of the West Coast Summer League.
ASI Student Leader of the Year recognition is awarded annually to one student who demonstrates leadership within and a commitment to the campus community at Cal State East Bay. Volk was one of only a few award recipients on the night that was not an ASI board or committee member.
Volk finished his college baseball career with a three-game sweep of Grand Canyon in May and wrapped up his academic year on June 11, graduating with a bachelor's degree in business administration. Volk now hands the reigns of SAAC over to women's soccer player Tenaya Davis who was elected as SAAC President for the 2011-12 school year last month.
“The real world is scary, you have to pay bills, wake up before 10 a.m., and can't get away with wearing sweatpants and short sleeve shirts everywhere, so I realize that I probably need CSUEB more than it needs me,” Volk said. “This campus and athletic department has given so much that I will always be a proud alumnus. I can't wait to see what Tenaya and the rest of SAAC do next year."