Case Western Reserve University assistant athletic director and sports information director Creg Jantz has been named a recipient of the 2007 J. Bruce Jackson, M.D., Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Mentoring. The award recognizes outstanding advising and mentoring of undergraduate students at Case. Jantz is one of two recipients of the award this year, joining physics professor and department chair Daniel Akerib.
"I was taken aback and surprised when I initially heard I had been nominated," said Jantz. "It is certainly nice to be recognized, and it's truly an honor to receive this award."
Jantz joined the Case staff in December 1998 and is responsible for coordinating the media relations efforts for all 19 Spartan athletic teams. As the only full-time member of the sports information office, Jantz relies heavily on support from students to help at games and in the office. Many of the students he supervises have taken an interest in athletic media relations or sports management and have turned to Jantz for guidance.
"I don't really look at it as mentoring as much as befriending (the students)," Jantz said. "I just want to be a good friend, help them out when needed and point them in the right direction. It's the kids who do the hard work."
The Jackson Award was established in 2003 by J. Bruce Jackson, M.D., in honor of Dean Carl F. Wittke, his advisor, mentor and friend.
"Having had the opportunity to meet Mr. Jackson and to listen to him talk about the impact his mentor had on his life all those years ago, it left a lasting impression on how we can effect the lives of young people," said Jantz.
One of the students Jantz has impacted is senior Rick Balazs. Though he is majoring in accounting and plans to attend law school, Balazs has a deep passion for sports. The Chesterland, Ohio native is currently the sports editor for the school paper, The Observer, and, at Jantz's suggestion, served as a sideline reporter and analyst for Case's football and basketball commercial radio broadcasts.
Balazs feels that Jantz has been more than a boss or an advisor. He has helped to open doors and present opportunities that have allowed Balazs to learn and gain valuable experience towards his goal of a career in sports management and been a trusted confidant along the way.
"I feel like I can tell Creg just about anything, or talk to him just about anything. If I need advice, I know I can go to him. I consider him to be a mentor and a friend," Balazs said in nominating Jantz.
Balazs added, "One of the things I like about Creg is that he is so low-key. He is not outwardly demanding, and he does not put much outward pressure on people. Yet, he is so cordial, so positive and upbeat with his interactions with me. I'm always highly motivated to do a good job for him because I know he would do the same for me."
The Jackson Awards will be presented at the undergraduate diploma ceremony May 20.
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