DENVER – Idaho football player David Vobora and New Mexico State swimmer Karen Kaufmann have been named the 2007-08 Western Athletic Conference Stan Bates Award winners. Vobora is the second Idaho male student-athlete to earn the distinguished honor, while Kaufmann is the first New Mexico State female student-athlete to be honored. The award is named in honor of former WAC Commissioner Stan Bates. The award honors the WAC’s top male and female scholar-athletes and recognizes the recipients’ athletic and academic accomplishments.
Vobora, a senior from Eugene, Ore., is a communications and psychology major. He is a four-time academic all-WAC honoree and has earned Idaho’s Scholar Student-Athlete award four different semesters. In 2007, he was named to the ESPN the Magazine All-District Academic Team. He was also a three-time Student-Athlete Advisory Committee team representative.
During 2007-08, Vobora volunteered for both the Race for the Cure and Relay for Life. He was also a volunteer teacher for the West Park Elementary Extended Reading Program.
On the football field, Vobora displayed similar success. Following the 2007 season, he earned the team’s Most Valuable Defensive Player Award and became the Vandals’ second all-time total tackle leader for a single season with 148. In 2007, Vobora ranked third in the nation in total tackles.
Kaufmann, a senior from Sparks, Nev., is an Elementary Education major. The swimmer is a three-time Academic all-WAC honoree. During the 2007-08 season, Kaufmann was Vice President of the New Mexico State SAAC and has been a member of SAAC since 2005.
Throughout her career at New Mexico State, Kaufmann worked with several volunteer organizations including helping the American Red Cross with hurricane relief. She also worked at La Casa shelter with the WAC SAAC and the New Mexico senior Olympics. She also spent her time volunteering with Girls Can and the Salvation Army.
In the pool, Kaufmann was a freestyle specialist serving as a leader both in and out of the water. At the 2007 WAC Swimming and Diving Championships, she had a top 20 finish in the grueling 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 18:29.88. Her season bests include four top 10 performances against WAC-rival Northern Arizona.