Kennesaw State's Sara Metroka, Jewelia Strickland Receive Owls of Excellence Honor

Kennesaw State University junior Sara Metroka (New Castle, Ind./New Castle Chrysler) and Jewelia Strickland (Fayetteville, Ga./Alabama) have been named co-recipients of the Owls of Excellence Award, a newly instituted honor initiated by the Department of Athletics.

The Owls of Excellence Award was formed to recognize Kennesaw State student-athletes who excel in the classroom, provide service to the community and achieve success in their chosen sport. A different student-athlete will be honored monthly and featured on the Department of Athletics’ website,

Metroka, a junior setter on the volleyball team, and Strickland, a redshirt sophomore on the soccer team, began working for the Center for Student Leadership (CSL) over the summer to assist in the development of the newly initiated Student-Athlete Leadership Academy that targets KSU student-athletes. Their responsibilities have included serving as valuable liaisons between the CSL and Department of Athletics, doing research on similar programs nationwide to better inform decision-making, assisting in the curriculum development, and creating activities to bring exposure and engagement of the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy to KSU student-athletes.

Both Strickland and Metroka represent their respective sports on the Kennesaw State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), serving as president and co-vice president, respectively. Strickland and Metroka also volunteer their time to the Special Olympics, Jr. Owls Reading Program and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI).

Metroka, a native of New Castle, Ind., and an education major, has excelled on the court and in the classroom. As a sophomore, the Owls’ starting setter earned Atlantic Sun Conference All-Scholar Team recognition and began her junior campaign by being named to the Preseason A-Sun All-Conference Team.

Strickland, who hails from Fayetteville, Ga., and is majoring in biochemistry, also has enjoyed success both on and off the pitch. She was named to the A-Sun Conference All-Scholar Team a year ago, and was selected to the 2012 preseason all-conference team.