News - 1/19/12

2012 MLK award winners recognized for service

NaTasha Henry, Ivan Bodensteiner, and the Black Law Students Association were honored at Monday’s 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration as the 2012 Martin Luther King Award winners.

Henry, associate director of Undergraduate Admission, has been an active supporter of diversity efforts as an adviser and mentor to individual students and diverse multicultural groups. As an undergraduate at Valparaiso University, she was one of the original 10 students to found the annual Peace and Justice Symposium.

She founded MANA (Multicultural Alumni Networking Association), planning annual homecoming brunches for multicultural and first-generation college students. She has co-facilitated GS200: Study Circles on Race Relations, for the past five years. She also helps to coordinate the SMART Scholars Mentoring program, conducting retreats and leadership workshops.

Henry is a 2004 graduate of Valparaiso University with an individualized degree, and a 2006 Master of Arts in Liberal Studies graduate.

Bodensteiner, professor of law, has been a strong supporter of cultural diversity at Valparaiso University Law School. He has worked to further the civil rights of minorities and has written many scholarly works on the subjects of discrimination, racial equality, and civil liberties.

He has chaired the Mayor’s Human Relations Council, participated in the Valparaiso Diversity Network Association and Diversity Summit Task Force, and presented on topics for the Peace and Social Justice Symposium, MLK Day, and other events on and off campus.

“The spirit of the 14th Amendment is that we are, in fact, all equal, that we should not be judged based on stereotypes – we should all have an equal opportunity to succeed,” Bodensteiner said in a recent interview.

The Black Law Students Association serves to promote diversity and academic excellence. It sponsors an annual race panel that seeks to provide a forum for discussion of related issues in the community. Also each semester, the BLSA holds an academic discussion featuring a prominent attorney who discusses topics such as race relations, career outlooks, and diversity.

Among other BLSA efforts are Talk to a Lawyer, the multicultural picnic, Black History Month events, an annual 1L dinner, the MLK Mock Congressional Debate, philanthropic activities, and voter registration.

For more information and to watch video interviews of Henry and Bodensteiner, visit

Valpo soccer player first to be drafted by MLS

Center back Stefan Antonijevic of Buffalo Grove, Ill., became the first player in Valparaiso University men’s soccer history to be drafted into Major League Soccer on Tuesday, as he was selected with the fifth pick of the third round of the 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft by Sporting Kansas City.

“This is a dream come true, especially for me,” said Antonijevic. “My life has been about soccer as long as I can remember, and I’ve been working towards the goal of having the chance to play professionally for a long time. To be faced with that opportunity today truly is a blessing. As a soccer player, you can’t ask for anything better than to go to a well-supported club with a history of success, and Sporting KC is like that. Their fans are passionate about their team, and I can’t wait to see that passion for myself.”

“We’re very proud of Stefan for being our first pick into MLS,” said Valparaiso head coach Mike Avery. “We think he will be the first of many to come in the future, and he’s a great representative of what our program aspires to be. I’m really most proud of the person that Stefan has become over his time here, watching him mature both on and off the field.”

Antonijevic played three years for the Crusaders from 2009-2011, earning Second Team All-Horizon League honors in each of his first two years while playing in the midfield. This past season, as a senior, he moved back to center back and earned Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year honors as well as being selected to the All-League First Team and the NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region First Team. Antonijevic anchored a back line which surrendered a school record-low 14 goals in 20 games and won the Horizon League regular season championship.

“Even though he was a supplemental pick, I think Stefan has a good shot to making Sporting KC’s main roster,” said Avery. “He’s got all the tools to succeed at the next level – not just his size and his athleticism, but the fact that first and foremost he is a very good soccer player.”

Sporting Kansas City, previously known as Kansas City Wizards, are one of ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inception in 1996. Sporting KC won the MLS Cup in 2000 and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2004. This past season, Sporting KC finished the MLS regular season atop the Eastern Conference table and advanced to the semifinals of the MLS Cup.