Northern Illinois women’s golf coach and local Kids Golf Foundation/Hook A Kid On Golf Site Coordinator, Pam Tyska and her team were given separate awards for their work in the DeKalb-Sycamore and university communities, it was announced Tuesday.
The Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) honored Tyska for the third time on the PGA President’s Council on Growing the Game.
“What we do here at Northern is exemplary with our NIU golf in the schools program,” Tyska said. “Over the course of the 10 year history we’ve had that program, I’ve seen the park district junior golf program quintuple in size and activity. That’s great for the community and for the game of golf.”
PGA President Jim Remy complimented Tyska’s steadfast commitment to bringing new people to golf.
“I am so proud to say that (Pam Tyska) has earned the distinguished recognition on The PGA President’s Council on Growing the Game for her tremendous contributions to the game of golf,” Remy said in a letter. “This prestigious list of PGA members who are making extraordinary efforts to further the growth of golf is a showcase of some of the best and brightest in our field.”
Tyska earned the award thanks in large part to her work with the Kids Golf Foundation, an organization that has a program structure that brings golf into local elementary school’s physical education classes. Select junior golfers also work with the program in the summer time, when they can take what they’ve learned in the gym and apply it on the course.
“We offer select kids the opportunity to get some clubs in their hands and some extra instruction, moving the golf instruction from inside the gymnasiums to outside where the game needs to be played,” Tyska said.
The accolade is the second major award Tyska has garnered this season. Earlier in the year, the Kids Golf Foundation named Tyska one of its Illinois Site Coordinators of the Year.
“The work that Pam and her team do locally is incredible,” said Holly Alcala, Kids Golf Foundation Director. We hope more universities and college golf programs realize the impact they can make on their community and model what Pam has done.”
But Tyska was not alone in being honored. Her team earned a Diversity and Equity Award for the Northern Illinois University Division of Student Affairs. The team was awarded for its participation in a series of “Dialogue on Diversity” sessions. The seven week meetings brought students together from across campus to “focus attention on how best to build an inclusive campus environment,” according to Shirley Mashare, who works in the NIU Diversity and Equity Office.
The award is an exemplification of Northern Illinois Athletics’ mission statement, to Develop Champions, in the Classroom, in Competition and in Life. The Huskies will look to attack the competitive side of the athletics mission Friday, when they tee off at the Mid-American Conference Championships.