Coppin State's Sebescen earns Jim McKay scholarship award

Tennis player will pursue master's at Maryland

May 05, 2010|By Ken Murray, The Baltimore Sun

Ana Sebescen was only 11 when she experienced the reality of war in her homeland of Serbia. The date was April16, 1999. That was when a NATO bomb exploded 300 feet from her home. That night she made up her mind she would make a difference somewhere.

Sebescen has been on course ever since then. A senior on a tennis scholarship at Coppin State, she has been named this year's winner of the NCAA Jim McKay Scholarship, given to a student-athlete who has excelled academically and who intends to pursue a graduate degree in the communications field.

She will graduate in two weeks with a bachelor's degree in English and, with her $10,000 scholarship, will pursue a master's in broadcast journalism at the University of Maryland.

Of Serbian-Hungarian descent, Sebescen survived two wars in her home country as a child. But the bomb on April 16 jolted her to a new reality.

"I was sleeping on my bed in my clothes in case we had to escape," she said Tuesday. "It affected me in a way that created a deeper sense of responsibility. You figure, one day celebration, another day death. There's still a piece of the bomb in my courtyard [in Subotica]. After that, there was a desire for me to change something. I have to go back and rethink what is happening, and tell that story."

Sebescen, 22, came to Coppin in 2006 with her twin sister, Nina, both on tennis scholarships. Ana will finish with a 3.98 grade-point-average, and her sister with a 4.0 in computer science. Ana, who minored in journalism, was editor of a multimedia, independent student website at Coppin and served as editor-in-chief of the school's student newspaper.

Sebescen was pretty good in tennis, too. She ranks sixth all-time with 19 career singles victories and ninth all-time with 16 doubles victories.

"For me, I feel it is my responsibility to do something big," she said. "I'm not sure if it will immediately be

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