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Forum staff reports, Published November 13 2009

Saberi to be recipient of NCAA Award of Valor

Roxana Saberi, a former TV reporter from Fargo who spent four months earlier this year in an Iranian prison, will be one of two people to receive the 2010 Award of Valor from the NCAA.

Saberi, who returned to Fargo in May, is a 32-year-old Concordia College and Fargo North High School graduate. She had been charged in Iran with espionage while working on a book – a charge that eventually was reduced.

The award is presented to current or former student-athletes, coaches or administrators who have shown uncommon bravery and courage in the face of grave personal danger, according to a Concordia College news release.

“Concordia is extremely proud of Roxana,” Concordia College President Pam Jolicoeur said in a news release. “She showed remarkable courage and poise under intense pressure and she has already made a significant impact through her emerging career as a journalist.”

Saberi played soccer for the Cobbers and graduated summa cum laude from the college in 1997, and later earned graduate degrees in international relations from Cambridge University and journalism at Northwestern University.

In 2003, Saberi moved to Iran, the birthplace of her father, to pursue her career and cultural interests. She reported for the BBC and National Public Radio.

Iranian officials arrested Saberi in late January and later convicted her on espionage charges.

In May, after 100 days in Evin Prison, the Iranian Revolutionary Court of Appeals released Saberi with a two-year suspended sentence.

Saberi will receive the award during the 2010 NCAA Convention in Atlanta in January.