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Southern Conference announces graduate scholars
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 04/05/2018
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Courtesy: Southern Conference
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced its 10 postgraduate scholarship recipients for the 2017-18 academic year Thursday. The 10 student-athletes will be honored for their accomplishments at the Southern Conference Honors Dinner in Hilton Head Island, S.C., on Tuesday, May 29.

This year’s honorees include: Dave Hart Scholarship recipient Brandon Barbery (VMI); Dorothy Hicks Scholarship recipient Katherine Beuerlein (Wofford); Insurance Office of America Scholarship recipient Macy Carrier (ETSU); David Knight Scholarship recipient Madyson Riegel (The Citadel); Bob McCloskey Insurance Scholarship recipients Hunter Wike (ETSU) and Meghan Rud (Mercer); William V. Moore Scholarship presented by McMillan Pazdan Smith recipient Ellie Gerlach (Samford); Milliken & Co. Scholarship recipient Megan Woods (Chattanooga); Sports Medicine Institute Scholarship presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System recipient Kassandra Flores (Western Carolina); and Southern Conference Presidential Scholarship recipient Brittany Houston (Furman).

The recipients are nominated by their schools and selected by the Southern Conference Graduate Scholar Committee. The scholarships, worth $2,000 each, are awarded to student-athletes about to receive their undergraduate degrees who intend to pursue advanced degrees in graduate or professional school. The student-athletes are evaluated on academics, athletics and community service. 

Brandon Barbery, VMI – Dave Hart Scholarship
VMI baseball player Brandon Barbery is the 2018 recipient of the Dave Hart Scholarship. A left-handed pitcher and team captain for the Keydets, Barbery was a weekend starter for the first three years of his career, going 5-3 in 2015 en route to earning SoCon All-Freshman honors. So far this season, Barbery has made nine appearances with three starts, collecting a win over No. 15 Virginia on Feb. 20 and earning General Shale SoCon Student-Athlete of the Week honors for his efforts. A biology major with a 3.95 GPA, Barbery’s honors thesis on neurobiology research related to Parkinson’s disease was published in the scientific journal Toxics, and he will attend medical school in the fall. The president of VMI’s chapter of Beta Beta Beta biology honor society, Barbery is a member of the VMI Institute Honors Program and was inducted into the Phi Eta Sigma freshman honor society. Barbery has also logged hundreds of hours of community service, particularly during his summer spent playing with the Brazos Valley Bombers in College Station, Texas. While with the Bombers, he participated in weekly reading to children, Habitat for Humanity projects and a church rebuilding and cleaning. He also volunteered at numerous baseball camps and local fishing events. Barbery has served as a teaching assistant at VMI, presented at the SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum and held the positions of squad, team and platoon leader as a member of the Army ROTC at VMI.

Katherine Beuerlein, Wofford – Dorothy Hicks Scholarship
Wofford’s Katherine Beuerlein is this year’s recipient of the Dorothy Hicks Scholarship. A midfielder on the Terrier’s women’s soccer team, Beuerlein played in 68 of a possible 74 career games, earning 51 career starts, all but three of which came in the last three seasons. Beuerlein finished her career with 14 goals, six assists and 34 points, putting up career highs in all three categories as a senior, when she was a team captain and scored seven goals and had four assists for 18 points, earning second-team All-SoCon honors. Beuerlein also competed for the Terriers’ track and field team as a freshman, setting six school records and earning SoCon All-Freshman honors in the pentathlon and high jump during indoor season and the heptathlon during outdoor season. A biology major with a 4.0 GPA, Beuerlein has accumulated numerous academic awards throughout her career, including earning CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-America honors after the 2017 season and being awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship this spring. A member of the Beta Beta Beta biology honor society and the Phi Beta Kappa liberal arts and sciences honor society, Beuerlein has earned several performance-based scholarships throughout her academic career, including Wofford’s most prestigious one, the Richardson Family Scholarship, which is awarded to just one student in each class. A four-year member of Wofford’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Beuerlein served as co-president of the chapter as a senior. She served an athletic training internship with the Carolina Panthers and has volunteered at the Tennova Healthcare emergency room and with Remote Area Medical general primary care support. Beuerlein, who has also served as a Wofford Ambassador, a peer tutor and a Student Marshall, will attend medical school in the fall.

Macy Carrier, ETSU – Insurance Office of America Scholarship
ETSU’s Macy Carrier is the recipient of the 2018 Insurance Office of America Scholarship. A distance runner for the Bucs’ cross country and track and field teams, Carrier earned All-SoCon honors with a runner-up finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the 2016 SoCon Outdoor Track and Field Championships and a third-place showing in the distance medley relay at the 2016 indoor meet and reached the finals of the 3,000-meter run and the 5,000-meter run at the 2017 indoor championships. She also posted top-30 finishes at the SoCon Cross Country Championships each year of her career, earning all-freshman honors in 2014 and serving as a team captain in 2016 and 2017. Carrier has logged more than 1,500 volunteer hours during her collegiate career, largely with The Well, a Christian outreach organization on campus. In addition to serving on the campus outreach team, Carrier took trips with The Well to Bangarapet, India, to lead Vacation Bible School training and to Denham Spring, Louisiana, to help rebuild houses after the area experienced flooding. She has also volunteered with: The Salvation Army on Thanksgiving; Winshape Camp, a Christian camp; Cornerstone Village, an assisted living facility; at the Samaritan’s Purse headquarters to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child; and with local races. Carrier volunteered in the Occupational Therapy department at Johnson City Medical Center and was an intern at Mini Miracles, a pediatric therapy clinic. She also served as race coordinator for a pair of 5K races, raising more than $8,000 each for Living Water International and for East Tennessee Christian Home and Academy. Carrier, a human services major, boasts a 4.0 GPA and will attend graduate school to further her goal of becoming an occupational therapist.

Madyson Riegel, The Citadel – David Knight Scholarship
The Citadel’s Madyson Riegel is the 2018 recipient of the David Knight Scholarship. Riegel has competed for the Bulldogs’ women’s soccer and track and field teams, earning SoCon All-Freshman honors in both in 2014-15 before becoming a two-time SoCon champion in the javelin, setting and then breaking the school record in the event each year of her career so far. She is a two-time winner of The Citadel’s Outstanding Field Performer Award and was named the track and field team’s MVP last season as a junior. Riegel made program history in 2017 when she became the first Bulldog to advance to the finals in any event at the prestigious Penn Relays, finishing seventh in the javelin. The biology major owns a 3.87 GPA and intends to enter medical school to study forensic pathology. A member of The Citadel’s Honors Program, Riegel has achieved Gold Stars six semesters, which requires at least a 3.7 GPA, and was inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society in October. In her community, Riegel volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s from 2014-16, with Low Country Orphanage Relief’s Leadership Day and with the City of Charleston Police Department’s Police Community Unity Day. She has also assisted teaching javelin technique at Blue Mountain High School and Pine Grove High School. Riegel, who is currently volunteering at the Medical University of South Carolina’s neurosurgery research lab, has also taken on leadership roles in the Corps of Cadets as a cadet corporal, a cadet sergeant and as a senior mentor in her company.

Hunter Wike (ETSU) – Bob McCloskey Insurance Scholarship
ETSU football player Hunter Wike is one of two recipients of a Bob McCloskey Insurance Scholarship. The wide receiver played in 29 of a possible 33 games in his career, totaling 44 receptions, 557 yards and three touchdowns. He had a career day as a senior against Furman on Sept. 30, 2017, hauling in two passes for a career-best 101 yards that included a 78-yard TD catch, the longest scoring pass play for ETSU since it restarted its football program in 2015. A chemistry major with a 3.88 GPA, Wike intends to attend medical school beginning in the summer of 2019. As a member of the Roan Scholars Leadership Program, Wike has logged more than 250 hours during his four-year career receiving leadership training, guidance and mentoring and was one of just seven Roan Scholars in ETSU’s entering first-year class in 2013. As a member of the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, he has volunteered with March of Dimes, Relay for Life and with the homeless community in Johnson City and gathered canned goods to donate to a local food pantry. Wike is also still active in a student organization he founded in high school, the Pisgah Athletics Student Community Outreach, which serves low-income, special needs and foster children, and has provided more than $10,000 worth of Christmas gifts to the Broyhill Children’s Home in Clyde, North Carolina, over the last five years. During his gap year, he plans to becoming more involved with PASCO and expand the program further into the community. Wike has also worked as an Upward Bound residential advisory, served as a Broyhill Children’s Home activities coordinator and worked as a ETSU BIGs program mentor.

Meghan Rud, Mercer – Bob McCloskey Insurance Scholarship
Mercer’s Meghan Rud is one of two recipients of a Bob McCloskey Insurance Scholarship. A first-team All-SoCon and third-team All-South Region outfielder last season, Rud was tabbed the SoCon’s preseason co-player of the year entering her senior campaign. The Bears’ single-season and career stolen base record-holder, Rud is in the top five in several other career categories in school history and led the SoCon in runs scored and stolen bases in 2015 and 2017. A psychology major with a 3.90 GPA, Rud is a two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete who aspires to become a physical therapist and will enroll in Mercer’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program this summer. Rud has served hundreds of hours of community service in that pursuit, working at ManorCare Rehabilitation, the Mercer Sports Medicine Department and Benchmark Physical Therapy. She has also volunteered at the Pinegate retirement community. In 2017, Rud went on a medical mission trip to Cambodia through Mercer On Mission, setting up medical clinics in rural communities and providing treatment for injuries and illnesses.

Ellie Gerlach, Samford – William V. Moore Scholarship presented by McMillan Pazdan Smith
Samford women’s tennis player Ellie Gerlach is the 2018 recipient of the William V. Moore Scholarship presented by McMillan Pazdan Smith. A first-team All-SoCon singles performer in 2017, Gerlach has played at Nos. 1 and 2 singles and No. 1 doubles for the Bulldogs for the past two seasons and led Samford in singles wins in 2016 and 2017. A team captain and health sciences major with a 3.78 GPA, Gerlach intends to pursue a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree with the goal of becoming a certified physician assistant. She has served an internship in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, in the Norton Hospital emergency room and has shadowed PAs and doctors in neurosurgery, orthopedics, emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery and gastroenterology. Gerlach, who serves on the Chi Omega sorority’s Philanthropy Committee, is a member of Gamma Sigma Alpha, a national honor society recognizing members of fraternities and sororities, and Chi Alpha Sigma, a national honor society for college athletes. Gerlach is co-chair of Samford’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was the organization’s service chair in 2016-17. She also founded Samford’s chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is on the FCA’s leadership team and the university’s Presidential Advisory Committee. Gerlach has worked extensively in the community, helping organize the Cornerstone Elementary School Christmas party in each of the last three years, working on multiple Habitat for Humanity projects and coordinating efforts among Samford student-athletes to create and send boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Megan Woods, Chattanooga – Milliken & Co. Scholarship
Chattanooga women’s golfer Megan Woods is the recipient of the inaugural Milliken & Co. Scholarship. The 2016 SoCon individual medalist after winning a five-hole playoff, Woods has posted top-10 finishes at the SoCon Championship in each of the last two seasons. She was an all-conference performer in 2016 and earned SoCon All-Freshman honors in 2015. Woods is second in school history in rounds of par or better and set the Mocs’ sophomore scoring record in 2016. An accounting and finance double major with a 4.0 GPA, Woods has earned Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-American Scholar recognition three times so far and was the recipient of the 2017-18 HHM Scholarship, UTC’s most competitive accounting scholarship. She was also named a UTC College of Business (COB) Stophel Distinguished Student Scholar Award winner for 2018 and earned the Dayle May Award for the highest GPA among Chattanooga’s female student-athletes. Woods is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the international honor organization for financial information students and professionals, and has tutored COB students and worked with the IRS’ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program through her involvement with the organization. Also a tutor within the Chattanooga athletic department, Woods is a four-year member of the school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has helped at multiple food, toy and clothes drives for the Chattanooga community in that role. A COB Dean’s Advisory Board Scholar, Woods will pursue a Master’s in Accounting Degree at Chattanooga beginning in the fall.

Kassandra Flores, Western Carolina – Sports Medicine Institute Scholarship presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
Western Carolina softball player Kassandra Flores is the 2018 recipient of the Sports Medicine Institute Scholarship presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. A team captain, Flores splits time on the diamond between the outfield and catching and has played in 88 games during her Catamount career. Flores was a member of the Catamounts’ 2016 squad that finished with the second-best team record in school history, 33-24. During that same season, she also helped Western Carolina achieve its first perfect game in program history with a 5-0 win over North Carolina A&T on April 13. A biology and Spanish double major with a 3.93 GPA, Flores has been named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division I All-American Scholar Athlete three consecutive years and received the Dean’s Outstanding Scholar Award in 2017-18, an award given to just 31 students out of the nearly 2,000 majors in the College of Arts and Sciences. Flores has spent hundreds of hours volunteering since 2011, volunteering time throughout the week at the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Medical Center from 2011-16. While there, Flores serviced a wide variety of areas and units in the hospital including the oncology unit, maternity unit, cancer treatment center, human resources, orthopedic clinic, patient transportation and the ambulatory care unit. From 2014-18, Flores volunteered at softball and youth camps as well as volunteering at the local elementary school. Flores also studied abroad in 2017, going to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she volunteered and shadowed in a medical facility in an economically struggling area. Flores plans to attend graduate school for a master’s degree in biomedical sciences or molecular biology.

Brittany Houston, Furman – Southern Conference Presidential Scholarship
Furman softball player Brittany Houston is the recipient of the 2018 Southern Conference Presidential Scholarship. A four-year starter shortstop, Houston was named to the All-Southern Conference first team at shortstop in 2017 and was a preseason All-SoCon honoree in 2018. So far this season, the Williamston, South Carolina, native has started all 36 games and is batting .240. Last season, Houston led the team with a .317 batting average and helped the Paladins to their first SoCon regular-season title since 1995. A dynamic player that has played every infield position in her career, Houston has been a part of 30-win seasons for three consecutive years. A health science major with a 3.84 GPA, Houston has been named a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America Scholar Athlete every year thus far. Houston is also a member of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Medical Honor Society, Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and the Phi Beta Kappa honor society for liberal arts and sciences. Houston has volunteered her time for the past four years including helping at the The Woodlands nursing home, feeding the homeless at the Greenville homeless shelter, helping with the Miracle League and sponsoring a child at Christmas. Houston also took part in a mission trip to the Dominican Republic, where she helped with construction on a building, taught others how to cook and played sports with the local kids. In 2017, Houston also did the 10 Days clean water pledge, donating the money she saved from drinking only water to support sustainable water access in Rwanda. Houston plans to get her Doctor of Pharmacy degree while also obtaining her MBA and hopes to one day own her own pharmacy.

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