BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 21 – Diver Dan Mazzaferro and swimmer Erica Meissner have been nominated for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship and baseball player Justin Hargett and soccer player Addison Ragsdale have been nominated for the Brad Davis Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship by Auburn University.
The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the Southeastern Conference since 1986 to the league’s top male and female scholar-athletes.
The SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship was named for former Associate Commissioner Brad Davis. Davis succumbed to cancer on March 2, 2006. He had been a member of the SEC staff since 1988, first serving as an assistant commissioner until 1994 when he was promoted to associate commissioner.
The Southeastern Conference will name the 2010 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on April 6 in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day. The Davis Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship winners will be announced on April 5.
Highlights of the Tigers’ nominees include:
Dan Mazzaferro, Swimming and Diving (Male McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
• Earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry in May 2010
• Will earn his M.B.A. degree in December 2011
• Phi Kappa Phi National Graduate Fellowship Recipient
• President’s Medal for College of Science and Mathematics Recipient
• Auburn University Honors Scholar
• Member of Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, Delta Epsilon Iowa and National Society of Collegiate Scholars
• Captain of Auburn’s swimming & diving team as a senior
• 2011 SEC Champion in the 3-meter and Platform diving events (NCAA championships this weekend in Minneapolis, Minn.)
• Seven-time NCAA All-American
• U.S. Olympic Diving Finalist (7th in 10-meter platform)
• College Swimming Coaches Association of America Academic All-American (2007-2009)
• 2009 Co-SEC Male Diver of the Year
• Participated in Unite for Sight, a 10-day mission to Ghana, assisting ophthalmic surgeries and raising funds for eyeglasses for patients in Ghana.
• The Cheshire, Conn. native is the son of Thomas and Cynthia Mazzaferro.
Erica Meissner, Swimming and Diving (Female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
• Will earn a B.A. degree in Anthropology in Summer 2011
• NCAA All-American (2008)
• Member of Phi Kappa Phi, Chi Alpha Sigma, Omicron Delta Kappa and Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Fraternities.
• Member of Auburn’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
• Rhoads Scholarship Finalist (2010)
• College Swimming Coaches Association of America Academic All-American (2008, 2009)
• Six-time Auburn Top Tiger, awarded to Auburn’s top student-athletes
• Volunteer at Lee County’s Big House, mentoring foster children, and the Lee County Humane Society.
• Participated in Laps for Cystic Fibrosis and Swim Across America.
• The Auburn, Ala. native is the daughter of Walt and Rosemarie Meissner.
Justin Hargett, Baseball (Male Davis Community Service Nominee)
• Will earn a B.S. degree in Exercise Science in May 2011
• Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars
• Dean’s List and four-time Auburn Top Tiger, awarded to Auburn’s top student-athletes
• Three-year starter
• Led team in hitting in 2009 (.330)
• Served as a mentor at Children’s Hospital and served as a captain of volunteers with Operation Christmas Child.
• Volunteered at Rehab Works and Total Rehab, assisting therapists and helping patients.
• Member of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD).
• The Hartselle, Ala. native is the son of Greg and Kim Hargett
Addison Ragsdale, Soccer (Female Davis Community Service Nominee)
• Will earn a B.F.A. degree in Graphic Design in December 2011
• Dean’s List and three-time Auburn Top Tiger, awarded to Auburn’s top student-athletes
• Helped lead Tiger soccer team to four consecutive NCAA appearances and two SEC West titles
• Member of Auburn’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
• Volunteered at the Lee County Humane Society, the Boys and Girls Club and East Alabama Food Bank.
• Participated in the SEC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee’s “Together We Can” food drive, Toys for Tots and the Kappa Delta Shamrock 5k to support Cystic Fibrosis.
• The Birmingham, Ala. native is the daughter of Bill and Karen Ragsdale.
The SEC Office will be releasing each of its institution’s nominees periodically until the April 6 winners are announced. The schedule is as follows:
Alabama – McWhorter: Greg McElroy, football (male); Kayla Hoffman, gymnastics (female) / Davis: Dan Armstrong, swimming & diving (male); Jessica Allaway, rowing (female).
Arkansas – McWhorter: Luke Laird, track & field (male); Michelle Stout, gymnastics (female) / Davis: Chris Nott, tennis (male); Britni Williams, soccer (female).
Auburn – McWhorter: Dan Mazzaferro, swimming & diving (male); Erica Meissner, swimming & diving (female) / Davis: Justin Hargett, baseball (male); Addison Ragsdale, soccer (female)
Florida – March 22
Georgia – March 23
Kentucky – March 24
LSU – March 25
Ole Miss – March 28
Miss. State – March 29
South Carolina – March 30
Tennessee – March 31
Vanderbilt – April 1
National Student-Athlete Day was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.
Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship. The Davis Award recipients each receive a $6,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by the SEC. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $3,000 post-graduate scholarship.
The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 12 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Fla. on June 3.
Last year’s McWhorter Award recipients were Auburn swimmer Jordan Anderson and Tennessee track & field athlete Phoebe Wright. The Davis Award recipients were Georgia track & field athlete John Egan and Auburn gymnast Krissy Voss.