BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 31 – Tennis player John-Patrick Smith and volleyball player Nikki Fowler have been nominated for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship and diver Michael Wright and track & field athlete Jackie Areson have been nominated for the Brad Davis Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship by the University of Tennessee.
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 Volunteers’ nominees include:
John-Patrick Smith, Tennis (Male McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
• Will earn a B.S. degree in Economics in May 2011
• Two-time ITA Scholar-Athlete and Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America All-District Team
• He is a three-time ITA All-America in singles and doubles in addition to being a three-time All-SEC selection.
• Three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll and UT Thornton Center Honor Roll
• 2010 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Male Amateur Athlete of the Year
• 2010 SEC Player of the Year
• He is a two-time NCAA doubles finalist as well as an NCAA singles finalist
• Member of UT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
• Frequently visits with children at Knoxville Children’s Hospital
• Gave free tennis lessons to underprivileged kids at Tennis Townsville Association
• Also works with kids at Knoxville YMCA and Townsville Grammar School
• The Townsville, Australia native is the son of Kevin and Susan Smith
Nikki Fowler, Volleyball (Female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
• Will earn a B.S. degree in Marketing in May 2011
• 2010 Capital One/CoSIDA first-team Academic All-American and three-time academic all-district selection
• 2010 SEC Volleyball Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year
• American Volleyball Coaches third-team All-American (2010)
• Member of the 2010 U.S. National A2 Training Team and was recently named to the 2010 CVU.com Honorable Mention Stellar Spiker list
• Three-time All-SEC first-team
• Three-year member of UT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
• Team captain as a senior
• Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and Boys and Girls Club
• Organized and hosted free volleyball clinics benefitting Second Harvest Food Bank
• The Plano, Texas native is the daughter of Marc and Regina Fowler
Michael Wright, Swimming and Diving (Male Davis Community Service Nominee)
• Will earn a B.A. degree in Studio Art in May 2011
• SEC Academic Honor Roll and VolScholar Academic Honor Roll
• Captain of the UT swimming & diving team
• First-ever African-American national champion in USA springboard diving
• Member of UT’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
• Helped organized and direct the SEC’s “Together We Can” food drive
• Participated in the SAAC Holiday Dinner for Volunteer Ministries
• Visits with kids at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital and Big Brother/Big Sister in Knoxville
• The Forest Park, Ill. native is the son of Al and Kris Wright
Jackie Areson, Track and Field (Female Davis Community Service Nominee)
• Will earn a B.S. degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in May 2011
• 2010 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American
• Three-time USTFCCCA All-Academic Team member and four-time member of SEC Academic Honor Roll
• Holds UT indoor records in the 3000 and 5000 meters
• 2011 NCAA indoor 5000 meter champion
• 2011 SEC Indoor Women’s Runner of the Year after breaking a 24-year-old meet record in the 3000 meters and anchoring distance medley relay to a meet record
• Also anchored 2010 SEC champion indoor distance medley relay team and was the 2010 SEC indoor and outdoor 5000 meter champion
• Collected food for the SEC’s “Together We Can” food drive
• Also helped with Toys for Tots campaign, Habitat for Humanity and the UT Environmental Club
• The Hypoluxo, Fla. native is the daughter of Mary Areson
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 – McWhorter: Michael Yuan, swimming & diving (male); Ali Crabb, track & field/cross country (female) / Davis: Bobby Walsh, swimming & diving (male); Megan Bush, softball (female)
Georgia – McWhorter: Mark Dylla, swimming & diving (male); Chelsea Nauta, swimming & diving (female) / Davis: Asaph Levy, track & field (male); Bridget Lyons, track & field/cross country (female)
Kentucky – McWhorter: Josh Nadzam, track & field (male); Lauren Rapp, volleyball (female) / Davis: Marcus Davis, football (male); Samantha DeMartine, softball (female)
LSU – McWhorter: Sebastian Carlsson, tennis (male); Jane Trepp, swimming & diving (female) / Davis: Kyle Rose, track & field (male) / Courtney Alexander, soccer (female)
Ole Miss – McWhorter: Lee Moore, track & field (male); Emily Kvitle, volleyball (female) / Davis: Barnabus Kirui, track & field/cross country (male); Juliana Smith, track & field (female)
Miss. State – McWhorter: Derek Sherrod, football (male); Leanna Baldner, soccer (female) / Davis: Mark Melichar, football (male); Courtney Nesbit, softball (female)
South Carolina – McWhorter: Jimmy Maurer, soccer (male); Mollie Patton, soccer (female) / Davis: Mike Zajac, track & field (male); Jewel May, basketball (female)
Tennessee – McWhorter: John-Patrick Smith, tennis (male); Nikki Fowler, volleyball (female) / Davis: Michael Wright, swimming & diving (male); Jackie Areson, track & field/cross country (female)
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.