Soucie, Melgares receive Big 12’s Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball’s Tayler Soucie and track & field and cross country’s Chris Melgares were among 20 Big 12 student-athletes selected to receive Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships, the conference office announced Tuesday.
The scholarships are named in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt, a former Lawrence resident, Big 12 Conference staff member and student services’ pioneer who passed away in March 2005. The list of all-time recipients has grown to 401 since the inception of the league in 1996-97. Starting in 2002-03, additional funding increased scholarship award winners to two per member institution.
To date the Big 12 has provided over $2.9 million for postgraduate education. The individual grants began at $2,500 in 1996-97, were raised to $5,000 in 1999 and increased to $6,900 for 2004-05. The awards climbed to $7,500 in 2006-07, moved to $9,000 in 2011-12 and are now at $10,000 since 2013-14.
Soucie, a three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree and a seven-time Athletic Director’s Honor Roll member, achieved excellence in the classroom as an Exercise Science major, maintaining a 3.70 GPA. In 2017, she received the Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award, which is given to a female student-athlete who achieve excellence in her sport, in the classroom and in the community. She was also named the Female Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year and was a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, where she held the position of Community Outreach Chair and served as KU’s 2016 Big 12 SAAC representative.
On the court, Soucie was instrumental in the Jayhawks’ success over the past four seasons, earning All-Big 12 First Team honors twice. She was a member of the first-ever KU volleyball Big 12 Championship team this season, as well as helping Kansas to its first Final Four in program history.
Soucie will further her academic career at Union College Physician’s Assistants school starting in Fall of 2017.
Melgares graduated early with a 3.98 GPA as an Exercise Science major. As a junior member of the track and field team, he is already a five-time Athletic Director’s Honor Roll member and a two-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree. In 2016, Melgares was named the Big 12 Men’s Cross Country Scholar Athlete of the Year and received the Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award in 2017, which is considered the highest academic award given by the Big 12.
Establishing himself as one of the top runners for the 2016-17 Kansas men’s cross country team, Melgares was among the Jayhawks’ top two scorers in four meets and claimed a victory in the 5K at the Rod McCravy Memorial in Lexington, Kentucky.
Melgares plans to attend graduate school next year at the University of Kansas while still competing for the Jayhawks.
Criteria for the awards includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.200 on a 4.000 scale, participation in at least two years of intercollegiate athletics at the nominee’s respective institution and completion of athletics’ eligibility. The student-athletes also must graduate from their respective member institutions within 15 months of their selection for a postgraduate scholarship and are expected to enroll in graduate/professional schools within two years of graduation. Three faculty representatives, one senior woman administrator and one director of athletics form the selection panel for the awards.
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