Two Jayhawks, Wildcats receive post-grad scholarship

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LAWRENCE, Kan. - Kansas’ Elizabeth Scherer (Rowing) and Kellum Schneider (Track and Field) were among 20 Big 12 student-athletes selected to receive Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgradute Scholarships, the conference office announced Tuesday.

K-State’s 2013-14 honorees were Petra Niedermayerova of the women’s tennis team and Jared Moore of the baseball team.

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 2005. The list of all-time recipients has grown to 323 since the inception of the league in 1996-97. Starting in 2002-03, additional funding increased the number of scholarship award winners to two per member institution.

Criteria for the awards includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 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.

Scherer, a Wamego, Kansas, native, was a significant contributor and a team leader from the First Varsity Eight boat throughout the 2013-14 season, capping her season with the team’s coveted Oarswoman of the Year award. Her 1V8 boat earned eight top-five finishes in as many races, including a victory over Drake at the Sunflower Showdown in Kansas City, Kan. The First Varsity Eight finished third at the Big 12 Championship, while concluding their season with a fifth-place finish at the C-USA Championship.

In the classroom, Scherer has been equally valuable as she is a four-time member of the Big 12 and C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She has earned an outstanding four-consecutive C-USA Academic Medals, is a four-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member and is a recipient of the Dr. Gerald Lage Award, the Big 12 Conference’s highest academic honor. Last season, Scherer earned the inaugural Big 12 Rowing Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

“I’m really pleased for her,” Kansas rowing coach Rob Catloth said of Scherer. “I think she is the fourth rower to earn the Dr. Prentice Gautt (Postgraduate) Scholarship. This will certainly help her with physical therapy school. She’s always been very strong academically and did a great job for our team. We’re excited to see her begin the next stage of school and into her career.”

As a senior member of the men’s track and field team, Schneider is a seven time Athletics Director Honor Roll member from Tribune, Kansas. He carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average while studying genetics and this season alone, he recorded personal bests on four different occasions and has maintained his status as one of Kansas track & field’s most consistent performers.

Schneider comes from a gifted family, both academically and athletically. Both his brother, Kaman, and sister, Kennedy, competed for the KU track team, with Kaman earning a Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarship last May. Kellum plans to pursue a future in the medical field.

“This is a great honor for Kellum and shows what kind of dedication he has,” Kansas track and field coach Stanley Redwine said. “He always took care of business on the track and in the classroom. He has a very promising future in the medical field and this scholarship will be a great aid in getting him there.”

Gautt, like all 323 total recipients of the scholarship award, benefited from generous benefactors to pursue his education. Gautt was the first black football player at the University of Oklahoma, achieving All-Big Eight status twice before being named the most valuable player of the 1959 Orange Bowl. Gautt played professionally in the NFL for seven years before returning to collegiate athletics as a coach and administrator.

The product of Brno, Czech Republic, Niedermayerova is an economics major who boasts a stellar cumulative GPA of 3.97. She will graduate this weekend and plans to pursue a Ph. D. in economics at Boston University beginning in the fall.

Earlier this season, Niedermayerova secured her third straight Capital One/College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-District VII At-Large selection and her third Academic All-Big 12 First Team honor. In 2013, she was named a Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America At-Large First Team selection. She is also a three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar-Athlete.

Within the economics department, Niedermayerova was a highly decorated student as she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in May. In her final semester, she was the co-author of a paper based off her 2013 summer internship with the Heritage Foundation. Her paper was accepted at the Dallas Economics Scholars Program, which is a very competitive process with only a third of the papers submitted for review being accepted. She also earned the Duane L. and Leslee K. Cantrell Scholarship in 2013, based on outstanding academic performance & service to the economics department at K-State.

On the court, Niedermayerova finished her K-State career as the first player in program history to play in four straight NCAA Division I Singles Championships. She tallied an overall singles record of 105-43 (.709) which is the school record for career singles victories and marks the first time a K-State player surpassed the 100-win threshold in their career. Her .709 winning percentage ranks second in school history. She also owns the school records for doubles wins in a career (74), singles wins in a season (32) and doubles wins in a season (27).

A native of Boulder, Colorado, Moore served as a reliever and starting pitcher in his four-year career at K-State, making 78 appearances, including 17 starts, and going 12-7 with a 4.37 ERA and 127 strikeouts. The left-hander’s 78 games pitched and 61 career relief appearances are the fifth and sixth most, respectively, in Wildcat history. Since his freshman season in 2011, the Boulder High School product helped the Wildcats reach three NCAA Regionals, including a run in 2013 where K-State not only reached the Regional round but also the Super Regionals for the first time ever after also winning the program’s first conference title in 80 years.

Moore, a two-time Academic All-Big 12 selection, graduated in May of 2014 with a degree in marketing. He has been accepted into the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver, where he will pursue a Master’s in Business Administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship and innovation studies.

The scholarships are named in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt, a former Big 12 Conference staff member and student services’ pioneer who passed away in March 2005. The list of all-time recipients has grown to 348 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 $2.3 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 and moved to $9,000 in 2011-12.

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.

K-State had another outstanding academic year in 2013-14. The Wildcats saw 78 student-athletes graduate in the 2013-14 academic year, while a total of eight student-athletes were Dr. Gerald Lage Academic Achievement Award winners, which were the second most among all Big 12 schools, while 260 were named to the Fall 2013 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, the most since 2008. K-State has also seen 101 student-athletes earn Academic All-Big 12 recognition this year.

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