Davis, Newman up for McWhorter Scholarship

April 2, 2010

Birmingham, Ala. - Distance runner Thomas Davis and tennis player Catherine Newman have been nominated by Vanderbilt for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship, Southeastern Conference officials announced today.

The McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the SEC since 1986 to the league's top male and female scholar-athletes.

The SEC 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 last Vanderbilt student-athlete selected for the McWhorter Scholarship is Erika Schneble, a former track standout and SEC 5,000-meter champion who was honored in 2005.

Davis, a native of Prospect, Ky., has a 3.99 grade point average, majoring in Biomedical Engineering.  He is a three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll (2010 SEC Academic Honor Roll to be released later in spring) and has earned Dean's List status in each semester he has been enrolled at Vanderbilt.

He is a member of Tau Beta Pi Honor Society (engineering) and has been accepted to Vanderbilt's School of Medicine through the early acceptance program.  In 2007, he earned the John T. & Lizzie Allen McGill Freshman Award for "academically accomplished freshmen students of gentle bearing who has shown kindness and respect for all others and who has established qualities of leadership."

Davis is the school record holder in the 1500 meters and was named Most Valuable Runner on his squad in 2008 and 2009 and the Best Newcomer in 2006-07.  A four-year letterwinner at Vanderbilt, he also qualified for the 2007 USA Junior Outdoor Championships and won the 2008 Ole Miss Open Invitational 1500 meters.

Davis is the founder and director of a bilingual library and literacy program for Latino children in the Nashville community.  As a member of Project Pyramid, he traveled to Bangladesh to conduct a feasibility study of student-designed, enterprise-driven poverty alleviation projects.

He has conducted market assessments of Mozambique, Africa for expansion of hybrid franchise pharmacy models and is a board member of the Siloam Family Health Center.  He has organized a seminar on social business and a lecture series on innovation and is a founder and president of Sur Real Paletas, a private enterprise that distributes Mexican popsicles in the Nashville community.

Newman, a native of Greensboro, N.C., has a 3.89 grade point average, majoring in Civil Engineering.  She is a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll (Academic Honor Roll announced later in spring) and has earned Dean's List honors in each semester she has been at Vanderbilt.

She is a member of the Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Honor Society and the Chi Epsilon Civil Engineering Honor Society.  She is also a three-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association Scholar-Athlete and was named second-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2008.

Newman earned first-team All-SEC honors in 2007 and second-team honors in 2008 and 2009.  She has served as team captain in 2009 and 2010 and will be a four-year starter for the Commodores. She played #1 singles and #2 doubles as a junior in 2009, #2 singles and #2 doubles as a sophomore and #3 singles and #2 doubles as a freshman.  Earlier this spring, Newman won her 100th singles match of her storied career, putting herself among the school's all-time leaders in wins.  She earned a bid to the NCAA individual tournament in 2007 and 2008 and helped lead the Commodores to an NCAA team bid in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

She has been her team's representative to the Vanderbilt Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the last two seasons and is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers.  She has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Thrift Smart as well as working with children at field day events and "Trick or Treat" with Nashville area underprivileged children.

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 - Saketh Myneni, tennis (male) / Kassi Price, gymnastics (female)
Arkansas - Thomas Hauskey, baseball (male) / Katie Stripling, track & field (female)

Auburn - Jordan Anderson, swimming (male) / Melissa Marik, swimming (female)

Florida - Joey Sorrentino, football (male) / Rebekah Zaiser, gymnastics (female)
Georgia - Hunter Lainhart, swimming (male) / Grace Taylor, gymnastics (female)

Kentucky - Eric McGinnis, swimming (male) / Sarah Rumley, volleyball (female)
LSU - Lyle Hitt, football (male) / Lauren DeGirolamo, volleyball (female)

Ole Miss - Andy Hartmann, football (male) / Danielle Johnson, soccer (female)
Miss. State - Tyson Lee, football (male) / Chelsea Bramlett, softball (female)

South Carolina - Patrick Rada, golf (male) / Blakely Mattern, soccer (female)

Tennessee - Matt Maloney, track & field (male) / Phoebe Wright, track & field (female)

Vanderbilt - Thomas Davis, track & field (male) / Catherine Newman, tennis (female)

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 $10,000 post-graduate scholarship.  The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $5,000 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.



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