April 22, 2009
INDIANAPOLIS--University of Arizona senior diver Craig Sheedy was selected today as the male recipient of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship.
Sheedy joins soccer student-athlete Ann Massey of the University of Southern California as a winner of the prestigious national honors bestowed for outstanding academic accomplishment, superior citizenship and evidence that participation in college athletics was a positive influence on their personal and intellectual development. Each Byers Scholar will receive a $24,000 scholarship.
The Byers Scholarships were established in 1988. Sheedy is Arizona's first recipient. He and Massey were chosen from among six finalists by the NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship committee.
Sheedy carries a 4.0 grade point average in a challenging major, biochemistry and molecular biophysics, plus a second major in physiology and a minor in Spanish. He will graduate in May.
He was a team co-captain in 2008-09, a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and winner of co-valedictorian honors at athletics' annual C.A.T.S. Senior Awards Banquet earlier this month, along with citations for his community service and scholastic achievements. He was a first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honoree in 2009.
Sheedy has contributed three years of biomedical research to his academic department and is an officer in the biochemistry club, while also serving the department of athletics as an ambassador and peer tutor.
He is active in the community with involvement in service projects with the Boys/Girls Club and Grace Home, while also volunteering weekly at the Tucson Medical Center in the pediatrics unit. He has been an active member of the Honors College and was the outstanding senior in his major program. He received the UA's Freeman Medal, awarded annually to a top university student with extra-curricular, community and leadership potential.
Sheedy plans to pursue a doctorate of medicine beginning in August at Vanderbilt, aiming to specialize in pediatrics.
UA athletics director Jim Livengood said "Sheedy's honor is a substantial statement about all that is good in intercollegiate athletics. It's a tremendous personal achievement for him, and a huge honor for the University of Arizona. We're proud of the many accomplishments of student-athletes each year, and this young man's Byers Scholarship is certainly at the top of the chart for 2008-09," he said.
After beginning her college career at St. Mary's (California), Massey transferred to Southern California where she helped the Trojans win the 2007 Women's College Cup. Her junior year she was voted "Trojan of the Year" by fellow student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff for achievement in the classroom and on the playing field.
Massey started a recycling program within the athletics department to continue to spread awareness and raise money for Water Wells for Africa. The communications major was a Rhodes Scholarship finalist in 2008. She has been accepted at the University of Oxford, where she plans to pursue a master's degree in forced migration and play for the Oxford Football Club.
The Byers award was established in 1988 to recognize the contributions of Walter Byers, the Association's original executive director, and was developed to encourage excellence in academic performance by student-athletes. A Byers Scholar is recognized as an individual who has combined the best elements of academic and athletic achievement to earn national distinction for his or her accomplishments, and who promises to be a future leader in his or her chosen field. Award recipients are required to have at least a 3.5 grade-point average (4.0 scale).