NCAA Selects Massey And Sheedy As 2009 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholars

April 30, 2009

  • NCAA Release
  • NCAA News Article

    INDIANAPOLIS - Amy Massey, a soccer student-athlete and communication major from the University of Southern California, and Craig Sheedy, a diving student-athlete from the University of Arizona with dual majors, have been selected as the 2009 NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholars.

    The Byers Scholarship Program was established in 1988 to recognize the contributions of the former NCAA executive director, Walter Byers, and encourage academic achievement of student-athletes as they pursue their postgraduate education. Each award recipient receives a $24,000 scholarship.

    To be eligible for the scholarship, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.5 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), demonstrate evidence of superior character and leadership, and show that participation in intercollegiate athletics has been a positive influence on their personal and intellectual development.

    Massey, a native of Manhattan Beach, Calif., has been accepted at the University of Oxford where she plans to pursue a master's degree in Forced Migration, while continuing to play soccer for a club team. She also has applied to law school and hopes to pursue studies in International Human Rights Law.

    Massey began her academic and athletic career at St. Mary's College of California before transferring to USC. She helped the USC soccer team win the 2007 NCAA Division I National Championship, and was voted 'Trojan of the Year' her junior season by fellow student-athletes, coaches and athletics staff for her achievement in the classroom and on the playing field. She has maintained a 3.97 GPA at USC and was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship in 2008.

    Massey has been active in her community as well . She started a recycling program within the USC athletics department to spread awareness for recycling and raise money for Water Wells for Africa, an initiative she adopted following a trip to Malawi her junior year in high school. While in Malawi, Massey also served in medical clinics and played soccer with the village children. Upon her return to the States, she vowed to make a difference and to raise awareness for the needs of others. To further that cause, she collects bottles and cans from teammates, fellow athletes, and from the entire athletic building each week, and has raised more than $6,000, which is enough money to fund one water well in Malawi. In addition to her academic goals, Massey wants to continue making a positive difference in the world and hopes to work with a humanitarian organization to help impoverished countries.

    Sheedy, a native of Tempe, Ariz., plans to pursue a doctorate of medicine, specializing in pediatrics, this August at Vanderbilt University. He will graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree with honors in biochemistry and molecular biophysics, and a second major in physiology, and a minor in Spanish.

    Sheedy was a member of Arizona's 2008 National Champion Swimming and Diving team. He also accepted the role of team co-captain of the diving team and was a member of the athletics department's Student Athletic Advisory Committee. Sheedy has been active with his academic pursuits, contributing three years of biomedical research while at Arizona, serving as an officer in the Biochemistry Club, and being an ambassador, peer tutor and mentor for his department major.

    Sheedy is also very active in the community, having been involved in service projects with the Boys & Girls Club and Grace Home, while also volunteering weekly at the Tucson Medical Center in the pediatrics unit.

    Sheedy has carried a 4.0 GPA throughout his studies at Arizona. He was also an active member of the Honors College and was the outstanding senior in his major. He received the University of Arizona's Freeman Medal, which is awarded annually to a top university student with extra-curricular, community and leadership potential. Additionally, Sheedy was cited as a co-valedictorian by his student-athlete peers for the athletics department's Senior Award Banquet, where he also earned accolades for his community service and academic achievements.

    The Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Program is administered by the Walter Byers Scholarship Committee, established by the NCAA membership and appointed by the NCAA Divisions I, II and III Management Councils. The committee reviews the nominations, contacts the finalists for an interview and selects the final recipients.

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