Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships
STANFORD, Calif. - The Pac-12 Conference announced today the 23 outstanding Pac-12 student-athletes who have been named recipients of Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships for the 2019-20 academic year, and the list includes men's gymnast Bailey Perez and Michelle Xiao of women's soccer.
The scholarships, worth $9,000 each, are awarded to up to two student-athletes from each Pac-12 school annually. These worthy student-athletes maintained a minimum 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated a commitment to education, campus and community involvement, and leadership.
Perez was a finalist for the 2020 Nissen-Emery Award, presented annually to the top senior gymnast in college gymnastics. A three-time MPSF All-Academic Scholar-Athlete selection, he was an All-American on floor exercise after finishing second overall in the event to help guide the Cardinal to the 2019 NCAA title. Perez was elected a team captain as a senior in 2020 before earning the Dick and Anne Gould Captain's Award at the 2020 Stanford Athletics Board Awards ceremony.
The native of Glen Ellyn, Ill. graduated with a degree in product design engineering in 2020 after carrying a 3.48 GPA. As an undergraduate at Stanford, Perez served as a teaching assistant for an engineering course and was a member of Stanford's DesignSummer group. A volunteer with Children's Champions, he also helped coordinate the Lucile Stanford Packard Hospital Prom. Perez will now attend Georgetown's McDonough School of Business while pursuing a Master of Science in Finance.
Xiao, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, was named Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior in 2018. A member of the Pac-12 All-Academic first team in 2016, 2017 and 2018, Xiao earned the 2017 Elite 90 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average at the College Cup, as well as 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-America first team honors. In 82 career appearances, she scored 21 goals with 11 assists, including career highs in goals (8) and assists (6) in 2017 on her way to All-Pac-12 second team honors.
A frequent volunteer at the East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring program (EPATT) and Stanford's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Xiao conducted research on campus under the guidance of Dr. Geoff Abrams, studying the effects of microRNA's on tendinopathy. As part of Stanford's Bio-X USRP program, Xiao spent time in Stanford's Soft Tissue Biomechanics Lab (STBL) analyzing MRI of knee cartilage to detect early osteoarthritic changes. During the summer of 2016, Xiao spent time in the medicinal chemistry research lab at the University of Nebraska Medical Center working on synthesizing small molecules that could treat Alzheimer's Disease. She also has a paper published in the Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters Journal titled "Design and synthesis of new piperidone grafted acetylcholinesterase."
A 2019 graduate with a degree in biomechanical engineering, Xiao earned an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in 2019 and enrolled at the Stanford University School of Medicine after developing an interest in the field through her own experiences with injuries. Long term, Xiao would like to become an orthopedic surgeon.
To be selected for a Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship, a student-athlete must have:
- Maintained an overall undergraduate minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale);
- Completed his/her final season of intercollegiate athletics eligibility in all sports or be in his/her final year of undergraduate study, having exhausted athletics eligibility in all sports;
- Been accepted to or already be enrolled as a full-time student in a graduate or professional program at an accredited institution, or in a postgraduate program for which an undergraduate degree is required for admission;
- Performed with distinction as a member of a varsity team; and
- Exemplified behavior, both in competition and beyond, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution, and intercollegiate athletics.