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The Big Ten Conference Thursday honored Husker student-athletes Conor McDermott and Megan Southworth with $7,500 postgraduate scholarships. McDermott, a tight end letterwinner on Nebraska’s 2012 football team, graduated last December with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics and Finance. Southworth, a letterwinning infielder on the Huskers’ 2013 softball team, graduated this month with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Human Science. Both Big Ten scholarship winners in this inaugural Big Ten program are from Omaha. McDermott graduated from Creighton Prep High School and Southworth from Papillion-LaVista High School.
“This scholarship will provide great assistance to reach my goals,” McDermott said. “I’ve decided to enroll in UNL’s law program, and I want to dual enroll in an MBA program. With my undergrad degrees in law and finance, I can combine my passions with law and business.” A walk-on, McDermott persevered in football and eventually changed to tight end. He worked his way onto the travel roster and ended up playing in every game in his final season as a Husker.
“The Big Ten scholarship will assist me with my first year of postgraduate study and is profoundly important to me in pursuing my Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree at Creighton,” Southworth said. “Within three years, I will complete the academic and clinical work required to earn the highest degree in that field. Creighton is one of three universities that offer this program with the most advanced training available in the School of Pharmacy program.” Southworth also will earn her fourth varsity letter in softball this spring.
One male and one female student-athlete from each of the 12 Big Ten institutions receive the conference scholarships that are based primarily on academic achievements. Southworth, a 2012 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award winner, carries a 3.784 GPA. McDermott, a 2012 First-Team Academic All-Big Ten selection, has a 3.664 GPA.
“Conor is an intelligent young man who continually challenges himself to develop leadership skills and achieve academically,” said Dennis Leblanc, Nebraska’s senior associate athletic director for Academics. “Conor is dedicated and determined, and he has good time management skills. He was selected to our Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll nine times during his football career. He did it all while double-majoring in Finance and Economics and still graduated in 4½ years. Conor is well-prepared to handle the rigorous demands of law school.”
Nebraska Softball Head Coach Rhonda Revelle said Southworth is an equally focused and persistent young lady who has strategically mapped out her educational and professional goals. “Megan has balanced the demands of being a Division I athlete with four letters and was still a standout in the classroom,” Revelle said. “Megan is so much more than her grade-point-average and her scholastic honors, though. She’s a very conscientious, dedicated and resilient person who aspires to become the best professional she can be. She’s passionate about serving people, and in particular, people with special needs. Serving and giving back runs deep in her genetic makeup. She has a huge heart and is a true champion for people in need.”
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