April 3, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., - Diver Ryan Helms and basketball player Glory Johnson have been nominated for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship, and track and field athletes Kevin Carney and Chelsea Knotts have been nominated for the Brad Davis Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship by the University of Tennessee, the Southeastern Conference announced Tuesday afternoon.
The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the Southeastern Conference since 1986 to the league's top male and female scholar-athletes.
The SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship was named for former Associate Commissioner Brad Davis. Davis succumbed to cancer on March 2, 2006. He had been a member of the SEC staff since 1988, first serving as an assistant commissioner until 1994 when he was promoted to associate commissioner. The Southeastern Conference will name the 2012 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on April 6 in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day. The Davis Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship winners will be announced on April 5.
Highlights of Tennessee's nominees include:
Ryan Helms, Swimming & Diving (Male McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
Will earn a B.S. degree in Education in August 2012
Four-time UT Thornton Center Honor Roll and named to Fall 2011 Thornton Center Highest GPA List
Earned College Swimming Coaches Association of America Academic All-America status
Named twice to SEC Academic Honor Roll
2012 Olympic Trials and Canada Cup Grand Prix qualifier
Earned honorable mention All-America honors at 2011 NCAA Championships in the 1-meter and platform dives
Placed second at the 2011 SEC Championships in the 1-meter and 3-meter dives after finishing third in same events at 2010 SEC Championships
Named SEC Freshman Diver of the Year, 2008-09
Active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, serving as a mentor, leading Bible Studies and planning meetings
Participated in the SEC's "Together We Can" food drive and worked at food bank in his hometown
The Jefferson, Ga. native is the son of Michael and Tina Helms
Glory Johnson, Basketball (Female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Nominee)
Earned B.A. degree (cum laude) in Interdisciplinary Studies in May 2011, graduating in just three years, and currently in Master's program
Named to Vol Scholar Honor Roll, Dean's List and SEC Academic Honor Roll
Is just the fourth player in UT Lady Vol history to post 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in career
Has been named SEC Player of the Week six times in her career
Played on the gold-medal winning USA team at the 2011 World University Games in Shenzhen, China
Two-time first-team All-SEC, SEC All-Defensive Team and Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-Region 3 Team performer
Member of 2012 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America Team
2011-12 SEC Defensive Player of the Year
Two-time member of the SEC Women's Basketball Community Service Team
Two-time member of the SEC All-Tournament Team and named MVP of the 2012 SEC Tournament
Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, Hoops for Hope and UT Athletics Donor Thank-a-Thon
Visited with cancer patients at East Tennessee Children's Hospital and read to children at various Knox County Schools
The Knoxville, Tenn. native is the daughter of Mercy Bassey Johnson and Bassey Johnson Udofot.
Kevin Carney, Track and Field (Male Davis Community Service Nominee)
Will earn a B.S. degree in Logistics in May 2012
Three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and VolScholar Honor Roll
Recipient of the 2011 Team Vol Spirit Award
Served as volunteer coach for Precision Track Club, coaching children in multiple events
Volunteered for "Race for the Cure," assisting meet organizers
Helped to build homes as part of Habitat for Humanity
Participated in Red Cross disaster relief in April 2011, helping people who were displaced by storms in Tennessee, Alabama and Missouri
Has visited local children's schools and sports teams to talk about sports and the transition from high school to college
Assisted in the planning and execution of "Soles4Shoes," a campus-wide shoe drive
Member of UT's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and UT Athletics Board
The Brentwood, Tenn. native is the son of Dave and Pam Carney
Chelsea Knotts, Track & Field (Female Davis Community Service Nominee)
Will earn a B.S. degree in Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology in May 2012
Came to UT in the inaugural 15-member class of Haslam Scholars, a premier honors program aimed at attracting the nation's top students to campus
Member of SEC Academic Honor Roll and VolScholar Honor Roll
Two-time recipient of Lady Volunteer Academic Achievement Award
National Merit Scholar and recipient of Chancellor's Honors Scholarship
Active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, projects including collecting toys for children
Participated in SEC's "Together We Can" food drive
Active in West Virginia's Special Olympics
Directed and organized "Running with Hope 5K" to raise funds for Redeeming Hope Ministries
Created a homeless running group through Redeeming Hope Ministries to foster community, commitment and goal setting
Member of UT's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and organized a Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless
Has also volunteered with Habitat for Humanity
The Ripley, W.Va. native is the daughter of Steve and Melinda Knotts
COMMENTS FROM CARNEY & KNOTTS
"This is one of the most amazing things that have happened since I've been in college and one of the most humbling as well. None of us do community service for the recognition; we do it because it is the right thing to do. It's nice to be noticed for our work, but also it is inspiring and refuels the fire to get out there and find a way to make a difference.
"The wonderful thing about the Brad Davis Scholarship is that it has enabled me to go to graduate school and stay around Knoxville. We're already working on a couple of programs (community service) for next year that I think will have a bigger impact. I'm looking forward to being part of those."
"It was an absolute honor to be chosen for this award. I know many people who were equally qualified, if not more, so to be selected for something as prestigious as this is a real compliment.
"I've taken an interest in community service at Tennessee because I've always believed `to whom much is given, much is required.' I've been blessed with innumerable opportunities and the support of so many in my life, so it is important to me that I give back to the community and the people around me in some way. In my first years at Tennessee, I did that through many of the community service opportunities that are offered to athletes, but working with Redeeming Hope Ministries for the past couple years has been the most rewarding and fulfilling experience I have had here."
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 - McWhorter: Kyle Weeks, swimming & diving; Brooke Pancake, golf; Davis: Nate Corder, track & field / cross country; Leigh Gilmore, track & field / cross country
Arkansas - McWhorter: Ben Skidmore, track & field; Courtney O'Grady, swimming & diving; Davis: Matt Walters, Tennis; Kelli Stipanovich, Volleyball
Auburn - McWhorter: Cory Luckie, baseball; Katy Frierson, soccer; Davis: John Stembridge, golf; Laura Lane, gymnastics
Florida - McWhorter: Greg Larson, Baseball; Teresa Crippen, Swimming & Diving; Davis: Brian Howell, Swimming & Diving; Joanna Mather, Tennis
Georgia - McWhorter: J.P. Hackney, Track & Field; Wendy Trott, Swimming & Diving; Davis: Aron White, Football; Kathleen Gates, Volleyball
Kentucky - McWhorter: Stuart Hines, Football; Rachel Riley, Softball; Davis: Jake Lewellen, Football; Ann Armes, Volleyball
LSU - McWhorter: Matthew Vieke, Swimming & Diving; Brittany Mack, Softball; Cullen Doody, Track & Field / Cross Country; Ashley Applegate, Softball
Ole Miss - McWhorter: Marcel Thiemann, Tennis; Gabriela Rangel, Tennis; Davis: Devin Thomas, Football; Amanda Hutcheson, Softball
Miss. State - McWhorter: Louis Cant, Tennis; Kim Pettit, Soccer; Davis: Caleb Reed, Baseball; Misty Flesher, Softball
South Carolina - McWhorter: Michael Roth, Baseball; Katie Burnett, Golf; Davis: Chris Campbell, Track and Field; Courtney Newton, Basketball
Vanderbilt - April 4
National Student-Athlete Day was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.
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 $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship. The Davis Award recipients each receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by the SEC. 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 May 31.
Last year's McWhorter Award recipients were Dan Mazzaferro and Erica Meissner, both members of the Auburn swimming & diving teams. The Davis Award recipients were Ole Miss track & field athlete Barnabus Kirui and Georgia track & field athlete Bridget Lyons.