Trio of COW athletes earn postgrad scholarships

Trio of COW athletes earn postgrad scholarships

Image Credit: Matt Dilyard

The College of Wooster finished at the head of the class this fall with three NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship selections — the most from any member institution — and the trio of selections marks the third time in the last five academic years three Fighting Scots have been chosen for the one-time nonrenewable $10,000 award. Volleyball’s Syd Case, men’s soccer’s Wilson Freije and women’s soccer’s Miura Wiley were among the 42 fall sport student-athletes recently notified of their selection by the NCAA.

Wooster now has 25 all-time NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship selections, with 11 in the last five years. Wooster’s three selections for the 2017-18 and 2020-21 academic years placed the college in the top five nationally for most recipients among all NCAA institutions. This is the first time three Wooster student-athletes were selected in the same season.

Case, volleyball’s second NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, was a first-team College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America honoree this fall. The first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference pick ranked seventh in Div. III with 10.79 assists per set, and with Case helping lead the charge, Wooster made its first appearance in the NCAC Tournament championship match since 1985. Wooster went 20-9 and had its first 10-match winning streak since 1984.

For her Independent Study, Case constructed a multi-faceted ArcGIS dashboard to manage and visually represent climate data. The environmental geoscience major’s geodatabase stores the college’s earth sciences department’s climate datasets, and she is working to create a functional and efficient webpage for departmental and public access to Wooster’s dashboards.

Elsewhere, Case analyzed Icelandic glaciovolcanic tindards with 3-D models, analyzed eolian sedimentation on Mars and produced online maps illustrating recommended prescribed fire locations to diminish wildfire damage in Brazil. Additionally, she interned with the United States Geological Survey Astrogeology Science Center, interned with the World Wildlife Fund and was an environmental education intern during her undergraduate studies.

Case plans to pursue graduate studies in environmental conservation with accessory coursework in geomatics and spatial analysis.

Freije, men’s soccer’s second NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient, earned his second All-NCAC certificate this fall and was voted to Ohio Collegiate Soccer Association’s Div. III Academic All-Ohio second team. Freije played on teams that went 30-35-6.

Freije studied the folding of proteins and if their final structure is critical to their function for his I.S. The biochemistry and molecular biology major looked to isolate protein disulfide isomerase interactions to gain a better picture of its full function. He served as a research assistant at Indiana University’s School of Medicine and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis’ Mendonca Lab for two summers. There, Freije analyzed precollected data on the effect of antioxidant treatment on radiation-induced neoplasticity.

He also utilized yeast and bacterial hosts to investigate intracellular redox chemistry in response to oxidative stress as a research assistant at Wooster and was part of an article published in “Free Radical Biology and Medicine” in 2022.

Wiley led the NCAC in goals (12), assists (five) and points (29) this fall, and that resulted in the senior earning the NCAC Offensive Player of the Year trophy for the second straight time. The two-time United Soccer Coaches All-Region performer was voted to CoSIDA’s Academic All-District and United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Region teams this fall.

On the pitch Wiley finished with 25 goals, 16 assists and 66 points, totals that rate eighth, ninth and ninth all-time at Wooster. She played on teams that went 44-22-13, made two appearances in the NCAA Div. III Championships and won two NCAC Tournament titles. The dual-sport athlete capped her lacrosse career with All-NCAC laurels and helped the Scots to three trips to the NCAC Tournament title game.

The biochemistry and molecular biology major looked at a gene related to fragile X syndrome for her I.S. She used fruit flies as a model organism to study the molecular basis through which the gene exerts its effects. Last summer Wiley was a genetics research intern at Genomics and Bioinformatics Core and University at Buffalo, and she completed a genetic counseling internship during the fall semester. As an undergraduate Wiley worked at a clinical trials startup company and was a biology research intern.

Wiley plans to pursue a graduate degree in genetic counseling. She is women’s soccer’s third all-time NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and the first since W Association Hall of Famer Kelly James during the 1996-97 academic year.

NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded annually to up to 126 student-athletes who are selected by a committee that screens candidates who maintain at least a 3.2 GPA, have performed or behaved with distinction on and off the playing field, and intend to continue their academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree.


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