The College of Wooster finished fifth nationally in NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients for the 2017-18 academic year, thanks to the recent selections of Titas Bera and Emily Howerton, who were among the 58 spring student-athletes to earn a one-time, non-renewable $7,500 award, as announced by the NCAA this week.
Wooster, which had a record three student-athletes chosen for the prestigious scholarship, finished behind Stanford University (6), Auburn University (5), Emory University (5), and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (4). Of the seven institutions with at least three NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients for the 2017-18 academic year, Wooster is the only liberal arts college, the lone primarily-undergraduate institution, and the institution with the smallest undergraduate enrollment on the list.
"This reinforces that Wooster is not only an outstanding academic institution, but also one that offers an excellent student-athlete experience," said R. Drew Pasteur, associate professor of mathematics, and one of the College's faculty athletics representatives (FAR) who are crucial to the nomination process. "Backed by strong support from coaches, faculty, and staff, Fighting Scots excel both in the classroom and in varsity athletics."
Bera, the fourth student-athlete to earn All-North Coast Athletic Conference honors each season in a Wooster uniform, was voted the NCAC Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season. His named is found throughout the program record book, as Bera capped his career third all-time in wins at No. 1 singles (52), sixth in overall singles wins (70), and seventh in combined wins (121).
The biochemistry and molecular biology alumnus, who graduated with a 3.62 GPA, spent two summers working at the National Cancer Institute, and twice earned the institute's Cancer Research Training Award.
On campus, Bera served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the 2017-18 academic year, and was heavily involved with the Wooster Community Care Network as a health coach.
Among Bera's numerous academic honors are a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Google Cloud Academic All-District® certificate, the athletic department's David A. Guldin Award, and membership in the biology honors society, Beta Beta Beta.
Bera is currently a research technologist at the Cleveland Clinic, and is in the process of applying to medical schools.
"I am still in shock that I was chosen to receive such a special honor," said Bera. "Lots of credit goes to Coach Hasenyager, Shelley Judge, Ashley Reid, and Kathleen DiDomenico for submitting components that allowed me to apply for this award. I am excited for what the future holds and couldn't be happier with the experiences Wooster has provided me."
Howerton, the women's golf program's first three-time all-conference honoree, was one of the key contributors during the program's first two team titles at traditional tournaments. She earned medalist honors at the 2015 Ohio Wesleyan University Fall Invitational with a 158, and helped the Scots successfully defend their team championship at the event.
The two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District® honoree sported a near-perfect GPA (3.98) as a mathematics and philosophy double major. On campus, the Akron, Ohio native served as the student representative on the presidential search committee and was a two-year co-chair for Wooster's Relay for Life.
The Phi Beta Kappa member spent time as a pricing analyst intern at Progressive Insurance and a student-consultant at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company while in school.
Since graduating in 2017, Howerton's worked at INSIGHT2PROFIT, a consulting firm in Cleveland, where she assists with pricing and profit analytics.
This fall, she'll be enrolling in the theoretical biology Ph.D. program at Pennsylvania State University.
"It's a real honor to receive this award," said Howerton. "I want to thank everyone at The College of Wooster for their help and support with everything I've accomplished. I'm looking forward to what's next."
Football center Patrick Mohorcic was the College's third recipient of the postgraduate scholarship this past year.
NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded annually to 174 student-athletes, who are selected by a committee that screens candidates whom maintain at least a 3.2 GPA, have performed and behaved with distinction on and off the playing field, and intend to continue their academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree. There are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 for women in each sports season (fall, winter, spring).
Wooster's now 17 recipients span 11 of the College's 23 varsity athletic teams.