McKay Scholars demonstrate a unique aptitude and commitment to the sports communication industry. They exhibit the highest level of professional integrity, including the principles of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability with the element of compassion that was the hallmark of the award’s namesake.
Applicants must have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher and have competed in intercollegiate athletics as a member of an NCAA varsity team. They must be currently enrolled in graduate study or be committed to enrolling in a degree program within five years of being awarded the scholarship.
The scholarship is open to student-athletes in all three NCAA divisions, participating in all sports. Click here for more information and application deadlines.
In addition to the McKay Scholarship, the NCAA annually awards the Walter Byers Scholarship, established in 1988 to recognize the contributions of former NCAA Executive Director Walter Byers. The Byers Scholarship is the NCAA’s most substantial scholarship with one male and one female student-athlete receiving a $24,000 renewable award.
Other scholarships available to former student-athletes include the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, a $7,500 award given each year to 87 men and 87 women. The NCAA also funds 13 $6,000 scholarships for women and 13 $6,000 scholarships for ethnic minorities. The Ethnic Minority and Women’s Enhancement Scholarships are given to those student-athletes who are enrolling in curriculum that will lead to a career in sports administration. Six of the scholarships are available to Division III students only.
More than 8 out of 10 NCAA student-athletes earn bachelor’s degrees and more than a quarter earn postgraduate degrees. Almost 10,000 former student-athletes have returned to school in the past eight years and earned undergraduate degrees after exhausting their intercollegiate athletics eligibility.
The NCAA has selected Southeastern Louisiana softball student-athlete Katlin Morse and Dartmouth cross country and track and field student-athlete Jonathan Gault as the 2013 recipients of the Jim McKay Postgraduate Scholarships.
Established in 2008 to honor the contributions of pioneer sports journalist Jim McKay, the program annually awards $10,000 each to one female and one male student-athlete in recognition of their outstanding academic achievement and potential to contribute to the sports communication industry.
Known as “Red” by her fellow Lions, Morse grew up in Ponchatoula, Louisiana — a short drive from Southeastern Louisiana’s campus. As an undergraduate she reported for the university’s Emmy-Award winning television station, The Southeastern Channel.
Morse was an anchor for The Big Game broadcast and served as a sideline reporter for various men’s sports. She will return to Southeastern in the fall to study organizational communication and work as a graduate assistant in media relations in the athletics department.
In her application essay Morse described Southeastern as her “home.”
“I’ve seen this university grow tremendously in the four short years I’ve been here, both academically and athletically,” she wrote. “I know just how hard each athlete works because I’ve been given the privilege to do the same.”
Long-term, Morse hopes to continue to grow as a sports journalist and to advocate for the use of social media in sports coverage. She believes social media offers an opportunity to enhance and enrich coverage through interaction between coaches, fans, players and broadcasters in real-time.
In addition to her work at the television station, Morse played four years — one as captain — on the softball team. As an undergraduate she was an honor roll student with a 3.7 GPA and was president of the campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), a Noel Levitz athlete and a member of student government.
Track & field /
Jonathan Gault recently completed his final season as a distance runner for Dartmouth’s track and field team. He plans to continue pursuing his passion for athletics in graduate school at Syracuse where he will study magazine, newspaper and online journalism. Gault hopes to eventually work as a professional sports journalist.
While at Dartmouth Gault wrote for the campus newspaper, serving as a beat writer, general assignment reporter and sports columnist. He has also written for the NBA website BehindtheBasket.com and completed internships for the Lowell Sun and the New England Sports Network.
Gault also served as a producer for hockey games and hosted a weekly talk show for the campus radio station.
In recommending Gault for the scholarship, Sun Sports Editor Dennis Whitton wrote that Gault was the best intern he has observed in his 25-year career. “He covered games, wrote features and did some ‘intern grunt work’ with equal diligence,” he wrote.
Gault maintained a 3.66 undergraduate GPA and served as team captain of both the cross country and track and field teams and was a member of his campus SAAC. Head Track and Field and Cross Country Coach Barry Harwick wrote, “When Jon sets his mind on a goal, I have always found him very determined to achieve it and I have no doubt that he will be an excellent graduate student.”