SPARTANBURG, S.C. (courtesy wofford.edu) — Dr. Jameica Byers Hill, chair of Wofford College’s department of chemistry and a faculty athletics representative, began a two-year term as chair of the national NCAA postgraduate scholarship committee on Sept. 1. She was an FCS representative on the seven-member committee the past two years and was a unanimous choice to lead the group at the committee’s most recent meeting in July.
“When people think of the NCAA, they think athletics, athletics, athletics,” Hill says. “The postgraduate scholarship program is one of several programs they have that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I hope to change that.”
The committee awards 126 $10,000 non-renewable scholarships each year to student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and wish to pursue advanced degrees. Meetings are held three times a year, and scholarships are awarded to 21 women and 21 men at each meeting.
“Selections are based on academic achievements, athletic accolades and community service or leadership,” Hill says. “If a student-athlete is doing a one-year accelerated master’s degree program, he or she can get it done with this scholarship.”
Hill, who has been Wofford’s faculty athletics representative since 2006 and chair of chemistry since 2007, says her first order of business as committee chair will be to make sure more student-athletes are aware of the program and of others that offer fewer awards but more money. She says she also intends to target Wofford student-athletes earlier in their careers to prepare them so they’ll be more competitive for the awards.