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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.– Penn State women’s diver McKayla Mawn (Kennett Square, Pa.) and wrestling/baseball player Matt McCutcheon (Apollo, Pa.) have been awarded 2018 Big Ten Post-Graduate Scholarships. This marks the second consecutive year Nittany Lion women’s swimming and diving and wrestling student-athletes earned scholarships from the conference.
Two students competing in intercollegiate athletics from each of the 14 Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program were each awarded a $7,500 scholarship, based on primarily academic achievements.
A biology-vertebrate physiology major, Mawn was a constant presence on the Academic All-Big Ten team for the duration of her career. On the boards, she steadily improved all four years, winning the 1-meter at the Penn State Diving Invitational and qualifying for the NCAA Zone Regionals in her final season. Highly regarded for her leadership on and off the pool deck, Mawn also served as a team co-captain as a senior. She aspires to attend medical school and become a doctor.
McCutcheon, a kinesiology major, was a three-time NCAA qualifier during his Nittany Lion wrestling career and was a member of the baseball team this past spring. He helped Penn State win three consecutive NCAA Championships during his career. He ended his career with a 67-31 record, including a 28-13 dual meet mark. A three-year starter, McCutcheon missed the bulk of his senior campaign with an injury but nonetheless played an integral part in Penn State’s 2018 NCAA title run via his off-the-mat example and leadership. McCutcheon becomes the fourth Lion wrestler in Coach Cael Sanderson’s tenure to earn a Big Ten Post-Graduate Scholarship, joining Geno Morelli (2017), Matt Brown and Quentin Wright.
This year's Big Ten Post-Graduate Scholarships recipients span 14 different sports and will continue their education in a variety of different disciplines, including: accounting, advertising and public relations, aerospace engineering, biochemistry, biology, biology-vertebrate physiology, business, environmental sciences, human biology, kinesiology, mechanical engineering, neurobiology, neuroscience, nutrition science, physiology, psychology, recreation, and sociology.
Each Big Ten institution developed its own on-campus selection process when awarding the scholarship. Students must have maintained at least a 3.2 grade-point-average, demonstrated leadership qualities, served as an excellent role model and intended to continue their academic work beyond their baccalaureate degree at a graduate degree program. The scholarship will be used to pay expenses of the student's postgraduate education to include such related activities as research and teaching, as well as other expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, required course-related supplies and books. In order to retain the scholarship, the recipient must be accepted into a full-time graduate degree program within three years from the fall semester after selection.
A total of 138 Nittany Lion students have earned their degrees so far during the 2017-18 academic year, with additional graduates to come in August. Penn State student-athletes, who have captured 34 Big Ten Championships and conference-best nine NCAA titles since the 2012 fall semester, consistently have been among the nation's most successful in earning their degrees.
Last November, the NCAA released its annual national graduation rates study, which revealed that Penn State student-athletes tied the school record by posting a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 percent compared to the 86 percent average for all Division I institutions for students entering from 2007-08 through the 2010-11 academic year. Nine teams earned a 100 percent GSR in the NCAA's 2017 report.
Penn State, ranked No. 10 in the latest Learfield Directors' Cup standings, has one of the nation's most comprehensive and successful athletic programs, featuring 800 student-athletes across 31 varsity programs (16 men's, 15 women's).
A school record 26 teams and 520 Nittany Lion student-athletes earned at least a 3.0 grade-point average during the 2017 fall semester, including a record 253 who earned Dean's List recognition for having a 3.5 GPA. Penn State ranks No. 4 among all Division I schools with 201 CoSIDA Academic All-Americans all-time, including Emily Ogle (women's soccer), Noah Roberson (men’s gymnastics/At-Large) and Haleigh Washington (women's volleyball) in 2017-18.
Penn State's 50 NCAA Championships all-time (78 national championships overall) rank No. 5 among all NCAA Division I programs and are the highest total of any college or university east of the Mississippi River. Penn State's 31 NCAA titles since 1992-93 lead all Big Ten Conference institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 107 Big Ten championships or tournament titles since capturing their first crown in 1992-93, including conference titles in women's soccer, women's volleyball and wrestling in 2017-18.