Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Recipient
The NCAA has selected South Dakota track and field student-athlete Alexa Duling as the female recipient of the 2013 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship. Duling will receive a renewable $24,000 scholarship while attending medical school at Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix.
The Walter Byers Scholarship is awarded annually to one male and one female NCAA student-athlete in recognition of outstanding academic achievement and potential for future success.
"This is an unbelievable feeling and I am truly honored to receive this award," said Duling. "This is the culmination of what I have accomplished as an athlete and as a student at USD and offers support in the career goals that I have set for myself."
To be eligible for consideration, a nominee must be a graduating senior or enrolled in graduate study at an NCAA member institution. Winners must have attained an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5, competed on a varsity team at an NCAA member school, evidenced superior character and leadership, and demonstrated that participation in athletics and community service positively influenced the recipient's personal and intellectual development.
A native of Gregory, S.D., Duling is in her fifth year at USD, where she majored in biology with a minor in economics and is finishing her MBA. She maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA.
On the track, Duling has earned All-America honors in the 400-meter hurdles and qualified for the Olympic Trials in the event. She earned Academic All-America honors in 2012 and was named Great West Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2011 – the league's highest individual honor.
In addition to her accomplishments on and off the field, Duling is a volunteer for Girls on the Run, hospice volunteer and lector at her local diocese. She has been a member of South Dakota's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and has participated in various service activities through her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta.
During her undergraduate career, Duling shadowed several physicians. Observing a physician at the Indian Health Service hospital on the Rosebud Reservation ignited a passion for serving that community and Duling plans to return to the reservation to serve patients in need of skilled care.
"The Native American culture is so beautiful,"
said Duling. "My undergraduate thesis was on Native American healing
and it provided an interesting twist on health care."