CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Seniors Liz Theurer and Alex May were awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships following the 2009 fall season. Theurer, a forward for the women's soccer squad, and May, an outside hitter on the women's volleyball team, became the first athletes from their respective programs to earn this honor.
The one-time, non-renewable grants are awarded annually to students who excel academically and athletically, and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. Only 29 scholarships for men and women are available for each sports season (fall, winter and spring) across all three NCAA divisions.
The student-athlete also must intend to continue their academic studies as a full-time or part-time graduate student. Candidates are nominated by the school's faculty athletics representative, screened by regional selection committees, and the recipients are selected by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee.
Theurer, a four-year member of the women's soccer team, was a key component of the squad's recent success. This past fall, she helped power MIT to its first NEWMAC Championship title and first appearance at the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Theurer was named the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year and earned a pair of All-Conference selections. She received National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-New England Fourth-Team accolades and was picked to play in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer Association (NEISA) Senior Bowl. Theurer closed her career tied for fifth in goals (28) and ranked sixth in assists (18) and points (74). She was voted to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Third Team and was a two-time NEWMAC Academic All-Conference honoree.
In the classroom, Theurer is maintaining a 4.5 grade point average while pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Earth Sciences and a concentration in Economics. She is a Burchard Scholar in MIT's School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences and a tutor for the Department of Mathematics.
May helped lead the women's volleyball team to a four-year record of 117-33, 13 tournament championships, two New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Regular Season Championships, and a pair of NCAA Championship Tournament Sweet 16 finishes. She was named Rookie of the Year by the NEWMAC, the New England Women's Volleyball Association (NEWVA), and was the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) New England Rookie of the Year. May earned a trio of NEWMAC All-Conference and NEWVA All-New England honors. She was a three-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention and was selected to the AVCA All-New England Team twice.
May tied the Institute record for kills in a match, tallying 33. She is the third player in the program's history to surpass the 1,000-kill and 1,000-dig mark. May has two entries in MIT's top-10 list for kills in a season and ranks in the top 10 for career kills, career kills per set, career digs, and career digs per set. She has received seven All-Tournament Team selections and three Tournament MVP awards.
May is just as committed in the classroom, where she is set to graduate with a degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences while maintaining a 4.7 grade point average. She earned back-to-back College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA)/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Accolades, becoming the only person in the program's history to be a repeat honoree. In addition, May represented the Engineers on the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team three times. She is a member of the National Honor Society of Collegiate Scholars and is employed in MIT's Nedivi Laboratory where she is conducting research on the plasticity of the brain.