Three former North Coast Athletic conference student-athletes are among the 58 student-athletes awarded prestigious NCAA post-graduate scholarships at the conclusion of the 2017-18 spring season.
Recent graduates Titas Bera and Emily Howerton, Wooster men's tennis and women's golf student-athletes, respectively, along with Oberlin cross country and track & field student-athlete Lilah Drafts-Johnson will each receive a one-time, non-renewable scholarship of $7,500 to help finance graduate school education. Recipients of the award are selected based on their athletic and academic achievements, along with their work in the community and demonstrated leadership.
The spring trio brings the NCAC total postgraduate scholarship winners to six for the 2017-18 academic year.
Bera, the fourth student-athlete to earn All-NCAC honors each season in a Fighting Scot uniform, was voted the men's tennis NCAC Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season. His named is found throughout the Wooster record book, as he capped his career third all-time in wins at No. 1 singles (52), sixth in overall singles wins (70), and seventh in combined wins (121).
The biochemistry and molecular biology alumnus, who graduated with a 3.62 GPA, spent two summers working at the National Cancer Institute, and twice earned the institute's Cancer Research Training Award. On campus, Bera served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for the 2017-18 academic year, and was heavily involved with the Wooster Community Care Network as a health coach.
Among Bera's numerous academic honors are a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Google Cloud Academic All-District® certificate, the athletic department's David A. Guldin Award, and membership in the biology honors society, Beta Beta Beta. Bera is currently a research technologist at the Cleveland Clinic, and is in the process of applying to medical schools.
Howerton, the women's golf program's first three-time all-conference honoree, was one of the key contributors during the program's first two team titles at traditional tournaments. She earned medalist honors at the 2015 Ohio Wesleyan University Fall Invitational with a 158, and helped the Scots successfully defend their team championship at the event.
The two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District® honoree sported a near-perfect GPA (3.98) as a mathematics and philosophy double major. On campus, the Akron, Ohio native served as the student representative on the presidential search committee and was a two-year co-chair for Wooster's Relay for Life. The Phi Beta Kappa member spent time as a pricing analyst intern at Progressive Insurance and a student-consultant at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company while in school.
Since graduating in 2017, Howerton has worked at INSIGHT2PROFIT, a consulting firm in Cleveland, where she assists with pricing and profit analytics. This fall, she'll be enrolling in the theoretical biology Ph.D. program at Pennsylvania State University. Read more: WOOSTER
A first-team CoSIDA Google Cloud Academic All-American, Drafts-Johnson concluded her career as a four-time All-American and 400-meter hurdle national champion, posting the 10th fastest time (59.34) in the history of the event at the 2018 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The North Coast Athletic Conference Indoor and Outdoor Sprints/Hurdles Runner of the Year, Drafts-Johnson also excelled in the classroom, earning a 3.92 GPA while majoring in Latin American Studies and politics.
Away from the track, Drafts-Johnson was active as a teaching assistant for the Sport, Culture, and Society cluster while also working in the Office of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion. The former team captain would often volunteer for the Spanish in the Elementary Schools (SITES) program and in 2016 she was selected as a Cole Scholar. Drafts-Johnson also was a member of the 2017-17 NCAC Branch Rickey Mentor Program. Read more: Oberlin
The Association awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. This season's NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipients (29 men and 29 women) represent members of spring sports teams, including baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's outdoor track and field, men's volleyball, women's rowing, women's sand volleyball, softball, and women's water polo.
The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association's most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports.