June 18, 2013
IRVING, Texas — Following an impressive four-year career at the University of Houston, volleyball student-athlete Stephanie Nwachukwu was named one of 12 recipients of the fifth annual Jim Castañeda Postgraduate Scholarship, Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky announced Tuesday.
The conference annually presents the $4,000 Postgraduate Scholarship awards to graduates as selected by the C-USA Faculty Athletics Representatives and approved by the Board of Directors. The award's namesake, Dr. Castañeda, served Rice University for 46 years as an educator, coach and Faculty Athletics Representative before he passed away in November 2008.
“This is a tremendous honor for Stephanie and we couldn’t be more proud of the way she has represented our program on and off the court during her four years at Houston,” head coach Kaddie Platt said. “She is the ideal student-athlete and has the same work ethic in the classroom as she did on the court. It is exciting to see her honored by the league office.”
Nwachuwku becomes the first Cougar in program history to earn a postgraduate scholarship after earning an undergraduate degree in chemistry and minor in biology, while holding a 3.72 cumulative grade-point average at the University of Houston. She is currently enrolled in the nursing program at UTHSC in the medical center of Houston.
A local product, Nwachukwu was a four-year letterwinner for the Cougars, and was named to the C-USA Volleyball All-Academic Team twice during her career, while also honored as a four-time C-USA Academic Medal recipient and to the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
One of the most well-rounded student-athletes within the program, Nwachuwku finished her career at Houston with 346 sets played, 751 kills and 203 total blocks. She posted a career-high 17 kills in a win over Rice (Nov. 16, 2012) in the C-USA Championship and seven block assists vs. Oklahoma (Sept. 4, 2010) during her sophomore season.
Nwachukwu was instrumental in building relationships away from the volleyball court as a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and the Houston Leadership Academy, while serving volunteer time with Star of Hope, Marathon Kids, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the Houston Food Bank.
2012-13 JIM CASTAÑEDA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
Hannah Lee, East Carolina, Women’s Swimming
Stephanie Nwachukwu, Houston, Volleyball
Zachary Dylan Hunter, Marshall, Men’s Soccer
Courtney Collins, Memphis, Women’s Tennis
Lauren LaGro, Rice, Women’s Soccer
Emily Carstens, SMU, Women’s Rowing
Caitlin Leumas, Southern Miss, Women’s Soccer
Candice St. Etienne, Tulane, Women’s Track & Field
Cody Wilson, Tulsa, Football
Karl Moton, UAB, Men’s Basketball
Kyle Cox, UCF, Men’s Soccer
Carolina Camgro DeLuca, UTEP, Women’s Tennis
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