Patterson, Schiller Named Gautt Scholarship Recipients

MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas State football student-athlete Ian Patterson and women’s track and field student-athlete Erika Schiller and were two of 20 student-athletes selected by the Big 12 Conference to receive the 2015-16 Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships.

Patterson is a two-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection, majoring in food science and industry. A senior placekicker from Columbia, Missouri, Patterson enters his final season in 2016 and has served primarily as K-State’s kickoff specialist with 45 touchbacks in his career.

Schiller was a four-time Academic All-Big 12 First Team member, including a three-time recipient in cross country during her K-State career. A product of Leavenworth, Kansas, Schiller graduated with a degree in dietetics from K-State in May and a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. She will begin the pursuit of a Master of Nutritional Science with an emphasis on dietetics from Oklahoma State in August.

The scholarships are named in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt, a former Big 12 Conference staff member and student services' pioneer who passed away in March 2005. The list of all-time recipients has grown to 381 since the inception of the league in 1996-97. Starting in 2002-03, additional funding increased scholarship award winners to two per member institution.

To date the Big 12 has provided over $2.7 million for postgraduate education. The individual grants began at $2,500 in 1996-97, were raised to $5,000 in 1999 and increased to $6,900 for 2004-05. The awards climbed to $7,500 in 2006-07, moved to $9,000 in 2011-12 and are now at $10,000 since 2013-14.

Criteria for the awards includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.200 on a 4.000 scale, participation in at least two years of intercollegiate athletics at the nominee's respective institution and completion of athletics' eligibility. The student-athletes also must graduate from their respective member institutions within 15 months of their selection for a postgraduate scholarship and are expected to enroll in graduate/professional schools within two years of graduation. Three faculty representatives, one senior woman administrator and one director of athletics form the selection panel for the awards.

K-State has had another outstanding academic year in 2015-16. The Wildcats had 255 student-athletes on the Fall 2015 Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll, which is the 16th consecutive semester K-State has placed 200 or more student-athletes on the honor roll. K-State saw 82 student-athletes graduate in the 2015-16 school year.

In terms of honors and recognitions from their work in the classroom, K-State student-athletes tallied 118 Academic All-Big 12 honors, Kersten Kober was named the Big 12 Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and Kindred Wesemann was named the Big 12 Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Wildcats also received academic honors outside of the league such as: Kober, Katie Brand (volleyball), Jack Cantele (football) and Glenn Gronkowski (football) being named CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 selections in their respective sports, while Kelly Thomson was named the November Haier Achievement Award winner.