Posted: Aug 08, 2019
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Makenzie Duncan, a 2018 graduate of Saint Mary's and a former member of the Belles softball team, was one of 21 female student-athletes from NCAA Division I, II, and III member institutions to earn a 2018-19 Spring Postgraduate Scholarship from the national body.
Duncan is the first Saint Mary's student-athlete in College history to earn an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The 2018 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar-Athlete and the 2018 Google Cloud Division III Women’s Softball Academic All-America® of the Year, she graduated from Saint Mary's with co-valedictorian honors after maintaining a 4.00 grade point average while earning a major in integrative biology and a minor in chemistry.
On the softball field, she left Saint Mary's as the program's all-time leader in triples in a season, triples in a career, RBI in a season, and RBI in a career. She was named Second Team All-MIAA in 2017, First Team All-MIAA in 2018, Second Team All-Region in the Central Region in 2018, and was named to the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Championship Notre Dame, IN Regional All-Tournament Team for her efforts in the Belles' first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Duncan began the physician assistant program at Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois, in June 2018.
"There aren't adequate words to express how grateful I am to have received my undergraduate education at Saint Mary's," said Duncan. "Without my professors and mentors challenging me to think three steps ahead and question everything, I would not have been prepared to take on graduate-level studies and succeed as I have thus far. Being a Belle student-athlete played a large hand in my ability to multitask and to connect with people on all walks of life. To work together with my mentors in the Athletic Department to achieve this scholarship is reminiscent of the support and camaraderie I was blessed to experience for four short years. I hope that I can give back as much as Saint Mary's has given to me."
According to the NCAA, up to 126 postgraduate scholarships are awarded annually to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically. The one-time non-renewable scholarships of $10,000 are awarded three times per year - fall, winter, and spring. All former student-athletes who earned an undergraduate degree from an NCAA member school are eligible to be nominated by that school for an NCAA graduate degree scholarship, regardless of when they received their undergraduate degree. Several additional requirements must be met in order to be eligible for the scholarship, which includes meeting a minimum GPA, enrolling in a graduate program part-time or full-time at an accredited institution, and performing with distinction as a varsity team member in the sport in which the student-athlete is being nominated.