April 24, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. -
Redshirt senior Dylan Carney was named the male recipient of the 2008 Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship award. The scholarship, awarded annually by the NCAA since 1989, is the highest postgraduate scholarship honor that an NCAA athlete can be given. The award, given to one male and one female NCAA athlete, recognizes outstanding academic achievement and potential for success in postgraduate study. Carney is the first Stanford athlete to be awarded this prestigious honor.
"Receiving this award is such an incredible honor, and I'm especially happy that I could bring it to Stanford this year," said Carney. "Everyone here works so hard to help the student-athletes succeed on the field and in the classroom, and I couldn't have gotten to this point without the support of my coaches and teammates, the athletic department staff, and my professors. I also wanted to thank my parents for introducing me to the sport and encouraging me every step of the way."
The Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Program was established in 1988 to encourage excellence in academic performance by student-athletes and is named in honor of Walter Byers, a former NCAA executive director. A Byers Scholar combines the best elements of academic and athletic achievement earning national distinction for his or her accomplishments, and who promises to be a future leader in his or her chosen field. Recipients of the award must have a 3.5 grade-point average (4.0 scale), demonstrate evidence of superior character and leadership, and show that participation in athletics has been a positive influence on their personal and intellectual development.
An outstanding competitor on the horizontal bar, floor, and vault, Carney led the Stanford men's gymnastics team to three consecutive top-three finishes at the NCAA championships. He was the 2006 NCAA Co-National Champion on the horizontal bar and awarded Stanford's "Block S Award," given to the most outstanding junior student-athlete in any sport. He attained an almost perfect score of 9.95 on the high bar at the 2007 Stanford Open, the nation's highest mark that season. At the 2008 National Collegiate Men's Gymnastics Championships, he finished first in high bar in both the team qualifiers and finals, helping Stanford to the highest team score in the 2008 NCAA season (363.85), and a second place finish in the team finals. At the 2008 Individual Event finals, he tied for sixth place on the high bar, giving him the fifth All-American honor of his career.
Excelling equally in the classroom, Carney is graduating from Stanford with a bachelor's degree (completed last June) and master's degree in biological sciences with a graduate GPA of 4.01. Carney was a three-time NCAA Academic All-American and Rhodes Scholarship finalist. In addition to working in the molecular biology research (Gozani) lab and serving on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), Carney is a patient intake volunteer at the Arbor Free Clinic and the co-chair of operations for the newly formed student organization, Project Mercury. He has coauthored papers in journals such as Nature and the PNAS, and in 2006 he presented his work at the Abcam Chromatin Structure and Function Conference in the Dominican Republic. He has also studied abroad in South Africa and Mexico.
Next year, Carney will look to continue his education in medical school and is considering specialties such as infectious disease and general surgery. Eventually he would like to bring his medical capacities to work abroad in developing nations.
The stipend for each Byers Scholarship is $21,500 for an academic year. The scholarship amount will be reviewed every two years so that the purchasing power of the award will remain reasonably close to the award as initially conceived in 1988. If the graduate school where the Byers Scholar is enrolled provides evidence of satisfactory performance and progress, the grant may be renewed for a second year. The Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship Program is separate and distinct from the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Program, which provides numerous annual awards with smaller stipends.
Carney was chosen out of three finalists for the award. The other two finalists were Kevin Nead, a swimmer for the University of Florida, and Jeffery Stepan, a forward on the St. John's University soccer team.
"The other two male finalists, Jeff and Kevin, were really impressive guys so I wasn't expecting to win," added Carney. "I was completely shocked when I found out I'd won."
Last year's Byers Scholars were Dane Todd, a former fullback from the Nebraska football team, and Katie Kingsbury a tennis player for Washington and Lee University.
To read the full release from the NCAA, please click this link.