Two University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletes were among the 10 recipients of postgraduate scholarships awarded this year by the Southern Conference, the league announced Thursday.
Lakelyn Bouldin, a four-year starter in basketball from Spencer, Tennessee, and Kirsty Beckwith, a golfer from Leeds, England, each will receive a scholarship worth $2,000 to apply toward her pursuit of a postgraduate degree.
The recipients are nominated by their schools and selected by the SoCon’s Graduate Scholar Committee. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes about to receive their undergraduate degrees who intend to pursue advanced degrees in graduate or professional school. The student-athletes are evaluated on academics, athletics and community service.
Bouldin, who will earn a master of science degree in agricultural leadership, education and communication with hopes of working for the University of Tennessee extension program or the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will receive the William V. Moore Scholarship presented by McMillan Pazdan Smith.
A Van Buren County High School star before beginning her Mocs career, the 5-foot-8 Bouldin helped UTC sweep the SoCon women’s basketball regular-season and tournament titles for the 2016-17 season as a freshman and she helped her program earn a share of the regular-season league championship this past season. She earned some level of All-SoCon basketball recognition each of her four seasons and finished her UTC career as the program’s most accurate free-throw shooter of all time at 84.5%, with her 225 career 3-pointers made ranking third and her 1,446 total points eighth in the Mocs’ record books.
Heading into Bouldin’s senior season, UTC coach Katie Burrows talked to the Times Free Press about what the versatile guard could do for the Mocs.
“Good things happen when the ball is in her hands,” Burrows said. “It’s not necessarily to score, but she can break the defense down, and they have to pay attention to her. It keeps them honest when she has the ball because they have to guard her.”
Her off-court honors were considerable, too. For starters, she has never missed the dean’s list or the athletic director’s honor roll at UTC. She also received the Wes Moore Women’s Basketball Scholarship and the UC Foundation Peaslee Women’s Basketball Scholarship, the Ann Lashley Award and the A.C. Scrappy Moore Award.
Those two awards, presented this year, spoke to the character of Bouldin. As the SoCon release pointed out, the Lashley honor goes to a women’s basketball player or coach at a league member school who “when challenged by a life-altering situation used grace, perseverance, dedication and determination to face the event and serve as a role model to give hope and inspiration to others in similar situations.” The Scrappy honor goes to a UTC student-athlete “who best personifies the athletic department’s mission of equipping student-athletes for success in the classroom, in competition and in the community.”
Beckwith will receive the Insurance Office of America Scholarship. She spent her first two collegiate seasons at St. Johns’s and earned All-Big East recognition as a sophomore in 2017 before transferring to UTC.
After a medical redshirt year, she started the past two seasons and was a captain in 2019-20. Her top finish as a Moc was seventh at the 2019 SoCon championship tournament. She has also represented England in international competition, winning the Abraham Trophy as the most improved girl on the U18 team in 2012 — the same year she beat out 23 others for the title of Britain’s Best Putter — and playing for her country in the U18 Nations Cup in 2014.
Beckwith, who was a teaching assistant in UTC’s psychology department, graduated magna cum laude in May 2019.
“It is a special feeling to have my successes recognized by the SoCon,” Beckwith said in a UTC release. “I am proud of myself for everything I have achieved thus far and cannot wait to see what the future holds. As an international student, I am not eligible to apply for student loans. The SoCon scholarship will aid me in completing my MBA degree without placing an enormous financial burden on my mother.”
Contact Lindsey Young at email@example.com or 423-757-6296. Follow him on Twitter @youngsports22.