Colonels’ soccer player and Privateers’ golfer both heavily involved in community service while excelling in academic and athletic careers
FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference announced the two student-athletes receiving the F.L. McDonald Postgraduate Scholarship: Nicholls’ soccer player Ainsley Pratt and New Orleans’ golfer Markus Krieger. Commissioner Tom Burnett made the announcement Thursday.
The McDonald Scholarship is the league’s ultimate academic honor for graduating student-athletes. The award is presented annually to one female and one male student-athlete and is selected by the Southland Conference Faculty Athletic Representative Committee. The $5,000 scholarship must be applied to graduate study at an institution of the recipient’s choice.
Pratt and Krieger will be recognized Tuesday (May 23) at the annual Southland Honors Dinner and Ceremony at the Westin Stonebriar Hotel in Frisco.
Ainsley Pratt, Nicholls
Pratt, a midfielder from Tallahassee, Fla., is a biology/pre-medicine major with a 3.9 GPA. The three-time letter winner plans to attend the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, pursuing a career in dermatology or orthopedics.
During her time in Thibodaux, Pratt has participated in a variety of community relations activities:
- She served as a peer tutor at Nicholls’ Tutorial Academic Enhancement Center, assisting students in a variety of science and mathematics courses. Additionally, Pratt tutored local elementary and high school students.
- Pratt served as president of her school’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for two years and also served as a Southland Conference representative nationally, including becoming the first Nicholls’ student to attend an NCAA Convention. During her time leading the SAAC on campus, she implemented a variety of programs including a now-annual Delete Blood Cancer drive and a pop-top collection. She also worked with athletic department officials to develop a constitution and budget in order for SAAC to become a permanent, recognized group. Pratt also led efforts to develop a partnership with Nicholls Athletics and the local Special Olympics.
- Her campus organization involvement also includes: The Biology Society; TriBeta National Biology Honor Society; Pre-Medical Professional Program; Phi Kappa Phi Honors Fraternity, and serving as a volunteer for the Science Olympiad – a competition for school-age children.
Markus Krieger, New Orleans
Krieger, from Stockholm, is a four-year letter winner who holds a 4.0 GPA in finance. He plans to continue his education at either MIT or Tulane University with hopes of becoming a private equity analyst.
Krieger has served in a variety of leadership roles while spearheading several community initiatives:
- He served all four years on the SAAC, including a year as president and two years as treasurer.
- Krieger also served as a student representative on the Faculty Athletic Advisory Council.
- His community service activities include working with Son of a Saint, DKMS and Kiwanis Club. Krieger oversaw several different blood cancer drives aimed at finding willing bone marrow donors. His fundraising events include Jazz Fest, the Song of a Saint Gala, Gumbo Festival, and a Kiwanis Club event that sold turkeys with proceeds being used to buy books and bikes for area elementary schools. He also participated in multiple Reading Days at local Head Start programs at elementary schools.
The award was established in memory of Dr. F.L. McDonald in 1996-97, a former president of Lamar University and 1999 Southland Hall of Honor inductee. McDonald served as Lamar’s president in 1963 when the Southland Conference was established and is considered one of the league’s founding fathers.
Each member institution may nominate one male and one female student-athlete who meet the following criteria: a two-season letter winner in a conference sport, maintain a minimum GPA of 3.75 at the nominating institution, be on track to graduate during the spring or subsequent summer in which they are nominated, plan to attend graduate school no later than the second fall following receipt of the award, and be an active member in the campus and local community.