Hi Coaches and ICA Staff,

I wanted to share some wonderful news: the NCAA announced today that BRIAN FORD, MEN'S SOCCER, has been selected as a recipient of the $7500 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship!

Brian is the fourth UCD student-athlete to win this prestigious scholarship since we entered the Division I era. Our three previous winners were Toki Sherbakov, men's tennis, Katie Yamamura, gymnastics, and Randi Schuler, women's tennis. A special thanks to Professor Scott Carrell, Professor Thomas Hahn, athletics director Terry Tumey, head men's soccer coach Dwayne Shaffer, and assistant athletics director Matt Blankenheim for their letters of recommendation to support Brian's extensive nomination packet. A full list of the fall sport NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners will be posted on the NCAA web site in the coming weeks.

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is an extremely competitive award based on academic achievement, athletic accomplishment, community service, and leadership. Nomination packets go through a regional selection committee (our region includes Division I, II, and III schools from 13 states) with regional finalists forwarded to a national committee. There are only 29 male and 29 female winners selected from fall sports with a balance between Division I, II, and III schools. (A fun historical fact: when we were a Division II school, UCD ranked first in the country for the volume of NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship winners that we produced...and 12th overall in Division I, II, and III combined.)

A neurobiology, physiology and behavior (NPB) major with a cumulative 3.61 GPA who was the 2013 Big West Conference Male Scholar Athlete of the Year from UCD, Brian has made the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) Dean's List multiple times. He was selected by college faculty for the 2014 Student Snapshot, an online academic profile that highlights the diverse population of academically successful students within CBS. A two-year captain of the soccer team, Brian has received all-conference honors athletically and academically for four consecutive years, all-region honors athletically during his sophomore year, and academic all-region or all-district honors three different times. He was one of 30 college seniors invited to the San Jose Earthquakes combine.

Off the field, Brian has been an intern in the cardio thoracic postoperative recovery unit at the UCD Med Center, a SAAC officer, a Title IX committee member, a performer at Aggie Idol, a member of the Muscular Dystrophy Association Club, a featured artist in The Art of Athletes, a member of the Athletics Advisory Committee, an invited speaker at New Student-Athlete Orientation, and an AgAdemics volunteer. In 2014-15, Brian is one of seven undergraduates from pharmaceutical chemistry, biomedical engineering, and NPB selected for the yearlong Big Bang Competition. His Big Bang team is currently creating a prototype for an entrepreneurship idea to optimize patient recovery that they will present to a board of investors during spring quarter.

Brian will graduate in June 2015 but begins a yearlong interdisciplinary internship this April with the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the UCD Med Center where he will work collaboratively with researchers from molecular biology, genetics, physical medicine, and pharmacology to research neuromuscular diseases. His personal research project over the next year will focus on the properties of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in the neuromuscular junction. Brian will serve as a camp counselor for the 2015 Muscular Dystrophy Association Summer Camp and has been selected for a 6-week full-time international immersion internship next fall in Colombia that will give him the opportunity to learn medical Spanish while working in a clinic with underprivileged children and families. He plans to begin a Ph.D. or M.D. in fall 2016 and focus his graduate research on neuromuscular activity advances that may someday restore mobility or protect patients with physically disabling diseases.

Please join me in congratulating Brian Ford--and head men's soccer coach Dwayne Shaffer--on this impressive and well-deserved honor!

Michelle Roppeau, M.A.
Director of Athletic Academic Advising
Student-Athlete Academic Services
264 Hickey Gym (main office)
University of California, Davis
One Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 752-0714 phone
(530) 752-6681 fax