TEMPE – Four Arizona State University student-athletes have been honored with Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships, conference commissioner Larry Scott has announced.
Brandon Johnson (football), Kahoku Palafox (gymnastics), Constance Ezugha (women’s track and field) and Josh Walker (men’s track and cross country) were all awarded as being among the best and brightest in their craft on and off the field of play.
Johnson was one of just six football student-athletes among all institutions to be honored this season. A three-time letterwinner, Johnson began his Sun Devil career as a walk-on before being awarded a scholarship in the summer of 2012. He was recently named by the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame as a member of the 2013 NFF Hampshire Honor Society.
Johnson graduated Cum Laude in fall 2012 with a degree in sociology after he played in 34 career games at linebacker and on special teams, including 11 this past season. He is a two-time Academic All-Conference honoree, earning a First Team Academic All-Pac-12 nod in 2012 and Academic All-Pac-10 honorable mention recognition in 2010.
In 1999, the Pac-12 Conference created a postgraduate scholarship program to honor outstanding student-athletes from its member institutions who also are outstanding scholars. Each Pac-12 institution selects four student-athlete recipients, two men and two women, through its institutional selection process.
A four-time Pac-12 All-Academic first-team honoree, Palafox is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Urban and Environmental Planning after graduating magna cum laude in Sustainability. In the middle of competition season and midterm exams, Palafox helped contribute to an assessment of Sun Devil Athletics Sustainability practices which was chosen for publication by the National Resource Defense Council.
Also, while researching sustainability practices, Palafox helped the gymnastics team partner with the department of Sustainability Practices and the team held a “Green Meet” to promote recycling, composting and bringing awareness to sustainable practices to a platform of a gymnastics meet.
Ezugha, who was also recently honored with an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship honor, was a three-time letterwinner for the Sun Devil track and field program. She was the 2012 Pac-12 Champion in the long jump and a two-time All-American in the event.
Ezugha was a four-time member of the Dean’s List and President of the Sun Devil Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was twice named to both the MPSF, USTFCCCCA and Pac-12 All-Academic teams. An Arthur Ashe Sports-Scholar, Ezugha donated many hours to community service, taking mark in numerous activities ranging from clothing and canned food drives to cleaning and recycling activities as well as serving as a tour guide and guest speaker to youth from across the Valley. She recently completed an internship with Dr. Ahn and Perez, DDS.
Walker was a four-year letterwinner for the Sun Devil track and field program. A model scholar-athlete, Walker was named to two Pac-12 All-Academic teams during his career.
Walker took part in several community service activities, including the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Fantasy Flight and Sparky Tours while also being a member of the Nutritional Health Awareness Club.
Each scholarship of $3,000 go to student-athletes with a minimum 3.0 grade point average who have also demonstrated a commitment to continuing education, campus and community involvement, and leadership. Since the program began in 1999, the Pac-12 has awarded over $1.5 million for postgraduate study.
To be selected for a Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship, a student-athlete must:
- Have an overall undergraduate minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale) or its equivalent.
- Be in his/her final season of intercollegiate athletics eligibility in all sports OR be in his/her final year of undergraduate studies, having exhausted athletics eligibility in all sports. The student-athlete will be evaluated on the basis of all academic work completed at time of selection.
- Have performed with distinction as a member of a varsity team. The degree of the student-athlete's athletic achievement will be weighed at least equally with the degree of academic performance.
- Intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time student in a graduate or professional program at an accredited institution, or in a postgraduate program for which an undergraduate degree is required for admission.
- Have behaved, both on and off the field, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution and intercollegiate athletics.