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Haraf Receives Big South Graduate Fellowship

May 13, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Becca Haraf has been awarded a Graduate Fellowship from the Big South Conference.

Liberty volleyball student-athlete Becca Haraf has been awarded the annual Bob McCloskey Insurance Big South Conference Graduate Fellowship, it was announced today by the league office.  Bob McCloskey Insurance, a Big South Corporate Partner, will award $2,000 each to Haraf and Coastal Carolina track & field athlete Cameron Griggs for their respective graduate studies on May 29 as part of the Conference's Spring Awards Dinner and Hall of Fame Banquet at The Marriott Resort in Hilton Head, S.C.

The Big South Conference Graduate Fellowship Program was established by the league in the fall of 2005 as a means of recognizing the academic excellence of Big South Conference student-athletes who intend to pursue postgraduate studies upon graduation from a Big South Conference institution. Haraf is the first Liberty student-athlete to receive this award.

"Bob McCloskey Insurance is once again honored to be able to continue our tradition as a proud corporate partner of the Big South by bestowing these scholarships to these fine student-athletes who clearly are outstanding ambassadors for the Big South," said Rob McCloskey.  "We wish them both much success in the future."

"I want to congratulate Ms. Haraf and Mr. Griggs for their outstanding undergraduate careers and selection for this prestigious honor," added Big South Commissioner Kyle B. Kallander.  "The entire Big South family is proud of their accomplishments and we wish them the best in their graduate studies.  We also are gratified by the continued support of McCloskey Insurance for this worthy award."

Haraf, a native of Arlington Heights, Ill., was named one of the Big South's 2013-14 Christenberry Award winners last week. She was voted to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Volleyball Second Team, and made back-to-back appearances on the Big South Volleyball All-Academic Team in 2012 and 2013.  As a junior, Haraf was honored as the 2012 Big South Volleyball Co-Scholar-Athlete of the Year.  The defensive specialist is also a three-time member of the Big South Presidential Honor Roll. 

Haraf was a solid contributor to the Lady Flames' back-row defense during her time in Lynchburg, and finished her senior season ranked third on the team with a 2.37 digs-per-set average.  For her career, Haraf totaled 767 digs and 76 aces in 121 career matches, and was part of two NCAA Tournament clubs.  She collected a career-high 19 digs at Charleston Southern on Oct. 12, 2012.  Haraf is a 4.0 student in biology/pre-med and plans to become an MD.  She has been accepted into the University of Toledo's College of Medicine.

During her time at Liberty, Haraf was a seven-time member of the Dean's List and received an Undergraduate Research Travel Grant Award from Liberty's Department of Biology and Chemistry.  She also won the Best Presentation Award from the Virginia Academy of Science Annual Meeting at VCU.  Haraf has been a member of the Virginia Science Academy, Liberty University Scientific Research Society and Epigenetics Club since her junior year.  She also spent two years as an Independent Researcher for Liberty's Department of Biology and Chemistry.  Haraf has volunteered with the Special Olympics, Gleaning for the World, Liberty Flames Kids Club and various fund raising events while at Liberty.  

Nominations for the Graduate Fellowship are made by the Faculty Athletics Representative or the Chief Academic Officer at a Big South member institution, and are limited to one male and one female at each school.  To qualify for the Big South Conference Graduate Fellowship, applicants must have the following requirements:

• Have an overall undergraduate cumulative grade-point average of 3.500 or better based on a maximum 4.000, or the equivalent in other recognized grading systems;
• Have competed in intercollegiate athletics as a member of a varsity team at a Big South Conference member institution;
• Must be either a graduating senior during the academic year of the award, or be enrolled in a graduate program at a Big South Conference institution while completing the last year of eligibility;
• Intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree and enroll into a graduate degree program at a properly accredited, non-profit educational institution or into a post baccalaureate professional degree program at a professionally accredited law school, medical school or the equivalent, without restriction as to the national site of the institution;
• Have evidenced superior character and superior leadership;
• Have demonstrated that participation in athletics and community service has been a positive influence on the nominee's personal and intellectual development.  Relative success in athletics is important but not of overriding significance;
• Enroll in a graduate degree program the term subsequent to being awarded the fellowship or present a rationale for deferred matriculation.