EVANSTON, Ill. – Northwestern University women's soccer student Nandi Mehta was selected for the prestigious Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the NCAA announced Thursday. The $24,000 grant is given annually to one male and one female college student who also compete in athletics — recipients are recognized as combining the best elements of mind and body to achieve national distinction for their achievements and to be future leaders in their chosen field of career service.
Mehta is the seventh student from a current Big Ten Conference institution to receive the honor since its inception in 1989, with the most recent being Nebraska football standout Dane Todd in 2007. Mehta is also the second female Big Ten student to earn the Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, and the first since Minnesota gymnast Marie Roethlisberger in 1991.
Mehta received bachelor of arts degrees in economics and international studies from Northwestern in June 2016, graduating with a 3.98 grade-point average. She completed a post-baccalaureate certificate during the 2016-17 academic year.
The three-year captain of Northwestern's women's soccer team began serving on the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2014. She earned CoSIDA first-team Academic All-America honors in 2016 and was also named an NSCAA All-Region Scholar along with being a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.
Mehta also earned the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar and Irving Kabiller Memorial Award during her Northwestern career.
The Byers Scholarship will go toward Mehta's goal of pursuing a Ph.D. in what she calls "the intersection of policy, economics and neuroscience." She plans to become an international policy advisor and behavioral science expert.
For more on Mehta and the Byers Scholarship, see the full NCAA release.
Release from Northwestern Athletic Communications with additional information provided by Big Ten