An NCAA committee that controls the Walter Byers Graduate Scholarship chose two former student-athletes as beneficiaries of the 2023 awards: Texas graduate Logan Eggleston and Princeton graduate Dylan Kim.
While playing in volleyball, Eggleston got her bachelor’s degree in business management in 2022, and Kim earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry in 2021.
Eggleston is pursuing a master’s degree in sports management at her alma university after leading Texas to the 2022 Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. Kim is a student at Columbia’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The Walter Byers grant program, which began in 1988, annually awards a $24,000 grant to one male and one female student. Scholarships are renewable for a second year. The Walter Byers Scholarship Committee recognizes recipients for integrating the best elements of mind and body in order to gain national prominence for their achievements and to be future leaders in their chosen area.
During her remarkable collegiate career, Eggleston was voted the Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship’s Most Outstanding Player while leading the Longhorns to the program’s third NCAA title.
Volleyballmag.com selected Eggleston the 2021 and 2022 National Player of the Year, and the American Volleyball Coaches Association nominated her for the same distinction last fall.
Eggleston ended her career with 1,921 kills and a.305 hitting % after being awarded one of eight recipients of the McLendon Minority Postgraduate Scholarship earlier this month.
Her on-court accomplishments include being voted Big 12 Conference Player of the Year for the previous three seasons and setting the conference and school records for career aces with 208.
In the classroom, Eggleston finished with a 3.60 grade-point average.
Off the court, the experiences of the summer of 2020, when attention to racial injustices in society came to the forefront nationally, had an influence on Eggleston.
As she and other Texas student-athletes discussed the injustices, they looked at their campus surroundings. The student-athletes collaborated to create a list of changes they wanted to see.
“I learned about being a leader across a diverse group of people and how to work passionately to accomplish goals,” Eggleston wrote in her Byers Scholarship essay. “I got the opportunity to work closely with our athletic and university administration to help make these changes happen and see firsthand how leaders work under pressure. I saw that more diversity is needed in leadership roles, which in turn heightened my interest in higher education leadership and (will help) me realize my career goal of becoming an athletics director.”
Eggleston, a three-year captain of the Texas women’s volleyball team and president of the campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, thinks earning a degree in sports management will increase her understanding of the business side of collegiate athletics.
During the 2019-20 season, Kim was named all-Ivy League in epee. He went 11-4 in the round robins en route to winning the individual league championship.
Kim competed in NCAA regional competition twice during his career, finishing 13th in the 2018-19 season.
Kim earned a 3.89 grade point average while minoring in global health, health policy, and computing applications.
While Kim enjoyed competing in fencing, bringing individuals from different backgrounds together was one of his most meaningful experiences at Princeton.
Given the powerful intersection of athletics and social justice throughout history, Kim and his teammates launched an initiative in the summer of 2020 aimed at increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fencing community, which he claims has been susceptible to discrimination and barriers to access.
Open discussions on the team led to better understanding of biases and discrimination. The team also invited in guests who advocated for students of color.
“Fencing also provided an avenue to help others on an individual scale through personal connection,” Kim wrote in his Byers Scholarship essay. “Several of my teammates battled mental health issues because of outdated norms in athletics that discouraged vulnerability and the seeking of support. I aimed to eliminate such harmful expectations and joined a cohort of Student-Athlete Wellness Leaders, representatives who were trained to deconstruct these standards and ensure the well-being of their teams.”
His experiences influenced his decision to attend medical school, where he will be able to aid people while also promoting social equality.
During his first year of medical school, he used machine learning to detect diverse subgroups of COVID-19 patients in hospitals and anticipate new risks and therapies that the present system would have missed.
Kim, president of Columbia’s Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association, stated that his long-term objective is to fight for patients through both significant medical research and the building of close patient-centered connections that embrace, rather than stigmatize, people’s diversity.