BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - University of Florida gymnast Grace McLaughlin and Auburn University track & field athlete Wesley Curles have been named the 2017-18 Brad Davis Southeastern Conference Community Service Leaders of the Year, Commissioner Greg Sankey announced Wednesday.
McLaughlin and Curles were chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from SEC universities. Each will receive a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship, provided by the SEC.
"Grace McLaughlin and Wesley Curles epitomize the spirit of the SEC's commitment to service and they prove through their work in their communities that the young people of our conference really do have the ability to change the world in which they live," said Sankey. "Grace and Wesley are outstanding representatives of their respective institutions and the many student-athletes in the SEC who have chosen to make their world a better place."
The SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship is named for former Associate Commissioner Brad Davis. Davis succumbed to cancer on March 2, 2006. He had been a member of the SEC staff since 1988, first serving as an assistant commissioner until 1994 when he was promoted to associate commissioner.
In addition, the recipients for the Brad Davis SEC Community Service Award from the other Conference schools will receive a $5,000 scholarship, provided by the SEC.
Grace McLaughlin, Gymnastics, Florida
Major: Family, Youth and Community Sciences
- Has completed over 670 hours of community service during her time as a Florida student-athlete
- Community service activities include Florida Diabetes Camp, Dream Team, Reichert House, Kidlife, Caleb's Pitch, Littlewood Elementary, Baby Gators, Climb for Cancer
- Over 450 hours at Florida Diabetes Camp, where she has volunteered for the last three years:
- Oversaw care of 12 different eleven-year-old campers with Type 1 diabetes
- Consulted with medical staff on decisions for all facets of campers' medical care
- Administered and provide emergency medical care for all campers 24/7
- Member of 2016-17 Community Service Team
- Recipient of the 2016-18 Presidential Service Award by the University of Florida
- 2015 National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches Scholastic All-America Team
- 2016-18 SEC Academic Honor Roll
- 2015 SEC First Year Academic Honor Roll
- Member of the Florida 2015 NCAA Championship and 2016 SEC Championship Teams
- Winner of 2015 UF Female Goodwill Gator Award 2016 and 2017 CommuniGator Award (team award)
Quotable: 'From the beginning, I knew that I would dedicate myself to helping the lives of others through either education or medicine.'
Wesley Curles, Track & Field, Auburn
Major: Biomedical Sciences
- Extensive volunteer work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, East Alabama Medical Center and the Jason Dufner Charitable Foundation, as well as Salvation Army Angel Tree Christmas Assistance, The Big Event, Dean Road Elementary Running Club and Cary Woods Elementary Read Aloud Day.
- Has also worked tutoring local high school students in chemistry, biology and math
- 2018 Auburn University Algernon Sydney Award recipient, given annually to two Auburn University students that embody high qualities of nobility and character
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of America
- Has served as a mentor to a local elementary schooler since 2016
- Coordinates regular meetings and activities such as trips to the park, library and recreation center
- Member of Chi Alpha Sigma National Honor Society
- Phi Kappa Phi
- Rhodes Scholarship Nominee
- U.S. Track and Field Coaches Association Academic All-American, 2017
- SEC Academic Honor Roll, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Auburn University Dean's List, 2014-2017
- NCAA Regional Finalist in the 1,500 Meters, 2017
- Auburn Track and Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year, 2016, 2017
- Auburn Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), 2017, 2018
- Cross Country Team Captain, 2016, 2017
Quotable: 'My relationship with my "little brother" has become the most powerful experience of my time in college. I have had many honest, difficult conversation with him about race, inequality and my childhood.'
The additional female recipients are: Nicole Lane, Rowing, Alabama; Hannah Neece, Soccer, Arkansas; Kenzley Defler, Track & Field, Auburn; Megan Kingsley, Swimming & Diving, Georgia; Ann Davies, Swimming & Diving, Kentucky; Lily Alfeld, Soccer, LSU; Alex Schneider, Softball, Ole Miss; Alexis Silkwood, Softball, Mississippi State; Victoria Trost, Swimming & Diving, Missouri; Jordyn Augustus, Softball, South Carolina; Katherine Porter, Rowing, Tennessee; Emily Gunderson, Track & Field, Texas A&M; Danielle Snajder, Soccer, Vanderbilt
The additional male recipients are: Bo Grant, Football, Alabama; Kenzo Cotton, Track & Field, Arkansas; Johnny Townsend, Football, Florida; Joseph "Gunnar" Bentz, Swimming & Diving, Georgia; Courtney Love, Football, Kentucky; Danny Etling, Football, LSU; Braden Feigl, Baseball, Ole Miss; Gabe Myles, Football, Mississippi State; Chase Brennan, Wrestling, Missouri; Thomas Mayronne, Tennis, South Carolina; Drew Kelley, Track & Field, Tennessee; Kohl Anderson, Track & Field, Texas A&M; Oren Burks, Football, Vanderbilt
The SEC Community Service Post-Graduate Scholarship was first presented in 1996. Past Leaders of the Year include:
1996 - Tony Johnson, Alabama (football) and Erin Tenbrunsel, Alabama (volleyball)
1997 - Tim Lanier, LSU (baseball) and Andrea Bullock, Vanderbilt (golf)
1998 - Walker Jones, Ole Miss (football) and Nicole Lees, Alabama (soccer)
1999 - BJ McKie, South Carolina (basketball) and Carrie Kuhnell, Kentucky (soccer
) 2000 - Brett Millican, Georgia (football) and Brooke Riley, Ole Miss (soccer)
2001 - Lance Jones, Ole Miss (baseball) and Gabby Fuchs, Florida (gymnastics)
2002 - Eric vanGoethem, Auburn (swimming) and Andree' Pickens, Alabama (gymnastics)
2003 - Brett Kirouac, Georgia (football) and Kara Lawson, Tennessee (basketball)
2004 - Michael Boynton, South Carolina (basketball) and Virginia Pate, Georgia (swimming & diving)
2005 - Jordan Fairclotch, LSU (baseball) and Holly Hodges, South Carolina (diving)
2006 - Antoine Huffman, Kentucky (football) and Hannah McLeod, Arkansas (gymnastics)
2007 - Brad Boswell, Tennessee (swimming) and Stacey Stevens, Florida (softball)
2008 - William Brown, South Carolina (football) and Brooke Shinaberry, Vanderbilt (lacrosse)
2009 - Andrew Smith, Auburn (basketball) and Brionna Dickerson, South Carolina (basketball)
2010 - John Egan, Georgia (track and field) and Krissy Voss, Auburn (gymnastics)
2011 - Barnabus Kirui, Ole Miss (track and field) and Bridget Lyons, Georgia (track and field)
2012 - Cullen Doody, LSU (track and field) and Leigh Gilmore, Alabama (track and field)
2013 - Joseph Hladik, Missouri (swimming & diving) and Megan Moir, Kentucky (golf)
2014 - Patric Young, Florida (basketball) and Mackenie McGill, Missouri (gymnastics)
2015 - Chris Conley, Georgia (football) and Grace Trimble, Kentucky (tennis)
2016 - Wade Karam, Texas A&M (track) and Lauren Beers, Alabama (gymnastics)
2017 - Eric Freeman, Tennessee (baseball) and Maya Evans, South Carolina (track & field)