BARBOURVILLE, Ky. - Union College junior Rachel Millsop received one of four scholarships from USA Cycling, the national organization announced recently.
Millsop (Little Rock, Ark.) is the female recipient of the Joshua Kuck Memorial Scholarship. The program is funded through the USA Cycling Development Foundation by directed donations from the friends and family of Joshua Kuck, a University of South Florida collegiate cyclist who was killed on his bike in 2007.
"Rachel is very deserving of this scholarship," said Union coach Chuck Coffey. "She is an incredible rider, but more than that, Rachel is an excellent student and a great person. Rachel represents Union College well in everything she does."
Millsop and Oscar Clark of Georgia State University were awarded the scholarship based on outstanding achievements in the areas of cycling safety, advocacy and education.
"I was pretty surprised. I knew there were plenty of people who applied, so I knew it wasn't going to be easy to get it," said Millsop. "And the fact that it's a cycling scholarship excites me. It's not just any scholarship, but it's one in something that I am very interested in."
USA Cycling awarded the John Stenner Scholarships to Kay Sherwood of Colorado College and Nicholas Reinert of University of Pittsburgh. The annual scholarship program is funded by donations to the USA Cycling Development Foundation in the name of John Stenner, one of the founders of collegiate cycling, and is given based on academic achievements, athletic accomplishments and service to the community with an emphasis on collegiate team involvement and leadership.
A cyclist, student, artist and musician, Millsop exemplifies the well-rounded student athlete while also volunteering through a wide range of programs. A psychology major, Millsop serves as a vice president on the college's student government association. One Christmas, Millsop designed Christmas cards to help raise money for the Saigon Children's Charity, an organization which helps Vietnam children receive food and education.
Back home in Arkansas, Millsop helped with trail building and trail cleanup while encouraging other women to get involved with the sport.
On the bike, Millsop has collected multiple podium finishes at the USA Cycling Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships including two omnium medals.
"I hope to keep improving," Millsop said. "Every year I've gotten a little better at nationals and hope to keep that streak going. Next year, I think our team will be really strong and we will be a force to be reckoned with."
Union placed second as a team at the 2009 NCCA Division II National Championship with Millsop finishing third in the Women's Omnium.
After she graduates in 2011, Millsop plans to get her Masters in counselor or clinical psychology as well as being certified in art therapy.