UNC Asheville volleyball player Grace Volk has been named a recipient of a 2021 Goldwater Scholarship for the academic year of 2021-22. The Goldwater Scholarship is the preeminent national award for an undergraduate student in the natural sciences, engineering or mathematics.
“Grace is an amazing player and an exceptional student,” said UNC Asheville Volleyball Head Coach Frederico Santos. “She is such a wonderful example of the student athletes we have the privilege of coaching at Asheville.”
A rising senior, Volk is a chemistry major and a member of the Honors Program at UNC Asheville. As part of her major, Volk is researching antibiotic compounds created through bacterial co-culture, isolation and extraction. Volk, who is mentored by Amanda Wolfe, associate professor of chemistry, then identifies the antibiotic compounds that are produced through bacterial competition. Volk’s work has even been published, as she is a co-author of, “Advances in antibiotic drug discovery: reducing the barriers for antibiotic development” in Future Medicinal Chemistry (2020).”
“Grace, we are so proud of you,” said Sally Wasileski, professor and chair of chemistry and biochemistry at UNC Asheville. “You have earned this highest honor. Congratulations!”
On the court, Volk can more than hold her own, recently becoming the 13th player in Asheville history to reach 1,000 assists for her career. A native of Arlington, Nebraska, Volk has been an impact player since stepping foot on campus, making the 2018 All-Big South Freshman team while finishing second on the team in assists (230) and fourth in digs per set (1.79).
Volk is one of 410 college students from a pool of 5,000 sophomores and juniors across the country to be selected for the scholarship. To view the full release, click here.
The last Bulldogs student-athlete to earn this prestigious scholarship was Blanton Gillespie in 2018.
This is the third Goldwater Scholarship earned by a UNC Asheville student in the past three years.