Natalie Muren Awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship
Natalie Muren, a senior cross country and track athlete, has been awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, capping a career at Willamette that saw her earn Academic All-American honors and five trips to national championships in cross country and track and field.
A chemistry and Spanish major, Muren becomes the fourth member of the Bearcat cross country or track program to receive the prestigious postgraduate award in the past two years. Last year, Scott Overby, Shannon McGrane and Alicia Andrews all were recipients of the $7,500 scholarship prize.
Muren’s athletic career at Willamette is equally as impressive as her academic resume. Muren, a graduate of McNary High School in Salem, OR, competed in the NCAA Cross Country championships three times and the NCAA Track and Field championships twice. She twice earned All-West Region honors in cross-country.
“We’ve had a lot of great student-athletes come through this program, but Natalie is really one of the most exceptional people I’ve had the pleasure of coaching here at Willamette,” said Cross Country and Track coach Matt McGuirk. “Even though she has been injured and unable to compete much of this season, she has always been right there with her teammates, helping them to become better runners and better people. She’s been a big part of our program here and we’re very proud of both her academic and athletic achievements.”
Along with her studies and athletic pursuits, Muren is an active community volunteer as a member of the Chemistry Club presenting experiments to grade school students, a resource mentor for high school students and a volunteer for the Family Building Blocks and SMART Literacy program.
Muren is also a recipient of a Lilly Grant and a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.
Muren has also received:
2003-2004 American Chemical Society Analytical Chemistry Award
2003-2004 Physical Chemistry Student of the Year Award
2004-2005 Chemistry Senior Student of the Year