Garret Guthrie knows balance.

Classroom rigor and on-field training shape student’s success

Garret Guthrie, UMKC senior and varsity soccer player.

Whether on the field or off, plenty of distractions can cause students to lose focus of the tasks at hand and their long-term goals. Garret Guthrie – senior, majoring in chemistry – has found a balance by relying on the same set of skills for the classroom that he does for the soccer field.

That skill set has obviously served Guthrie well, considering this successful student-athlete is part of a UMKC soccer squad that claimed the 2008 Summit League championship and qualified for the NCAA tournament for only the third time in school history 

“When you are down and tired, say from losing a game, burned out from practice or bored with studying, you have to learn to regain your focus, work a little harder and power through.”

For his hard work Guthrie was recognized as a semi-finalist for the Lowe’s Senior Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School (CLASS) Award. Lowe’s, an official corporate sponsor of the NCAA, presents the annual award to senior student-athletes across nine NCAA Division I sports who have excelled in four areas – classroom, community, character and competition.

The senior defender was among elite company as one of only 30 semi-finalists in the men’s soccer division who competed for the achievement against peers from 28 different schools, representing 17 conferences from across the nation.

Guthrie is taking the nomination with great humility, but it isn’t the first time his accomplishments at UMKC have been noticed. He recently received his third consecutive nod as an ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-American. He also received the Lester Milgram award in 2007 and this year UMKC’s Jack Gant Award for best overall student-athlete.

The Wichita-native is looking forward to continuing his academic accomplishments by applying for UMKC’s School of Dentistry upon graduation.

“I want to stay in Kansas City because I have enjoyed the city,” Guthrie said. “I have enjoyed my undergraduate experience at UMKC, and from what I have learned about the School of Dentistry I expect it to be as exciting and challenging at the graduate level.”

Guthrie did well in his high school math and science courses and excelled in a senior year chemistry course, so it seemed natural to continue studying the field once he arrived at UMKC.

“I find dentistry interesting because of the mix of biology with the technical sciences,” he said. “UMKC’s program uses cutting-edge technology both in teaching and preparing you to use it in your practice someday making the program very exciting.”

UMKC’s Department of Chemistry is currently home to 13 faculty and 31 graduate students leading in research and education of a multitude of specializations in the chemical sciences, including Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, Physical, and Polymer Chemistry.

Guthrie contributed three goals and two assists on the season

“I find dentistry interesting because of the mix of biology with the technical sciences.”

Garret Guthrie
Chemistry major