May 16, 2013
Complete Big Ten Release
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Purdue swimmers and recent graduates Lauren Gustafson and Alec LaMothe have been selected as Purdue's inaugural recipients of the new Big Ten Conference postgraduate scholarships, announced Thursday by the conference office.
One male and one female student-athlete from each of the 12 Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program were awarded a $7,500 scholarship, based on primarily academic achievements.
Each Big Ten institution developed its own on-campus selection process when awarding the scholarship. Student-athletes must have been in their final season of NCAA eligibility, maintained at least a 3.2 grade-point-average, demonstrated leadership qualities, served as an excellent role model and intended to continue their academic work beyond their baccalaureate degree at a graduate degree program.
Gustafson completed her undergraduate course work with a 3.99 GPA while majoring in general health sciences (health sciences professional). LaMothe compiled a 3.80 GPA while majoring in neurobiology and physiology. Both swimmers are Indiana natives who were four-year letter-winners in the pool for the Boilermakers.
The scholarship will be used to pay expenses of the student's postgraduate education to include such related activities as research and teaching, as well as other expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, required course-related supplies and books. In order to retain the scholarship, the recipient must be accepted into a full-time graduate degree program within three years from the fall semester after selection.
Last month, Gustafson was also selected as the recipient of an NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipient. That was a national honor that also featured a $7,500 scholarship to help cover the cost of graduate school. Gustafson has announced she will enroll at the Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis. LaMothe said he also plans to attend medical school.
This year's 24 recipients span 15 different sports, including four softball standouts, three student-athletes from football, women's soccer and women's swimming and diving teams, two men's gymnasts, and one recipient each from baseball, women's cross country, fencing, field hockey, men's golf, men's rowing, men's soccer, men's swimming and diving and men's and women's track and field.
Gustafson and LaMothe were both three-time Academic All-Big Ten honorees and two-time Distinguished Big Ten Scholars during their Purdue careers. They should be on the Distinguished Big Ten Scholars list again this summer when it is unveiled by the conference office.
Gustafson was a two-time NCAA Championships qualifier, representing the Boilers at the national meet in 2011 and 2013. She earned Honorable Mention All-America honors with the Purdue relay teams as a sophomore and competed individually in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle as well as relays as a senior. She finished her career as the program record holder in the 50 free and was part of new team records in all five relay events. Gustafson was named Second Team All-Big Ten this season after finishing as the runner up in the 50 and 100 free at the Big Ten Championships.
LaMothe was among the Boilers most versatile freestyle swimmers during his career, frequently racing in distances from the 200- to 1650-yard events. He was a team captain as a senior and also recognized as the team's sportsmanship honoree. His career-best times in the 500, 1000 and 1650 free all ranked among the Top 10 in program history. In January, he was among the nine Boilers selected to travel to Dallas for the prestigious six-team Classic @ SMU meet.
Around the Big Ten, the recipients will continue their education in a variety of different disciplines, including seven student-athletes who plan to enroll in medical schools and six honorees that will enter law schools. This year's honorees are also pursuing graduate degrees in diverse fields of study, including dentistry, economics, fine arts, human resources and labor relations, naval architecture and marine engineering, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, sports management and veterinary medicine.
Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship Recipients
Zach Becker, Football
Keri Eberhardt, Women's Swimming & Diving
Ciersten Burks, Women's Soccer
Michael McGee, Men's Golf
Javier Balboa, Men's Gymnastics
Sarah Drake, Field Hockey
Valerie Barthelemy, Women's Swimming & Diving
Steve Wilson, Football
Kevin Jackson, Men's Track & Field
Jordan Mueller, Women's Soccer
Troy Larson, Baseball
Allie Phillips, Women's Soccer
Conor McDermott, Football
Megan Southworth, Softball
Jarrett Baughman, Men's Soccer
Kristin Scharkey, Softball
Alicia Herron, Softball
Max Stearns, Fencing
Scott Rosenthal, Men's Gymnastics
Lauren Yao, Softball
Lauren Gustafson, Women's Swimming & Diving
Alec LaMothe, Men's Swimming & Diving
Hanna Knurr, Women's Track & Field/Cross Country
Cody Rissman, Men's Rowing