Rosemont, Ill. – A pair University of Nebraska student-athletes were honored Thursday, as the Big Ten Conference office announced its annual postgraduate scholarship recipients. Husker football player Brandon Chapek and rifle student-athlete Sunny Russell were among the 24 student-athletes chosen for this award.
The 24 recipients across 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.
Chapek was a valuable reserve on the Huskers offensive line and played on special teams units as a senior. A walk-on, he played in six games as a Husker and earned his degree in biological sciences/pre-dentistry in December of 2013. He was a UNL Student-Athlete Hero Award Winner in 2014 for his efforts in the community and an Academic All-Big Ten selection as a senior. Chapek will attend dental school next year.
Russell was a four-year performer for the Husker rifle program, including a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in 2014. A team captain, she was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee in 2013-14. She was also selected by the UNL Alumni Association as the Van Student Leadership Award Winner in 2014. Russell will intern at the NCAA National Office next year.
This year’s 24 recipients span 19 different sports and will continue their education in a variety of different disciplines, including five student-athletes who plan to enroll in medical school and three honorees that will enter law school. This year’s honorees are also pursuing graduate degrees in diverse fields of study, including bioengineering, classical studies, counseling psychology, electrical engineering, finance and investments, mechanical engineering and physics.
Each Big Ten institution developed its own on-campus selection process when awarding the scholarship. Student-athletes must have 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.
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.