Nebraska gymnast Jennie Laeng and wrestler Eric Coufal claimed Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarships, as the conference announced its annual recipients on Thursday.
The Big Ten awards $15,000 to each institution, and 28 student-athletes from the 14 Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program were awarded the scholarships, based on primarily academic achievements. Students 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.
Laeng, who earned her bachelor's degree in psychology, carried a 3.967 GPA throughout her undergraduate career. She is a three-time NACGC/W Scholastic All-American, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. Laeng has been named to the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll seven times, and she was named a Nebraska Outstanding Scholar in 2017 as one of five NU student-athletes in their final year of eligibility who graduated while carrying a 3.90 or better GPA. The West Middlesex, Pa., native will begin work toward a master's degree in psychology at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health this fall.
Coufal, a Howells, Neb., native, graduated in May of 2016 with a 3.834 GPA in agribusiness with a minor in agribusiness entrepreneurship. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Coufal is a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar as well as a four-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. He is a nine-time member of the Nebraska Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll, including a pair of semesters with perfect 4.0 GPAs.