PUEBLO, Colo. (GoThunderWolves.com - June 14, 2012) - Former CSU-Pueblo volleyball players Janae Heiser and Ashley Wilkinson have each secured degree-completion scholarships from the NCAA and the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Heiser and Wilkinson, each of which exhausted their athletic eligibility at the conclusion of the 2011 volleyball season, secured the highly-competitive degree-completion scholarships, which are based on a variety of factors, the most-important of which being academic merit. Each boast a collegiate grade-point-average above 3.3.
Heiser, a mass communications major, secured both the RMAC and NCAA scholarship, which combined awards a variable scholarship that is valued at as much as $8,000. This year, Heiser will also be CSU-Pueblo's part-time assistant volleyball coach as she completes her studies at the University.
Wilkinson secured the NCAA scholarship, which is valued at as much as $6,000. She is a nursing major who was the recipient of the 2012 Jessie Banks Award, given to the top female scholar-athlete at CSU-Pueblo. Additionally, she was CSU-Pueblo's representative female scholar-athlete by the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Wilkinson and Heiser are the latest in a long line of CSU-Pueblo student-athletes to receive the degree-completion scholarship from the NCAA or the RMAC, which has been awarded to ThunderWolves 26 times since 2004. In addition, two of the previous recipients of post-graduate scholarships, Jenna Garcia in 2009 and Bonita Nuanez in 2011, were also awarded the Threlkeld Prize by CSU-Pueblo, given to the University's top scholar.
Each year since 2004, the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference has awarded at least 10 student-athletes from the RMAC's 14 member schools with degree-completion scholarships. The scholarship awards the recipient with a scholarship of up to $2,000 per semester. The recipients are decided by the RMAC Degree Completion Awards committee, which includes the RMAC Academic Committee and two Faculty Athletics Representatives from RMAC member schools.
Since 2004, 16 CSU-Pueblo student-athletes have secured the RMAC degree-completion scholarship, by far the most of any school in the conference. Since 2007, 10 CSU-Pueblo student-athletes have secured the NCAA scholarship.
The NCAA Degree-Completion Scholarship awards the recipient with an award of $6,000, tuition for his/her remaining credits, or the student-athlete's athletic aid from the previous year, whichever is least. The program, which has been in existence since 2001, provides deserving student-athletes financial assistance for them to complete their first baccalaureate degree. The selection process for the national award emphasizes the academic performance of the student-athlete. Other factors considered are financial circumstances, athletic achievement and involvement in campus and community activities. As of 2011, over $3 million has been given to approximately 830 deserving student-athletes from the NCAA scholarship.
NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients (since 2007)
2012-13 - Janae Heiser (Volleyball), Ashley Wilkinson (Volleyball)
2010-11 - Kelly Purcell (Softball), Bonita Nuanez (Softball)*
2009-10 - Udobong Obotette (Men's Soccer)
2008-09 - Jenna Garcia (Volleyball)*, Jamie Raun (Women's Tennis), Lindsey Wilson (Volleyball)
2007-08 - Kerry Lewis (Women's Basketball), Shana Martin (Softball)
RMAC Post-Graduate Scholarship Recipients from CSU-Pueblo
2012-13 - Janae Heiser (Volleyball)
2011-12 - Sutton Richmond (Football)
2010-11 - Kellen Desmond (Wrestling), Bonita Nuanez (Softball)*
2009-10 - Ashley Aldrich (Softball)
2008-09 - Kaylon Miller (Women's Basketball), Anna Simpson (Women's Basketball)
2007-08 - Kerry Lewis (Women's Basketball), Major Willette (Men's Basketball)
2006-07 - Brian Wood (Men's Basketball), Cynthia Nagy (Women's Tennis), Krystle Jim (Women's Basketball)
2005-06 - Cara Dunsmoor (Volleyball), Brian Vecchio (Men's Basketball)
2004-05 - Quatisha Bailey (Women's Basketball), Tara Palko (Women's Basketball)
* Also won the CSU-Pueblo Threlkeld Prize, given to the top scholar at CSU-Pueblo