Amanda Parker, a senior gymnast from Ames, Iowa, has been selected as one of 58 student-athletes from across the country to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship for participation in winter sports. Parker was also named the 2005 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year in Gymnastics and the 2005 National Collegiate Gymnastics Association Senior Athlete of the Year. Parker will utilize this $7,500 scholarship for additional education after earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science at Gustavus Adolphus College. She plans to attend law school at the University of Illinois.
Parker has set many records and accomplished numerous feats during her four years at Gustavus. She was voted Most Valuable Gymnast during 2002-04, and she also holds Gustavus records in the all-around, bars, and vault. Parker was the Regional all-around and vault champion in 2002 and 2003, and she contributed to a Gustavus team regional championship in 2003. In 2002, Parker was the national all-around and vault champion. She received All-America honors on vault, bars, all-around, and floor in 2002, vault, floor, and all-around in 2003, and beam and all-around in 2004.
Out of uniform, Parker has maintained a 3.987 grade point average and was on the Dean’s List all four years. She was a member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Co-Ed Service fraternity from 2002-2005, and she was also inducted into the Spanish Honor Society and Political Science Honor Society in 2004-05. Parker is a two-time COSIDA Academic All-American. She still has found time to tutor in the writing center at Gustavus, instruct gymnastics, volunteer at St. Peter High School in helping teach in the English as a Second Language program, and serve as a legal aid intern during the summer of 2003. She received the Honda Award as the outstanding gymnast in Division III in 2002, the Partner’s in Scholarship Award from 2001-05, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 2004-05.
The NCAA awards 29 postgraduate scholarships to female student-athletes participating in winter sports in all three divisions of the NCAA. A total of 174 postgraduate scholarships are awarded annually to men and women in fall, winter, and spring sports. The 29 winter sport scholarship recipients came from the sports of archery, basketball, bowling, fencing, gymnastics, ice hockey, rifle, skiiing, squash, swimming and diving, synchronized swimming, team handball, and indoor track and field.
To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.200 (on a 4.000 scale) or its equivalent and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a graduate student.
Parker is the second Gustavus student athlete to receive a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship this year, following Rachel Batalden, a volleyball player, who was selected after the fall season. Gustavus has now had 15 student-athletes receive NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships.