April 9, 2008
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IOWA CITY, IA – Hawkeye swimmer Andrej Lenert is no stranger to athletic or academic awards, but this past week saw him garner a National Science Foundation Fellowship.
“I am very fortunate and proud to receive the NSF Fellowship,” said Lenert. “It has to be one of the most prestigious graduate-level fellowships in my field.”
Lenert is graduating next month as a mechanical engineering major at the top of his class. Just for good measure, he has a concentration on renewable forms of energy and a minor in mathematics. Since committing to the Iowa swimming team in 2004, the Ontario, Canada, native has spent the last four years accepting award after award, both in the water and in the classroom. To name a few, he has already been named to the UI’s Dean’s List and academic all-Big Ten, where he was one of only five Big Ten swimmers to hold a grade point average of 4.0 or better. Along with these honors, he is also Rhodes Dunlap Collegiate Scholar and earned the Valedictorian Scholarship and the Iowa Scholars Award.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, however, after this past week’s naming of the National Science Foundation Fellowship recipients. The fellowship provides the opportunity for three years of graduate education, and a stipend of approximately $40,000 per year, $10,000 of which can be used towards tuition at the institution of their choosing. A total of just 913 were awarded nationwide.
So where does Andrej go from here?
“I actually have to decide where I want to attend school next year within the next week,” Lenert said. “I have it down between Cornell and Cal-Berkeley.”
Academics is not the only area where Lenert excels. Drop by the field house pool and there is a chance you will see him swimming laps. A team captain, four-year letterwinner, and big-time contributor to the Iowa swimming team for all four years, Lenert would like to keep competitive swimming a part of his life.
“Swimming gives so much balance and great chance to get away from school for awhile,” Lenert explained. “It’s a stress-free environment for me and requires a whole different kind of work ethic that is refreshing. I actually had to miss the Canadian Olympic trials while making some graduate school visits, but I was sure to take a look at the pools and can hopefully become a graduate assistant coach wherever I end up.”
Ultimately, Lenert would like to stay where he has experienced the most success, in the classroom. He would like to move to the front of the room and teach, and his track record says he might just be pretty good at that too.
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