IOWA CITY, Iowa — Hawkeye seniors Claire Graves (soccer) and Jason Kerst (men’s tennis) were chosen as the University of Iowa’s recipients of the annual Big Ten Conference Postgraduate Scholarship. Two student-athletes from each of the 14 Big Ten institutions who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program were awarded a $7,500 scholarship, based primarily on academic achievements.
Graves led the Hawkeyes to a school record 15 victories and to an NCAA Tournament berth for the second time in school history in 2019. The Noblesville, Indiana, native was a four-year starter in goal, where she finished her career as the school record holder in career wins (38), was second in career shutouts (24.5), and was fourth in career saves (236). She was also a three-time Big Ten weekly award honoree. The human physiology major earned United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-North/Central Region honors as a senior. She is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection and a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, while earning Dean’s List and/or President’s List honors each semester of her collegiate career.
Kerst is a four-year letterwinner on the men’s tennis team from Ann Arbor, Michigan. This past season, Kerst was in the singles lineup on a team that was 12-2 overall, achieved its highest national ranking in program history (No. 20), and was on pace to qualify for the program’s first NCAA Tournament before the season was canceled in March due to concerns over the coronavirus global pandemic. A two-time ISAAC representative, Kerst was elected President of the committee for 2019-20, and served as a Senator for UI Student Government. He received one of the 2020 Robert F. Ray Faculty Representative Awards, earned the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA) Medallion three times, was a five-time Dean’s List honoree, a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, an International Tennis Association (ITA) Scholar Athlete, was the Male Hawkeye of the Year recipient at the 2018 Golden Herkys. Following graduation, he will attend the University of South Carolina (on a full academic scholarship), where he will earn an MBA with career aspirations in Athletics Administration.
Each Big Ten institution developed its own on-campus selection process when awarding the scholarships. 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. 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, and 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.