Simosa, Walstrom Earn Post-Graduate Scholarship

MANHATTAN, Kan. Two Kansas State student-athletes, Jessica Simosa and Wally Walstrom, were among 24 selected to receive 2006-07 Dr. Prentice Gautt Postgraduate Scholarships from the Big 12 Conference in an announcement by the conference office on Wednesday.


The scholarships are named in honor of the late Dr. Prentice Gautt, a former Big 12 Conference staff member and student services’ pioneer who passed away in March 2005. The list of all-time recipients has grown to 177 since the inception of the league in 1996-97. Starting in 2002-03, additional funding increased scholarship award winners to two per member institution.

To date the Big 12 has provided $1,025,600 for postgraduate education. The individual grants began at $2,500 in 1996-97, were raised to $5,000 in 1999, increased to $6,900 for 2004-05 and climbed to $7,500 in 2006-07.

Criteria for the awards includes a cumulative grade point average of 3.500 on a 4.000 scale, participation in at least two years of intercollegiate athletics at the nominee’s respective institution and completion of athletics eligibility. The student-athletes also must graduate from their respective member institutions within 15 months of their selection for a postgraduate scholarship and are expected to enroll in graduate/professional schools within two years of graduation. Three faculty representatives, one senior woman administrator and one director of athletics form the selection panel for the awards.

Simosa was a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first team selection for women’s tennis, a two-time ITA Scholar-Athlete award winner and a 2006 CoSIDA Academic All-District VII selection. At the conclusion of her career following the 2006 season, Simosa was tied for second in career singles wins with 77 and tied for second in career doubles wins with 67. She graduated in the spring of 2007 with double-major in business management and economics and a minor in French.   

Walstrom is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 first team selection from the men’s track and field team. The product of Marysville, Kan., and a 2007 graduate in nutrition science, tied his a career-best of 16-00.75 during the 2007 Big 12 Outdoor Championships, while setting a career-best of 15-09.00 during the indoor season at the Conference Challenge. Both of the heights rank 10th in school history.

K-State’s 2006 recipients of this scholarship were Joy Hamlin-Vetter (volleyball) and Christian Smith (men’s track and field).