Mechanical engineering student and star diver earns NCCA Postgraduate Scholarship
Photo by: Ken Grosse/UCSD Athletics
Luke Calkins became a first-time All-American on the last day of his final NCAA Championships in March.
San Diego, Calif., May 13, 2014 -- Luke Calkins, an All-American senior diver for the UC San Diego men’s swimming and diving program this past winter and a mechanicanl engineering student, has been awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The one-time grants of $7500 are awarded to student athletes who excel both academically and athletically and are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. He said he plans to go back to graduate school within a few years. He has landed a full-time position with Cymer here in San Diego.
Calkins, a native of Kansas City, Kansas (Shawnee Mission North HS), is a two-time Capital One Academic All-American, earning first-team honors a year ago after third-team distinction in 2011-12. He is likely to earn a third successive Capital One Academic All-District 8 At-Large First Team selection later this week, and once again advance to the Academic All-America® ballot.
A student at Warren College, Calkins maintains an impressive 3.94 cumulative grade-point average in mechanical engineering. He will graduate next month.
“I am extremely honored to receive this award, as it shows the dedication and hard work I have invested in the activities I’m involved in,” said Calkins. “Academics and diving are the two most defining aspects of my college experience, and to be able to use this scholarship to continue my education because of the hard work I have sunk into both aspects is a rewarding feeling. I would not have received this award without the tremendous support of my classmates, teammates, coach, professors and parents."
“I want to thank the athletic department for choosing to nominate me for the award, and for those involved in helping with my application, Jan Kleissl, Michelle Casillas, Cliff Kubiak, Ken Grosse and Noah Jackson.”
In the pool, Calkins achieved College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) All-America status for the first time in his career this past March, with his eighth-place finish in the three-meter diving event on the last day of the 2014 NCAA Division II Championships in Geneva, Ohio. In February, he swept the one-meter and three-meter springboard competitions at his final Pacific Collegiate Swimming & Diving Conference (PCSC) Championships in La Mirada, for his first two league crowns. As a result, Calkins was named the PCSC Championships Male Diver of the Meet. He also garnered All-America honorable mention four times, and was a CSCAA Scholar All-American First Team honoree as a junior.
Calkins was a part of four straight PCSC team titles and traveled to the NCAA Championships all four seasons, qualifying for the main draw the last three years.
“We are so proud of Luke,” remarked UCSD diving coach Michelle Casillas. “It is very rewarding to see his hard work and dedication being acknowledged with receiving the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. It has been an honor to be his coach, and I’m excited to see what his future holds.”
The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, with 87 going to men and 87 to women. The scholarships are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports. Each sports season (fall, winter and spring), there are 29 scholarships available for men and 29 scholarships available for women.
Calkins is the second UC San Diego student-athlete to be chosen by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee this academic year. Men’s soccer All-American Andisheh Bagheri was recognized in the fall. The three most recent Triton honorees prior to Bagheri and Calkins were swimmer Jessica Ferguson, track and field athlete Kelly Fogarty and tennis player Vincent Nguyen, all in 2010-11.
A total of 29 student-athletes have now earned the distinction of an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship at UC San Diego, which has a rich tradition of both academic and athletic excellence.
NCAA POSTGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP MISSION STATEMENT
The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the Association’s most accomplished student-athletes through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports. Athletics and academic achievements, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated. An equitable approach is employed in reviewing each applicant’s nomination form to provide opportunity to all student-athlete nominees to receive the postgraduate award, regardless of sport, division, gender or race. In maintaining the highest broad-based standards in the selection process, the program aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.