May 15, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Alex Norris and Michael Newburger, members of the women’s swimming and diving team and men’s gymnastics team, respectively, were announced as Ohio State’s recipients of the 2014 Big Ten postgraduate scholarships, the conference office announced Thursday. One male and one female student-athlete from each Big Ten institution who plan to continue their education at a graduate degree program were awarded a $7,500 scholarship, based on primarily academic achievements.

Norris, a Cincinnati native, is a four-time NCAA qualifier for the women’s swimming and diving team. During her senior year, she broke five pool records at the Kenyon Winter Invite on her way to earning Big Ten and National Division I Swimmer of the Week honors. A 13-time Big Ten finalist and 2011 Honorable Mention All-American, Norris is a diverse swimmer who competed in freestyle, individual medley and butterfly events. A 2012 U.S. Olympic Trails qualifier, Norris plans to continue swimming to train for the U.S. Nationals, with the goal of qualifying for the World University Games team. An exercise science major, she is a four-time OSU and CSCAA Scholar-Athlete and member of Ohio State’s honors program. This summer, she will begin work on a doctorate in physical therapy.

“We are unbelievably proud of Alex and her achievements in both the classroom and pool,” head coach Bill Dorenkott said. “This recognition is a terrific reflection on her efforts over the past four years as well as a testament to the resources and opportunities available at The Ohio State University.”

Newburger, originally a walk-on to the men’s gymnastics team, concluded his career with two All-American honors after claiming the 2013 NCAA Championship on pommel horse and finishing third overall on the event at the 2012 NCAA Championships. The Austin, Texas, native currently holds the NCAA and Ohio State record on pommel horse (16.25), which he set at the 2014 Windy City Invitational, earning Big Ten Gymnast of the Week and CGA National Gymnast of the Week recognition for his performance. A team captain and Nissen-Emery Award Finalist, Newburger ranked as the No. 1 gymnast on pommel horse for 15 weeks throughout his career, closing with nine individual event titles.

Academically, Newburger has earned Capital One Academic At-Large First Team (2013) and Capital One Academic All-District Team (2012-13) honors in addition to being a four-time Distinguished Merit Scholar, National Buckeye Scholar and three-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. A four-time Academic All-Big Ten and Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, Newburger will begin work on a doctorate in physics in the fall.

This year’s 24 recipients span 19 different sports and will continue their education in a variety of different disciplines, including five student-athletes who plan to enroll in medical school and three honorees that will enter law school. This year’s honorees are also pursuing graduate degrees in diverse fields of study, including bioengineering, classical studies, counseling psychology, electrical engineering, finance and investments, mechanical engineering and physics.

All 24 of the recipients have been named Academic All-Big Ten at least once in their career, while four have been tabbed Academic All-Americans – Illinois’ Bruno Abdelnour, Iowa’s James Morris, Michigan State’s Kristen Kelsay and Ohio State’s Michael Newburger. Two student-athletes helped lead their teams to Big Ten Championships this season, including Michigan’s David Moore (men’s swimming & diving) and Northwestern’s Maria Kovalchuk (field hockey).

Four postgraduate scholarship winners – Iowa’s Morris, Michigan’s Moore, Michigan State’s Kelsay and Minnesota’s Justin Morinishi  – have been named Big Ten Sportsmanship Award honorees in their respective sports so far this academic year. Two Big Ten student-athletes received All-Big Ten recognition in their respective sports thus far this season, as Indiana’s Eric Ress and Iowa’s Morris earned All-Conference honors.

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, 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.  

The complete list of 2013-14 Big Ten Postgraduate Scholarship recipients can be found below.


Bruno Abdelnour, Men’s Tennis

Anne Goering, Women’s Swimming & Diving


Meghan Lappan, Women’s Water Polo

Eric Ress, Men’s Swimming & Diving



James Morris, Football

Marike Stribos, Field Hockey


David Moore, Men’s Swimming & Diving

Kiley Tobel, Women’s Track & Field

Michigan State

Jacob Jarzen, Men’s Swimming & Diving

Kristen Kelsay, Women’s Volleyball


Rachel Drake, Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field

Justin Morinishi, Men’s Gymnastics


Brandon Chapek, Football

Sunny Russell, Women’s Rifle


Maria Kovalchuk, Field Hockey

Daniel Tyson, Baseball

Ohio State

Michael Newburger, Men’s Gymnastics

Alexandra Norris, Women’s Swimming & Diving

Penn State

Lindsay Musgrove, Women’s Gymnastics

Matthew Salig, Men’s Swimming & Diving


Cody Davis, Football

Kyle Mosier, Wrestling


Michael Brice, Men’s Track & Field/Cross Country

Ilana Friedman, Women’s Ice Hockey