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Akpede and Salerno Receive Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships

Jul 27, 2020

Pac-12 Release

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona Track and Field's Crystal Akpede and Arizona Swimming and Diving's Matthew Salerno have received Arizona's Pac-12 2019-20 Postgraduate Scholarships, the conference announced on Monday.

Akpede will pursue her Doctorate of Pharmacy at Arizona while Salerno will attend Ohio State in pursuit of a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

The scholarships, worth $9,000 each, are awarded to up to two student-athletes from each Pac-12 school annually. These worthy student-athletes maintained a minimum 3.0 grade point average and demonstrated a commitment to education, campus and community involvement, and leadership.

Salerno, the 2019 recipient of the Pac-12 Leadership Award, was an an exemplary student-athlete for four years. In his career, Salerno earned All-America honors both in the pool and in the classroom, including a pair of relay honorable-mention All-America honors during his junior and senior seasons. He was named a CSCAA Scholar All-American and was a three-time first-team Pac-12 all-academic selection in his career.

Akpede competed as a sprinter for the Wildcats for four seasons with PRs of 12.80 in the 100m dash, 25.77 in the 200m dash and clocked time of 57.17 in the 400m dash at the Pac-12 Championships. In addition to her performance on the track, the Gilbert, Ariz. native was a 2019 Pac-12 All-Academic honoree.

To be selected for a Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarship, a student-athlete must have:

  • Maintained an overall undergraduate minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.00 (based on a 4.00 scale);
  • Completed his/her final season of intercollegiate athletics eligibility in all sports or be in his/her final year of undergraduate study, having exhausted athletics eligibility in all sports;
  • Been accepted to or already be enrolled as a full-time student in a graduate or professional program at an accredited institution, or in a postgraduate program for which an undergraduate degree is required for admission;
  • Performed with distinction as a member of a varsity team; and
  • Exemplified behavior, both in competition and beyond, in a manner that has brought credit to the student-athlete, the institution, and intercollegiate athletics.

Student-athletes awarded this scholarship plan to pursue postgraduate education in best-in-class graduate programs at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, including several Pac-12 universities. They will study everything from medicine and law to business, dentistry, engineering, education, and more.

In 1999, the Postgraduate Scholarship Program was created to both honor and financially assist some of the Conference's most outstanding athletes and scholars as they continue their educations and prepare for careers in their chosen industries. The Pac-12 annually awards up to 24 scholarships of $9,000 each to former and graduating student-athletes across the conference. Through its institutional selection process, each Pac-12 institution may select two student-athletes to be awarded the scholarship.