The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced its 2012 fall sports postgraduate scholarship winners last week, naming Gustavus senior cross country runner Beth Hauer (Little Falls, Minn.) as one of the 29 male and 29 female student-athletes to receive the prestigious award.
“It is an honor to be awarded this scholarship,” said Hauer. “I’ve had an excellent experience at Gustavus in academics, arts, and athletics and have appreciated the opportunity to work with excellent faculty and coaches. I could not have had the experience I did if my professors and coaches had not challenged and supported me during my college career.”
To qualify, student-athletes must excel academically and athletically, be in their final year of eligibility and plan to pursue graduate study. Student-athletes must also maintain at least a 3.2 grade-point average and be nominated by their institution’s faculty athletics representative. Created in 1964, NCAA postgraduate scholarships promote and encourage education by rewarding the Association’s most accomplished student-athletes.
Hauer is the 33rd Gustavus student-athlete to receive an NCAA postgraduate scholarship since football player James Goodwin became the first in 1974.
“A humble and determined athlete, Beth is a true model of what the Gustavus is all about. It is great to see Beth awarded with such a great honor her senior year,” said head coach Dale Bahr.
A four-year member of the women’s cross country team, Hauer has been a staple in coach Bahr’s lineup since stepping onto campus in 2009. In her tenure on the hill, Beth competed in 27 cross country races from 2009 to 2012, recording 12 top 20 finishes and placing inside the top 10 on five occasions.
Hauer’s ability to step up in big races earned her All-Conference honors three times (2010, 2011, 2012) and All-Region distinction three times (2010, 2011, 2012) as well. In her senior season, the Little Falls, Minn. native recorded her best finish at the MIAC Championships, taking 12th with a time of 23:01.9 – her top performance ever at the MIAC meet. Hauer helped the Gusties win the 2012 MIAC Championship, the program’s first conference title since 2003.
Gustavus went on to compete in the 2012 NCAA Championships after a fourth place finish at the Central Region Meet. Hauer placed a career-best 16th (23:00.5) at regionals and 56th (22:25.5) at the NCAA Championships.
To go along with her commitment to the cross country team, Beth is also heavily involved in the music department at Gustavus. Hauer currently plays the euphonium in the Gustavus wind orchestra and the trombone in the jazz lab band.
“The moment Beth came to Gustavus, she was active in so many things. Her ability to honor her commitments to both music and running were amazing to us on the coaching staff,” commented Bahr. “Because of her involvement on campus, most of her training was done on her own. To excel as she did, despite such a unique training schedule, says a great deal about Beth’s dedication and internal motivation.”
Also a volunteer for the Study Buddies program, Beth is an instrumental music education major with a 3.96 cumulative grade point average. Following her passion for musical instruction, she most recently worked as a project GEM teacher for the Minnesota Valley Education District where she taught weekly music classes to grades 5-12 with moderate to severe emotional behavioral disorders.
After earning her degree this spring, Beth plans to search for a job as a music teacher of either a band or in the classroom. After gaining teaching experience, Beth will pursue a master’s degree through a summer program in order to help herself grow as an educator. She also has a strong interest in coaching and would like to coach cross country, Nordic skiing, or track and field.
The NCAA awards up to 174 postgraduate scholarships annually, 87 for men and 87 for women. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes in their final year or intercollegiate athletics competition that excels academically and athletically. The scholarships are one-time, non-renewable grants of $7,500 that can be used for research, books, tuition and other educational expenses at any graduate school.
“As an educator, I believe students should be challenged to achieve academically while having meaningful experiences in the arts and athletics,” Hauer concluded. “Having the opportunity to be a music education major involved in multiple ensembles and a member of an athletic team has made my college career rewarding and memorable. My hope is to apply what I have learned and experienced at Gustavus to help my future students be successful academically while being highly involved in the arts and athletics.”
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin