News Releases

Hardrocker Janelle Strampe awarded prestigious NCAA postgrad award
Release Date Monday, May 12, 2014
Janelle Strampe, a double-sport scholar athlete, has been awarded the 2013-14 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She is the first student-athlete at Mines to receive the prestigious honor.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (May 12, 2014) – Janelle Strampe, a South Dakota School of Mines & Technology double-sport scholar athlete who excelled in women’s volleyball, has been awarded the 2013-14 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship, becoming the first student-athlete at Mines to receive the prestigious honor.

A chemical engineering major from Green River, Wyo., Strampe graduated with the top honor of summa cum laude at the May 10 commencement ceremony.

Strampe, also a standout basketball player, will use the $7,500 NCAA award in pursuit of a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the School of Mines. She plans to eventually pursue a doctorate degree. 

“This is such a great honor and I owe a big thanks to many individuals at the School of Mines who helped make this possible,” Strampe said. “The NCAA is an outstanding organization that helps young adults further their studies. I am so happy they have awarded this gift to help me advance my education, and I’m honored to have had to opportunity to compete in NCAA Div. II athletics.”

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship was created in 1964 to promote and encourage postgraduate education by rewarding up to 174 of the most accomplished student-athletes – 87 men and 87 women – through their participation in NCAA championship and/or emerging sports.

“Janelle is a great role model as a scholar, athlete and leader. This is a prestigious honor and I’m very glad she will be continuing her education at Mines,” said university President Heather Wilson. 

The scholarships are awarded to scholar athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics.

For the Hardrocker volleyball program, Strampe was a four-year starter and two-year team captain where she tallied career totals of 928 kills, 2,751 attacks, 40 aces, 720 digs and 145 blocks.

“This award truly spotlights the type of scholar athletes the School of Mines is producing,” said Tiffany McCampbell, acting athletic director and Hardrocker volleyball head coach. “Janelle is the quintessential scholar athlete we recruit at the School of Mines, and I am honored to have been able to coach Janelle over the past four years as she has added so much personality to our volleyball program and athletic department.”

The scholarship program aims to reward students whose dedication and effort reflect characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.

“A refreshing aspect at the School of Mines is that essentially all of our athletes are genuine scholar athletes pursuing degrees in engineering, science and mathematics,” said Hardrocker faculty athletics representative and industrial engineering professor Carter Kerk. “Janelle is an outstanding example of our scholar athletes and truly represents the best of the best. She does this on the court, in the classroom, in the lab and in the community – usually with a big grin.”

Strampe received a number of academic honors at Mines, including: seven consecutive semesters on the Dean’s List, Tau Beta Pi GEICO Scholar, three-time SDSM&T Richardson Scholar, four-time SDSM&T Presidential Scholar, and Air Force Outstanding Math and Science Award. Her GPA in the chemical engineering program was 3.976, and she received the four year volleyball team academic award for highest GPA and the D2 Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award

“Janelle is an outstanding student who is a pleasure to have in class,” said David Dixon, chemical and biological engineering professor and Strampe’s academic advisor. “She is very deserving of this honor as a scholar athlete due to her excellent work ethic, but also for the contributions she has added to this university.” 

Among Strampe’s other campus and community endeavors: Engineers & Scientist Abroad mission trip, job shadowing at Black Hills Orthopedic and Spine Center under Dr. Clark Duchene, M.D., volleyball SAAC representative, vice president of Tau Beta Pi, member of Engineering Honor Society, member of Society of Women Engineers and Phi Eta Sigma. Strampe also worked at Cornerstone Rescue Mission and Youth and Family Services.


About SDSM&T

Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. The university enrolls 2,640 students from 45 states and 37 countries, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The average starting salary for graduates is $62,400 with a 98 percent placement rate. Find us online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at