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Mechanical Engineering Grad Awarded NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

May 24, 2016
Tanner Harms and Randy Welniak pose for a photo at a year-end academic celebration.
Tanner Harms (right) will continue his studies in wind energy this fall. (UW Athletics photo)

University of Wyoming mechanical engineering student Tanner Harms earned a great achievement when he was awarded the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship on May 17. Having already earned a bachelor's degree, Harms will focus on his postgraduate studies beginning in 2016.

"Tanner (Harms) has been a great representative for our wrestling program, our athletics department and the University of Wyoming," UW Athletics Director Tom Burman says.

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, campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership are evaluated. Harms was one of just 58 recipients of the award for the winter sports season.

"It is an honor to receive this award," Harms says. "It's a blessing and a culmination of a lot of hard work. It has been such a great ride at the University of Wyoming and I have to thank all of the professors, coaches, staff and many others who have supported myself through the years."

Harms will continue his education at UW working with UW College of Engineering Professor Jonathan Naughton. He will be a graduate assistant within the department and focus on wind energy, specifically in fluid mechanics. Harms has also discussed studying in the aerodynamic field.

"It has been fun being Tanner's advisor and he is always one of the top students," Naughton says. "It is not easy to devote yourself like he has and it just shows the type of devotion he has to his lifestyle as a student-athlete."

A native of Greenwood Village, Colo., he is no stranger to academic success during his time at UW. He earned a spot on the 2015-16 NWCA Individual All-Academic Team after being named to the team in 2014-15. Earlier this spring, Harms was named Scholar Athlete of the Year by the Big 12 Conference. Harms was also named a finalist for UW's annual Tobin Award, which is based on academic excellence and achievement, service to the university, participation and leadership in the community and campus activities, and citizenship qualities and is given to UW's outstanding graduating man. To be considered for the Tobin award, students were judged on academic excellence and achievement; contributions and service to UW; participation and leadership in co-curricular activities; and demonstrated character and citizenship.

Harms was a two-time NCAA qualifier and finished last season with a 22-6 record, helping the Pokes' to their highest finish at the NCAA Championship in 20 years. He was also the first finalist for the Cowboys to wrestle in the Big 12 Championship. He finished his career with a 63-30 record with 18 falls including two at the NCAA Championship this season.


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