HOLLAND -- Hope College senior Lisa Smith of Dearborn, Mich. (Dearborn HS) has been awarded a postgraduate scholarship by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship program 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, as well as campus involvement, community service, volunteer activities and demonstrated leadership, are evaluated.  In maintaining the highest broad-based standards in the selection process, the program aims to reward those individuals whose dedication and effort are reflective of those characteristics necessary to succeed and thrive through postgraduate study in an accredited graduate degree program.

Smith is an All-American swimmer who has majored in psychology at Hope.  She will attend graduate school at the University of Michigan.

"Lisa is one of the most focused and hardest working swimmers we have ever had at Hope," said Hope swimming coach John Patnott. " Lisa is a true student-athlete. She maintained a high GPA, was active in campus activities outside athletics, and excelled at her chosen sport. She was an effective team captain and an excellent team leader. It has been a privilege to coach her over the last four years."

Smith achieved NCAA All-America status three consecutive years in the butterfly events.  Over her career she was an NCAA All-American 11 times in individual and relay events.  She was a four-time MIAA all-conference honoree.

She was active in co-curricular activities on campus, including serving as president of the Mortar Board national honor society.  She was also recently named the co-recipient of the John Schouten award as the outstanding female student-athlete in the Class of 2007.

Her undegraduate research through the departments of psychology and sociology focussed on the history of women's athletics at Hope College.

She is the daughter of David and Janice Smith of Dearborn.  Two older sisters, Sarah and Laura, were also All-American swimmers at Hope.

Smith's award is one of 58 postgraduate scholarships of $7,500 each presented to student-athletes who participated in winter sports, which included men's and women's basketball, men's fencing, men's and women's gymnastics, women's ice hockey, women's rifle, men's and women's swimming and diving, men's and women's indoor track and field and wrestling.

In addition to the winter sport honorees, the NCAA also awards 116 postgraduate scholarships to student-athletes participating in fall and spring sports in which the NCAA conducts championships or participates in as an emerging sport, for a total of 174 postgraduate scholarships annually.

To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.200 (on a 4.000 scale) or its equivalent and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated.  The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a full-time or part-time graduate student.

Students are nominated by the school's faculty athletics representatives. Candidates are screened by regional selection committees, and the award recipients are selected by the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee.