ELMHURST, Ill. − North Dakota State men's basketball player Brett Winkelman (Morris, Minn.) and Western Illinois women's soccer player Bess Rapp (Lincoln, Neb.) have been selected as the 2007-08 Summit League Scholar-Athletes of the Year in a vote of the league's faculty athletic representatives. The Summit League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award is the most prestigious individual honor given by the league.
Winkelman, a junior, has a 3.86 GPA in industrial engineering and management. A two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American®, he has been on the Dean's List every semester and was named Academic All-Summit League and to the Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence during the 2007-08 school year. Winkelman has served on The Summit League Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for the past two years and was NDSU's athlete representative on the Division I Athletic Certification Committee and Student-Athlete Welfare Subcommittee.
On the court, Winkelman averaged 19.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game en route to being selected first team All-Summit last season. A two-time Summit League Player of the Week, he was The Summit League Male Athlete of the Month for December. A team captain in 2007-08, Winkelman has been named to several all-tournament teams in his three years as a Bison. He was also a three-time Division I independent Newcomer of the Week as a freshman and a two-time Division I independent Player of the Week during his sophomore campaign. He was named to the All-Independent first team following the 2006-07 season.
A summa cum laude graduate of WIU with a degree in marketing, Rapp was named to the Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence three times, to the Academic All-League team all four years and to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team in 2007. She was a four-year member of SAAC, serving as secretary, vice president and president during three of those years. She also served as the Director of Public Relations for WIU's Student Government Association and was selected as a marshal for graduation ceremonies in May. In addition, Rapp was named the 2008 Outstanding Senior in the Western Illinois marketing/finance department, the 2008 Spring Departmental Scholar in marketing and was on the Dean's List all four years. She received the Provost's Student-Athlete Academic Excellence Award for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 academic years, earned two business scholarships and was a member of three professional honor societies. Rapp also did volunteer work with WAVE (Western's All Volunteer Effort), the Special Olympics, the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Think Pink initiative and was an after-school tutor for elementary school students during her four years at Western Illinois.
Rapp concluded her soccer career at Western Illinois ranked third all-time in shots (116), fourth in assists (9), and fifth in both points (37) and goals (14). The four-year letterwinner and team captain was named to the 2005 and 2007 Summit League all-tournament teams, and collected first team all-league honors during the 2005 and 2006 seasons. She was instrumental is turning around the program, as the Westerwinds went 3-12-3 during her freshman season and won the program's first regular season Summit League Championship with a 16-3-1 overall mark during her senior campaign.
Also nominated for the Men's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Ross Gilbert, Centenary, swimming; Hunter Paris, IPFW, cross country/track & field; Vangel Nacovski, IUPUI, soccer; Patrick Smith, UMKC, tennis; Christopher Fecek, Oakland, track & field; Andretti Bain, Oral Roberts, track & field; Craig Parry, South Dakota State, baseball; Brandon Godfrey, Southern Utah, football; Walt Willis, Western Illinois, track & field.
Also nominated for the Women's Scholar-Athlete of the Year award: Ali Hilsher, Centenary, soccer; Hanna Hager, IPFW, tennis; Sherri Levack, IUPUI, soccer; Sara Hiller, UMKC, cross country/track & field; Elisa Bue, North Dakota State, basketball; Jessica Pike, Oakland, basketball; English Clark, Oral Roberts, track & field; Amy Anderson, South Dakota State, volleyball; Trish Clapham, Southern Utah, softball.