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Football standout Adam Turgeon '07 receives NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Posted by Judy Korn on Thursday, Mar. 29, 2007


The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has awarded University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM) student-athlete Adam Turgeon, South St. Paul, a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Annually awarded to only 87 men and 87 women of the NCAA’s 380,000 athletes, the scholarship honors students who excel athletically and academically, and demonstrate outstanding citizenship and service to others. Turgeon, a gridiron standout, shines in every category.

As a first-year student beginning his Cougar career, Turgeon and his football teammates snapped UMM’s 46-game losing streak. As a senior, his team finished the season with seven straight wins and the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) title. Personal accomplishments include: All-conference honors—two years as linebacker and defensive back, four years as kick-returner 2006 UMAC Conference Defensive MVP, and two NCAA Division III records. The 2006 Cougar Spirit Award recipient, Turgeon served two years as team captain.

Mark Fohl, UMM athletic director, notes that the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is extremely competitive, and Turgeon is very deserving of the honor: “I was very happy that Adam was selected. Whichever community he chooses to live in, he’s the type of person who will make it a better community.”

Turgeon has embraced leadership roles both on and off the field. “Coach Ken Crandall was a good influence, encouraging me to take on responsibilities,” Turgeon reflects, “like when we lobbied for the new stadium at the state capitol, and he asked me to organize the football players.” Turgeon coordinated team efforts to support the Salvation Army and to sponsor a family during the holidays. He served on the Student Athlete Advisory Council and the Retention Task Force.

“Study table” success may also be a testament to Turgeon’s giving personality. With a 3.8 grade point average (GPA), Turgeon is well versed in good study habits, but every Monday and Tuesday he was in Briggs Library encouraging teammates, providing help in economics and math, or networking to line up tutors. “It wasn’t hard, and it was kind of fun,” says Turgeon, recognizing that bonding in the library translates to bonding on the field.

“Football at the college level is more than just 6 a.m. practices and Saturday afternoon games,” says Turgeon. “It is a year-round experience that encouraged me to take on responsibility and learn leadership skills. I experienced a great deal of personal growth, and it was very rewarding. Football will always be an important UMM memory. I enjoyed every minute.”

Turgeon’s passion for football is matched only by his zeal for the classroom. His eyes sparkle when he talks about econometrics, economic theories, and statistical models. “From day one, I listed economics as my major,” he shares. “I like the business world. I like the numbers.”

Currently, the City of Benson is benefiting from Turgeon’s talents. He is conducting a service-learning research project examining the economic health of Benson area businesses. Turgeon will present his research to the Benson Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Benson officials, and at the 2007 UMM Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Turgeon had a sense of what a UMM career might be like before he arrived, and he hasn’t been disappointed. Brother Ryan, now a doctorate in chemistry student at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, graduated in 2005. “Ryan told me great things about UMM, and I liked the idea of a small campus. It has been the best thing for me. Faculty are always willing to help out. Their doors are always open, and not just for office hours.”

Pareena Lawrence, associate professor of economics and management, notes that Turgeon’s personal qualities have much to do with his classroom success: “Adam is a person of exceptional character, resourcefulness, scholarship, and motivation. His desire to succeed, his character, work ethic, integrity, ability to multitask, his coursework, and impressive GPA afford him an admirable preparation for graduate school.”

Paula O’ Loughlin, associate professor of political science, shares Lawrence’s sentiments, adding: “Adam Turgeon embodies arête, excellence in all things.”

Turgeon states that faculty like Lawrence and O’Loughlin, who wrote his nominations for the scholarship, are “prime examples” of caring UMM faculty. “They were so excited when they learned that I received the scholarship. I knew how proud they were of me. They really care about students and have been important in helping me in my UMM career, pushing me academically on both a personal and a professional basis.”

In May, Turgeon will graduate with a bachelor of arts in economics and management. Only two courses shy, he will be back fall semester to complete a minor in statistics. Between classes, he will fill out applications to graduate programs at Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Carlson, and Duke. On Saturday afternoons, he will be at Big Cat Stadium, down on the field, “helping out with the team.”