An average Division I student-athlete doesn’t spend their summer break doing research, but then, UNI senior Jarrett Jensen isn’t your average Division I student-athlete.
Jensen is spending his summer with Associate Professor Kenneth Elgersma and Adjunct Instructor Ai Wen researching native pollinators, bee abundance and diversity on farms that use organic practices.
Jensen spent the spring semester reading about native pollinators (bees) and scouting possible farms for the study. Early in the summer he set traps at farms across the state of Iowa and will travel to the farms every other week throughout the summer to collect data. He will conclude his research with a presentation on his findings.
In addition to conducting research, Jensen also plans to work out twice per day in preparation for his final college wrestling season.
“I want to set an example that it can be done,” Jensen said. “You don't have to focus completely on one thing to have success. I want to show that you can get involved in the community, do well in academics, and do well in wrestling. I think that is a better way to go than to put all your eggs in one basket.”
The Rapid City, S.D. native owns a 3.84 GPA in Biology, and has been named to the Academic All-MAC Team three times. He earned the highest GPA of any wrestler in the conference as a redshirt freshman.
On the mat, Jensen has compiled a 46-42 career record. He earned the first NCAA ranking of his college career in the 2014-15 season and finished sixth at the MAC Championships. He earned the team's GPA Award, the Lyle E. Schwarzenbach Award for dedication, citizenship, athletics and academics, and the first-ever Bill Koll Award for excellence on and off the mat in the community.
“In wrestling, you can't be half in or partially in just for fun,” said Jensen. “Wrestling brings a lot of discipline and it carries over into all parts of my life. Wrestling has set a huge foundation for me.”
Jensen’s excellence in the classroom and on the mat has been made possible through scholarship support.
“I wouldn't be going to UNI if I didn't have scholarships,” Jensen said. “I would have stayed more in my comfort zone, and I am not sure that I would have learned what I have here at UNI. I'm not wasting my time. I am taking full advantage of the opportunity, and I don't take it for granted. I am here because of scholarships. I'll be forever grateful. “
Interested in helping students have similar experiences to Jarrett at UNI? Visit www.uni-foundation.org to learn how you can make a difference.