By John Burgman
On April 24, USA Climbing announced the winners of its 2020 Collegiate Climbing Ambassador Scholarship. The awards totaled $3,000 and were given to students deemed ambassadors for combining academics with competitive climbing at the collegiate level. 2020 thus marked the fourth season for the USA Climbing scholarship program.
The winners this year were: Gabe Linderman of the University of Michigan, who helped get a climbing gym included in a renovation of that school’s main recreational facility; Daniel Nguyen of the University of Texas at Austin, who played a vital role in doubling the size of that school’s climbing program; Michelle Patten of the University of Texas at Dallas, who volunteered at a number of USA Climbing competitions; and Sarah Pearce at Cal Poly Pomona, who taught beginner climbing classes and coached a youth team at her local gym.
“From an exceptional pool of candidates, these four were chosen for their dedication to climbing and exemplifying what it means to be a climber, a student-athlete, and ambassador for the sport,” noted a press release from USA Climbing.
In order to be eligible for the scholarship, applicants had to submit a package that included an academic resume and an essay related to “what climbing at the collegiate level means.” The eventual recipients were chosen by a panel of USA Climbing staff, coordinators, and other prominent figures in the collegiate competitive climbing community.
John Burgman has been writing about climbing for nearly a decade. He is a Fulbright journalism grant recipient, a former magazine editor at Outdoor Life, and the author of two books. He holds a master’s degree from New York University and bachelor’s degree from Miami University in Ohio. In addition to writing, he coaches a youth bouldering team.