Jumbo Swimming Champion Katelin Isakoff Earns NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Heading to Stanford School of Medicine, she won NCAA championships as a swimmer for Tufts

Katelin Isakoff, a national champion swimmer for the Jumbos, has been selected as a recipient of a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. She is one of just 21 female student-athletes nationally who competed at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels to receive the award for winter sports.

The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee awarded Isakoff a $10,000 scholarship for graduate study. The scholarship is awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.

Isakoff graduated from Tufts in seven semesters, finishing in December 2022, majoring in biology and community health. She is heading to Stanford University School of Medicine in August, where she hopes to focus on orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, and health disparities. The postgraduate scholarship will go toward her tuition.

“I am incredibly grateful and honored to receive the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship,” she said. “This award would not have been possible without my incredible Tufts mentors, coaches, teammates, and friends who made my college experience so special. Tufts provided an exceptional balance between academics and athletics, and a community full of support. Awards like this are truly a team effort, and I have the absolute best people supporting me.”

In the pool, Isakoff was a two-time national champion and eight-time All-American for the women’s swimming and diving team. In 2023 she was part of the Jumbos’ 400 freestyle relay that won the NCAA championship. She was also on the 800 freestyle relay that won Tufts’ first-ever NCAA relay championship in 2022. 

Among her All-American performances were individual efforts in the 200 and 500 freestyles. She helped the Jumbos win their first-ever New England Small College Athletic Conference championship in 2022 and then another in 2023. Those teams also had historic NCAA finishes as their seventh-place in 2022 was the program’s best since 1982, and then they topped it by matching Tufts’ best-ever finish at an NCAA meet with a sixth in 2023. 

According to head coach Adam Hoyt, Isakoff is one of the top athletes he’s coached at Tufts over the past 20 years. “She showed her value to our team not only through her work ethic and ability level, but also her humility and leadership. She was a confident, calm, and even-keeled athlete. I’m excited to see what her future holds,” Hoyt said.

Isakoff graduated with summa cum laude honors and received the Fredrick Melvin Ellis Prize recognizing academic achievement, athletic versatility, and leadership. A three-time Academic All-American as selected by the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, she was also named a 2022-23 Academic All-America first team honoree by the College Sports Communicators organization.

While at Tufts, she volunteered with Tufts Emergency Medical Services, including serving as the co-chair of DEI. She was also the president and founder of the Hidden Opponent at Tufts, a chapter of a national nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness for student-athlete mental health. She contributed to research in McVey Lab

“During Katelin’s time in the lab, I found her to be a highly motivated student with enormous intellectual capacity and scientific ability,” said Mitch McVey, professor of biology. “At the same time, I saw how she doesn’t let her ambition get in the way of her humanity. She was always willing to help her lab mates when they were struggling with a procedure or just trying to get their lab tasks finished before class.”

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