Called to Serve: SJU Wrestler Says His Time in Collegeville Helped Broaden His Horizons

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Dominic Skawiniak has had a lot to balance over the last four years.

The 2020 Saint John’s University graduate has been a standout member of the Johnnies’ wrestling team, and he’s also been part of the Fighting Saints Battalion – the ROTC program made up of students from SJU, the College of Saint Benedict and St. Cloud State University.

It’s through that program that, as a junior, Skawiniak took part in Air Assault training at Fort Benning, Ga., and spent time in Thailand training (left) at both the country’s Royal Military Academy and out in the field along the Cambodian border.

“We saw how people who don’t have nearly as much as we do farm and go about living their lives,” he said. “We had the chance to interact with a lot of school-age children. The whole trip was really eye-opening. It was a chance to see how people all over are similar, and it really was a reminder of the value of all human life and why that’s worth defending.”

That trip came in the same school year that Skawiniak also traveled to the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, and completed a research paper on the different ways various cultures are attempting to mitigate the impact of climate change. Continue reading at

COVID-19 Pandemic Not Deterring SJU Wrestler From a Career in Medicine

By Frank Rajkowski, SJU Writer/Video Producer

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – It’s an incredibly stressful time in the medical profession, especially for those on the front lines of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

And because that’s the profession Saint John’s University senior Jerod Novak will soon be entering, he’s doing all he can to stay up-to-date on the latest information.

“For me, as a student-nurse, it’s a time to be doing a lot of research,” said the senior nursing major, who wrapped up a four-year wrestling career for the Johnnies with a sixth-place finish at 157 pounds Feb. 28-29 at the NCAA Division III Upper Midwest Regional.

“I already feel like I have a responsibility to be well-informed and to be able to tell people what’s true and what’s not, what’s exaggerated and what isn’t. This is a public health matter first and foremost, and people need to have accurate information.”

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SJU’s Becker Earns NWCA All-America Honor

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Saint John’s University senior Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) was named to the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) All-America first team on Wednesday, April 8.

In previous seasons, the NWCA awarded All-America honors to the top eight wrestlers in each weight class at the NCAA Championships. This year’s All-America honors were split into three teams, based on each wrestler’s overall body of work through the regional tournaments and up to the national meet.

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NWCA Division III Coaches Group Announces 2020 All-America Teams

Manheim, PA – The National Wrestling Coaches Association has announced the 2020 Division III All-American teams. Each year the NWCA recognizes the outstanding work of the DIII Student-athletes by naming the All-Americans based on their achievements in the national championship, however, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the championships were canceled.

All-American honors were based on each wrestler’s overall body of work through the regional tournaments and up to the national championships.

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SJU Duo Earns Third NWCA All-America Scholar Honor

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Two Saint John’s University wrestling student-athletes, Noah Becker (Browerville, Minn.) and Jerod Novak (Aitkin, Minn.), earned their third National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) Scholar All-America honor this week.

The NWCA All-America Scholar award is the third consecutive for Becker, while Novak achieved the distinction for the third time as well (last season and as a freshman in 2016-17).

To be eligible for Scholar All-America distinction, a student-athlete must carry a GPA of at least 3.20 (cumulative or last academic year), have a .500 match record or better and meet one of the three criteria: qualify for the NCAA Championships; place in the top eight at the NCAA regional and wrestle in 50 percent of the scheduled dates; or achieve a .665 winning percentage or better and wrestle in 50 percent of the scheduled dates.

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