Seniors Sean Fisher (linebacker) and Katelyn White (cross country plus track and field) were chosen as the 2013 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award recipients by the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership. The award is an annual scholarship recognizing one male and one female Big Ten senior student-athlete pursuing a postgraduate degree for achievements in academics, athletics, extracurricular activities and leadership.
This is the first time that both recipients came from the same Big Ten school
What is the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award? According to the Big Ten, it's a $10,000 scholarship to one male and one female athlete. Each school was asked to nominate one male and female athlete for consideration:
The Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award is named for the former Big Ten Conference commissioner who served from 1971-89. While leading the Big Ten, Duke spent much of his time working to improve academic standards and graduation rates for student-athletes. The award is made possible by donations from local corporations and individuals supporting collegiate student-athletes. The Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership is comprised of the State of Indiana, City of Indianapolis, Indiana Sports Corporation, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, and Visit Indy.
Fisher, a linebacker who elected against applying for a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA, currently carries a 4.0 GPA and is on track to graduate in May with a degree in business administration. Leg injuries hampered his Nebraska career, and while he probably could have received approval to play football this fall, he instead elected to enroll in medical school.
White also has a 4.0 GPA and will graduate in May with a degree in nutritional science. White has been recognized with multiple Academic All-Big Ten accolades and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Awards as well as U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I Women's All-Academic Team honors. White is an elected member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
In addition to her commitment to academic excellence, White participates in numerous community service activities. She participated in an elementary walk-a-thon, spoke to children about wellness and nutrition, led groups at vacation bible school, and was a camp counselor. She plans to continue her education to become a physical therapist.
The other nominees for this award were:
University of Illinois: Zachary Becker, football; Marissa Holden, women's soccer
Indiana University: Raymond Knoblauch, baseball; Kathryn Laine, women's rowing
University of Iowa: Javier Balboa, men's gymnastics; Sarah Drake, field hockey
University of Michigan: Jordan Kovacs, football; Jennifer Ryan, women's basketball
Michigan State University: Kevin Jackson, men's track and field; Jordan Mueller, women's soccer
University of Minnesota: Troy Larson, baseball
University of Nebraska: Katelyn White, women's cross country and track and field; Sean Fisher, football
Northwestern University: Reggie Hearn, men's basketball; Kristin Scharkey, softball
Penn State University: Brian Forgue, men's soccer; Colleen Shea, women's lacrosse
Purdue University: Robert Maci, football; Ariel Turner, volleyball
University of Wisconsin: Dorcas Akinniyi, women's track and field
Previous winners include:
2012: Miguel Pineda, Penn State, men's gymnastics; Margaux Farrell, Indiana, women's swimming
2011: Mike Torchia, Minnesota, cross country & track; Allie Smith, Purdue, women's swimming
2010: Mark Ison, Northwestern, football; Chelsea Davis, Ohio State, women's diving
2009: Drew Ratner, Northwestern, men's soccer; Lauren Mioton, Purdue, women's basketball
2008: Kevin Trulock, Indiana, football; Molly Crispell, Penn State, women's swimming