May 28, 2010
Park Ridge, Ill. – University of Michigan recent graduate Courtney Ratkowiak has been named this year’s recipient of the Big Ten Conference William R. Reed Memorial Award. The award is named in honor of former Big Ten Commissioner William R. Reed who served the conference for more than 20 years.
The conference annually honors the former commissioner by presenting this award to a student journalist from one of the 11 Big Ten campuses who, through his or her writing during the previous academic term, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and dedication to the Big Ten and intercollegiate athletics, which marked the life of William R. Reed.
A 2010 graduate of the Ross School of Business, Ratkowiak was a two-year football beat writer for the Michigan Daily. Since January, Ratkowiak has been a freelance reporter for MGoBlue.com, Sports Illustrated.com and ESPNBoston.com. The journalist spent three and a half years on the Michigan Daily staff as a beat writer covering football, hockey, men’s swimming and baseball. In addition, she served as the senior sports editor for the 2008 calendar year and managing editor in 2009. Ratkowiak was awarded several scholarships for her writing prowess, including the Wasserstein Scholarship and the Ray O’Hara Sportswriting Scholarship. She also earned a Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award for sports news writing. In addition to her distinction as a reporter, Ratkowiak has excelled in the classroom, maintaining a 3.8 grade-point average in the Ross School of Business as a Leo Burnett and Carson Scholar. In addition to her involvement with the Michigan Daily, Ratkowiak was a member of the U-M Campus Band and the University Philharmonic Orchestra. Ratkowiak aspires to be a journalist or combine her degree in business with her zeal for sports with a career in sports marketing.
The Novi, Mich., native is the daughter of Maureen Johnston and Stephen Ratkowiak.
Reed began his tenure with the Big Ten in the service bureau in 1939. Promoted to assistant commissioner in 1951, he served in that capacity until being named the third Big Ten Conference commissioner in 1961. His term as commissioner lasted until 1971.