July 15, 2010
Following the conclusion of the 2009-10 academic year, the Big Ten Conference announced that 486 student-athletes have been selected as recipients of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award. The list features student-athletes from every institution and 32 different sports who have earned a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year.
In February of 2008, Big Ten Faculty Representatives established a conference academic recognition to supplement the Academic All-Big Ten program. Similar to the Academic All-Big Ten honor, Distinguished Scholar Award recipients must be letterwinners in at least their second academic year at their institution. However, the Distinguished Scholar Award encompasses only student-athletes with a minimum GPA of 3.7 or higher for the previous academic year, excluding summer school. The Academic All-Big Ten threshold is a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for a student-athlete’s academic career.
Many of the Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award winners received additional conference accolades throughout the academic year. Indiana’s Wendi Robinson, Michigan’s Angela Findlay and Phillip Goldberg, Penn State’s Ashley Griffith and Wisconsin’s Jack Bolas also earned the Big Ten Medal of Honor, which is given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. In addition, Indiana’s Sarah Pease, Northwestern’s Eric Metzler, Ohio State’s Hillary Dow and Purdue’s Kristen Arthurs were chosen among the 22 winners of the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award.
Distinguished Scholar Award honorees were also successful outside of the classroom, guiding their teams to 21 Big Ten Championships and five Big Ten Tournament titles during the 2009-10 season. Thirteen selections helped their teams to NCAA titles in Iowa wrestler Ethan Sebert, Michigan men’s gymnasts Benjamin Baldus-Strauss, Richard Caldwell, Devan Cote, Phillip Goldberg, Torrance Laury, Joseph Levine, Ian Makowske and Ryan McCarthy, Penn State fencers Daniel Bak, Robert MacClaren and Caitlin Vassoler and Purdue women’s golfer Thea Hoffmeister.
The 2009-10 class of Distinguished Scholar Award recipients includes 68 student-athletes who maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA during the previous academic term, including honorees from all 11 institutions. A complete list of the 2009-10 Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Award winners is attached as a PDF.