March 3, 2009
Drew Ratner, a soccer player from Northwestern University, and Lauren Mioton, a basketball player from Purdue University, are the 2009 recipients of the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award presented 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.
In recognition of the Big Ten’s leadership in fully integrating athletics into the academic mission of its member institutions, the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership initiated the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award in 2008 to complement the Big Ten Basketball Tournaments in Indianapolis. Each Big Ten institution was asked to nominate one male and one female student-athlete and for 2009, each award is $5,000. Ratner and Mioton will be honored during a presentation at halftime of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinal game on Friday, March 13 at 6:30 p.m.
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.
“We congratulate Drew Ratner and Lauren Mioton for earning the 2009 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “Former Commissioner Wayne Duke placed great emphasis on athletic and academic success, civic service and leadership – principles that remain a focus for the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions. Drew and Lauren embody these values and are fitting honorees. We would also like to thank the Indianapolis Big Ten Community Partnership for continuing to recognize the efforts of Big Ten student-athletes.”
“Drew and Lauren are incredible examples of the commitment and talent exemplified in Big Ten student-athletes,” said Jerry Semler of the Indianapolis Local Organizing Committee. “The Wayne Duke Award appropriately recognizes these two student-athletes for their accomplishments and future aspirations, and we are pleased to present these awards and look forward to recognizing student-athletes for years to come. These awards are made possible through a tremendous amount of community support and we thank those who have made contributions.”
Ratner graduated from Northwestern University this past December with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. He has been accepted into a combined M.D/M.B.A. program to pursue a career in medicine. Over the years, Ratner served as peer mentor for a fourth grade class at Willard Elementary School and coached multiple free soccer camps for underprivileged children in Evanston, Illinois. He was also a research assistant in a psychology lab for two academic terms.
Ratner was a starter on a defense that ranked sixth in the country with a 0.55 goals-against average in 2008 and a team that made its second appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals in the past three years—one of just three teams in the country to do so. Northwestern was ranked as high as No. 2 in the country during the 2008 season, which is the highest ranking in program history, and finished the season ranked No. 7 nationally. Ratner was a three-time Defensive Team MVP and was named second-team All-Big Ten. He was also named co-captain of the Northwestern soccer team for two consecutive years. Ratner was an ESPN The Magazine Second-Team Academic All-American this past season and an Academic All-Big Ten performer for three consecutive years.
Mioton is an honors biology student with a minor in Spanish and plans on entering medical school in August of 2009. Her aspiration is to become a clinical physician working in underprivileged communities. Mioton would also like to spend a portion of each year working internationally in countries with inadequate health care services.
Mioton is a two-time team co-captain. As the creator and editor of the “Live to Eat Cookbook”, she raised $8,200 supporting the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation’s “Save our COAST” campaign in New Orleans, her hometown. She served as an undergraduate research lab assistant for a neurobiology laboratory for two years.
She is a member of several honor societies and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, a National Honor Society that requires a 3.96 GPA just to be considered for membership. She was also awarded the Ruth Jones Memorial Award, an award given out by the head coach that recognizes hard work and dedication, and the Durham Brothers Leadership Award, an award presented to student-athletes who have exemplified leadership to their teammates both on and off the playing field. In 2008, Mioton was named Purdue’s Homecoming Queen and was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist. Mioton was also the only female among the five collegiate finalists for the Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup Award. She was recently named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District second team.
The Wayne Duke Postgraduate 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 the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association.
Legendary Conseco Fieldhouse will host both the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments through 2012. All-session and single-session tickets to the Big Ten Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournaments can be purchased through the Conseco Fieldhouse box office and all Ticketmaster outlets, including www.ticketmaster.com.