Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Two Huskers Honored by Big Ten

By NU Athletic Communications

Two student-athletes from the University of Nebraska – Katelyn White and Sean Fisher – have been 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.

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. Each Big Ten institution was asked to nominate one male and one female student-athlete for 2013, with a $10,000 scholarship awarded to each winner.

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.

White, a women’s cross country and track and field runner, is completing her nutrition science degree at the University of Nebraska and expects to graduate in May. With a 4.0 GPA and numerous academic accolades, she intends to continue her education to become a physical therapist.

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.

Fisher is completing his business administration degree at the University of Nebraska and expects to graduate in May. With a 4.0 GPA and a number of academic honors, he intends to pursue his education in medical school.

Fisher, a football student-athlete, is a multiple recipient of Academic All-Big Ten honors and Big Ten Distinguished Scholar Awards. He was also named to the Capital One Academic All-District and All-American teams. On the field, Fisher was named to the National All-Freshman Football Team in 2009.

Fisher extends his impact outside of academics and the football field through participating in a variety of community service activities. He gives of his time as a guest speaker to local elementary schools, special needs children, and patients at nearby hospitals. Fisher also read to elementary school students, participated in 5k fundraisers, and packaged meals for a distribution center to give to those in impoverished areas.

White and Fisher will be honored during the 42nd Annual Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon on Thursday, July 25, 2013 in Chicago. 

2013 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award Nominees:
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 Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award Recipients:

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

About the Big Ten: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in student-athletes’ lives and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based athletic programs of the 12 Big Ten institutions sponsor more than 300 teams competing for championships in 25 official conference sports, 12 for men and 13 for women. Big Ten universities provide in excess of $136 million in athletic scholarship aid to more than 8,200 men and women student-athletes, the most of any conference. For more information, visit

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