Indiana State University Newsroom

Rudolphi recognized for academic achievements

April 23, 2008

An Indiana State University student-athlete who received considerable recognition for her achievements on the basketball court is also racking up awards for her academic accomplishments.

Laura Rudolphi has been named the College of Business Dean’s Honors Scholar for having the highest grade-point average in the college (3.98 on a 4.0 scale). She is a Distinguished Scholar in the college and has received the Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award, a collaborative effort between the Journal and participating colleges and universities to honor exceptional students. She was also named an honorary commissioner of insurance by the Indiana Department of Insurance.

“I am pleased to present these awards to Laura. While it was a thrill to watch her on the basketball court, it was even more thrilling for her professors to watch her perform in the classroom,â€Â said Nancy J. Merritt, dean of the ISU College of Business. “Laura has a bright future ahead of her and we expect her to be a true leader in the business world.â€Â

Rudolphi is also one of four Indiana State students selected for the Alan C. Rankin Memorial Distinguished Senior Award. The Rankin Award ��" named for the university’s seventh president, who served from 1965 to 1975 ��" recognizes graduating seniors who have contributed to the betterment of campus life and who have demonstrated dedicated membership and leadership ability in campus organizations and the community.

Earlier this year, she was one of 10 Missouri Valley Conference student-athletes to earn the State Farm Good Neighbor Award for her efforts in the classroom, on the court and in the community. She has also been a two-time All-MVC Scholar Athlete, and a two-time ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection.

“I am particularly proud of the Rankin Award,â€Â said Rudolphi, who will graduate from Indiana State on May 3 with a bachelor’s degree in insurance and risk management and a minor in operations management and analysis. “Knowing that only four graduating seniors receive the Rankin Award, it’s one of the highest awards that I have been able to earn.â€Â

“Laura approached learning with the same spirit that served her so well on the basketball court. In the classroom, her mission was to learn and build a knowledge base that will serve her and society once she enters her professional career. Having students like Laura is the best reward of teaching,â€Â said Terrie Troxel, associate professor of insurance and risk management and executive director of the Gongaware Center in the ISU College of Business.

“Rudy is simply the best of the best. We’ve had a number of very intelligent young ladies represent our program over the years, but Rudy is the most complete student-athlete I’ve ever had the pleasure of coaching,â€Â said Jim Wiedie, head women’s basketball coach at Indiana State. “We’re all extremely proud of Rudy and everything she’s accomplished on the court and in the classroom. She’s been an outstanding ambassador for our program and for Indiana State University.â€Â

“I have had the privilege of working with Laura on a group project in our operations management and analysis class this semester,â€Â said fellow business student Heather Lark. “She is a natural leader and a wonderful person to work with. I am glad that I had the opportunity to meet her and I am sure she will be successful in her future endeavors.â€Â

Rudolphi praised ISU business faculty members and her coaches, whom she said emphasized the importance of academics.

“All of the professors I’ve worked with have been outstanding. Their knowledge is tops ��" particularly in the insurance program, which is one of the best in the country. Getting to work with Dr. (Mary Ann) Boose and all the other esteemed professors has been a great privilege,â€Â she said. “While it has been hard work to balance academics and athletics, our coaches have helped by always stressing that academics comes first.â€Â

Rudolphi is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma business honorary society and is president of Indiana State’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as well as a member of The Valley’s SAAC.

Rudolphi has participated in the MVC’s State Farm “Just Readâ€Â program and has volunteered in the Wabash Valley with the Children’s Museum, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, St. Joseph’s University Parish, KidSmart, the Wabash Valley United Way Days of Caring and the ISU Insurance and Risk Management Oktoberfest Golf Outing.

A 2004 graduate of Carlyle (Ill.) High School, she is the daughter of Charles and Janet Rudolphi. She plans to continue her education this fall in the MBA program at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

Photo: Laura Rudolphi (left) poses with Nancy Merritt, dean of Indiana State University's College of Business, after receiving several awards during the college's 27th annual Honors Program.

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or