A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Rathje has also excelled in the classroom to earn Big Ten Distinguished Scholar status the past three years. Rathje was a member of the Dean’s List for all seven semesters of her undergraduate career, finishing her marketing degree in three and a half years with a grade-point average of 3.84. The Mount Pleasant, Mich., native has since enrolled and is working toward a master’s degree in kinesiology with an expected graduation date May of 2012. Rathje was recently awarded Michigan State’s Champion in the Classroom Award for the spring semester as well as the school’s , and was named a third-team academic All-District in 2010. Rathje has earned the team’s top GPA award the past three seasons as both the Kirkby Scholar Athlete Award winner and by receiving the Top Scholar Athlete Award for the volleyball team at the Spartan Academic Excellence Gala.
Rathje is highly respected by her teammates and was recently named team captain for the 2011 season. She is also looked upon highly not just by the volleyball team and coaching staff, but all student-athletes at Michigan State, as she is a two-year member of the Michigan State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Rathje was MSU’s recipient of the Big Ten Sportsmanship Award in 2010.
In addition to athletic and academic success, Rathje demonstrates involvement in school/campus and community activities, as she was named MSU’s Dr. James Feurig Service and Achievement Award winner in 2011. Rathje is one of the most involved Michigan State student-athletes in the community. She has participated in several community-outreach activities, including working with the Spartan Buddy program at the pediatric ward at Sparrow Hospital, the EVE Charity Golf Outing to help raise money and awareness for the women’s shelter for victimized women and children and Chuck A Puck, which is a fundraiser for Children’s Cancer. She has also been volleyball’s team leader for Teams for Toys, in which the team adopts a family for the holidays.
On the court, Rathje has been one of the team’s consistent offensive forces throughout her career. In 2010, she led the team in hitting percentage with a .340 clip, a mark which ranked 70th nationally and fifth in the conference at the end of the regular season. Her team-high hitting mark ranks seventh all-time by a Spartan for a single season performance. In the last match of the season, Rathje became just the 17th Spartan to amass 1,000 kills when she recorded eight against Northwestern. At the end of her junior season, Rathje earned AVCA All-Mideast Region Honorable Mention honors as well unanimous first-team All-Big Ten honors. She was also named the team’s most valuable player.