mehta.jpgNorthwestern junior and women's soccer co-captain Nandi Mehta has been selected as one of three current and former student-athletes to serve as representatives of the Big Ten’s nearly 9,500 student-athletes as part of the NCAA’s new Division I autonomy governance structure.

"These three individuals are quality representatives of their respective institutions and embody the true essence of being a student-athlete," University of Iowa President and Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors Chair Sally Mason said. "We are proud of their commitment to representing all of the student-athletes across the conference."

Mehta was a co-captain of the 2014 Wildcats women’s soccer team that finished the season on a 5-1-2 run that included an upset of the nation’s No. 6 team in the Big Ten Tournament. She is majoring in economics and international studies while pursuing a certificate in managerial analytics from the Kellogg School of Management. She is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree, and she has been selected as a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.

Mehta, who grew up in Lexington, Mass., was named one of five recipients of the 2014 NU For Life Kabiller Memorial Award for Excellence in Character, Commitment and Community. NU for Life is a Northwestern Athletics initiative that helps student-athletes transition from college to the professional world. She has also dedicated countless hours to the Evanston and Chicago communities through events including Dance Marathon, Breaststroke For Breast Cancer, Field Day and youth clinics.

Mehta will be joined in representing the Big Ten by former Minnesota football student-athlete Chris Hawthorn and Purdue men’s golf senior Ben-Marvin Egel.

Mehta, Hawthorne and Egel will hold voting power on proposed governance rule changes and will represent the conference’s student-athletes as part of the NCAA’s mission to “engage and empower student-athletes by giving them both a voice and vote within a transparent decision-making process.”

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted last August to restructure how schools and conferences govern themselves, paving the way for student-athletes to have a voice and a vote at every level of decision-making.

The new model grants flexibility to schools in the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern conferences to change rules for themselves in a list of specific areas within Division I. The legislative process for these 65 schools includes the three student-athlete representatives from each conference who will vote on rule changes.

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