Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Young Alumnus of the Year Award
Andrew W. Craig, Arts '09
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
As a junior economics major at Marquette, Drew heard a visiting human rights lawyer’s lecture about his work in the Middle East. Drew decided to abandon pre-med studies to prepare for a career in international humanitarian law.
“We have a moral responsibility to help people who are going through heinous experiences,” Drew told Marquette Magazine in 2016, in a story focusing on the frontlines of refugee rescue efforts on Lesvos, an island off the coast of Greece.
Drew ran cross country and track for Marquette and went on to earn his law degree from the University of Iowa. As a law student, he signed up to intern overseas in Ramallah, Palestine, for six months, initially representing Palestinian children arrested and detained in Israeli prisons for violations such as throwing stones. He also worked with the Al-Mustakbal Foundation for Strategic and Policy Studies and took a law class at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
Finishing law school in 2013, Drew flew back to Ramallah the day after being admitted to the Iowa Bar Association. After a time working on policy and regulatory issues, he was itching to get on the ground and help refugees face to face.
He connected with Lighthouse Relief and joined its Lesvos field operation, helping thousands of refugees fleeing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. They arrived daily via Turkey, where smugglers provided rubber dinghies and left them to fend for themselves on the Aegean Sea.
Drew and other emergency responders spent their days and nights pulling families out of the water after often harrowing journeys, and provided emergency first aid, dry clothing, shelter, food, information and transportation to a stage-two camp farther inland. Drew’s blog chronicled his experience for friends and family back in the states.
Today, Drew continues to find ways to help people in this conflicted region and works with the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Developmetn in Jordan, where he focuses on aid issues in Yemen.