24 students named Chancellor Academic Scholars

24 students named Chancellor Academic Scholars

May 17, 2012

By Pete Rosenbery

 

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Exceptional efforts in the classroom and their communities are among the characteristics of each of the 24 graduating high school seniors selected as Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor Academic Scholars.

The Chancellor Academic Scholar designation is a major achievement for these students.  The competitive scholarships, the most prestigious and most comprehensive that the University awards each year, cover tuition, fees, and room and board for four years at the University.

Each scholarship is based on information that includes ACT or SAT scores and class rank provided at the time of admission.  Candidates also go through an interview process.  The applicants show leadership roles in their community and participate in numerous activities. Successful applicants will be those viewed as becoming effective leaders who will continue to excel in the classroom along with showing exceptional leadership skills both on campus and throughout the community.

There were almost 250 applications received, with 100 scholarship semifinalists invited to interviews in February.



Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend the annual SIU Carbondale Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship Golf Outing on Friday, May 18, at Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center. Chancellor Rita Cheng and previous and new scholarship recipients will be available for interviews.  Lunch begins at 11 a.m. with a noon shotgun start for the scramble.


The award is renewable for all four years as long as students maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.  The scholarship is worth approximately $80,000.

The award recipients provide the biographical information.  Scholarship winners, by hometown are:

Illinois

Alton

Eric’el Johnson, Alton High School, is the daughter of Heather Campbell Johnson.  She is an Illinois State Scholar, member of the National Honor Society, president of the school’s Minority Excellence Club, and vice president of the school’s Power of Peers leadership group.  She earned Rotary Student of the Month honors, and is a Yale Book Club Award and Young Achievers Award recipient.  She plans to major in engineering.

Belleville

Austin Pavlak, Belleville West High School, is the son of Thomas and Christine Pavlak.  He is an Illinois State Scholar, member of the National Honor Society, participated in Boys’ State, and is an Eagle Scout.  He is also a Young Achiever of the Year recipient. A scholar athlete, Pavlak was the boys volleyball team captain and an all-conference boys volleyball team selection.  He plans to major in engineering.

Carbondale

Kaid Koester, Carbondale Community High School, is the son of Dan and Lori Koester of Carbondale and Rebecca and Greg Mitchell of Findlay.  He is a member of the National Honor Society, an all-state academic team selection, and member of the student council and the school’s newspaper staff. He is an all-state selection in football, and a state qualifier in the discus in track.  He plans to major in civil engineering.

Carterville

Sidney Brothers, Carterville High School, is the daughter of Bob and Amy Brothers.  She is an Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, a 2012 Carterville High School Wendy’s High School Heisman Award recipient, and a Prairie State Achievement Award winner in mathematics and writing.  She is also a member of the National Beta Club, FCA, student government, and played varsity basketball.  She plans to major in pre-physical therapy.

Carterville

Morgan Dillard, Carterville High School, is the daughter of Brad and Kathy Dillard.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, student government, Beta Club, and is senior class president.  She is a member of Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE), where she was the top individual scorer in regional competition with a first place in biology and third place in English.  She is also involved with the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Operation Teen Safe Driving, and a member of the Carterville Marching Lions band.  She is also involved with the Heartland River Band, River-to-River Band, and “Southern Illinois Kids Got Talent” variety show.  She was also the 2011 Homecoming queen.  She plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Carterville

 Blake Christopher Jerrells, Carterville High School, is the son of Aaron and Heather Jerrells.  He is an Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and a high honors student.  He is also a Prairie State Scholar in reading, science and writing.  He is involved with the Beta Club and played football, basketball and track.  He plans to major in computer engineering.

Columbia

Daniel Schmidt, Columbia High School, is the son of Tom and Jenny Schmidt.  He is an Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and Key Club.  He earned a Sophia and Elmer Oerter Scholarship.  His numerous high school activities include scholar bowl, Beta club, chess club, dance club, Key Club, and Spanish club.  He plans to major in equine science.

Cowden

Brittany Travis, Cowden-Herrick High School, is the daughter of Rick and Kim Travis.  She is a member of the National Honor Society, student council, and is class vice president.  She is on the honor roll, and participated in WYSE, scholastic bowl, foreign language club, yearbook, volleyball and cheerleading.  She plans to major in business.

Farmer City

James Tobin, Blue Ridge High School, is the son of Paul and Peggy Tobin.  He is an Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and school valedictorian. A member of the student council and Key Club, Tobin is the Illinois FFA vice president, and District IV FFA Star in Agribusiness.  He plans to major in agricultural education.

Herrin

Elizabeth Gillespie, Herrin High School, is the daughter of Kevin and Eleanor Gillespie.  She is an Illinois State Scholar, member of the National Honor Society, and a school ambassador for the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership (HOBY) service organization.  Among other activities Gillespie is a member of the WYSE team, FBLA, the school’s math and scholar bowl teams, yearbook editor, and track team.  She plans to major in business and interior design.

Heyworth

Cameron Stengel, Heyworth High School, is the son of Chad and Jacque Stengel.  He is an Illinois State Scholar, a member of the National Honor Society, and is on his school’s high honor roll.  He is a member of his school’s WYSE team, and Spanish club, and participated in the 4-H program.  He played football throughout high school, and participated in the school’s basketball, track and baseball teams.  He plans to major in pre-medicine.

Jacksonville

Taylor Ingram, Jacksonville High School, is the daughter of Kelly and Michelle Ingram.  She is a National Honor Society member, and member of the National Art Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, and National English Honor Society.  She is involved with the school’s scholastic bowl team, the school newspaper, participated in cross country, and the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.  She plans to major in journalism.

Jacksonville

Holden Jones, Jacksonville High School, is the son of Terry and Marcy Jones.  He is an Illinois State Scholar, member of the National Honor Society, and two-time President’s Volunteer Award recipient.  He is the school’s student government president, National English Honor Society treasurer, and involved with the National Art Honor Society, science and geography clubs, speech team, and student director of the freshman mentor program.  He is founder and president of the school’s film club, and involved in school plays, band and choirs.  He is also involved with numerous activities at his church.  He plans to major in cinema.

Makanda

Steven Michael Blair, Carbondale Community High School, is the son of Michael and Karla Blair.  He is a National Merit Finalist, Illinois State Scholar, member of the National Honor Society, WYSE, and the school’s math team. He earned second in technology concepts in the FBLA national competition; was part of a team that was first in the St. Louis VEX Robotics Competition, and fourth in computer science in the WYSE state competition. He is a featured soloist with the high school marching band, and participates with the concert and jazz bands.   He plans to study electrical and computer engineering.

Marion

Dylan Carrico, Marion High School, is the son of Jeff and Amy Carrico.  He is member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, and National Society of High School Scholar.  Among Carrico’s activities, he is president of the school’s Spanish club, scholar bowl captain, and FBLA member.  A 2009 Illinois Youth Volunteer of the Year, he is an active volunteer at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Marion VA Medical Center. He is a 2012 President’s Volunteer Service Award recipient.  He played football, and was active in his church youth group.  He plans to major in business and pre-law.

Murphysboro

Christopher Wheetley, Agape Christian High School, is the son of Karen Wheetley.  He is a member of the school’s student council, math team, Beta Club, and choir.  He participated in junior varsity and varsity basketball.  He plans to major in political science and speech communication.

Rockton

Tanner Rehnberg, Hononegah High School, is the son of Michael and Susanne Rehnberg.  An honor roll student each semester in high school, he is an Illinois State Scholar, two-time National Honor Society recipient, and two-time Advanced Placement Scholar.  An accomplished baseball and basketball player, Rehnberg was a first-team all-conference baseball selection.   He plans to major in biological sciences.

Roscoe

Rachel Slick, Hononegah High School, is the daughter of John and Jodie Slick.  An Illinois State Scholar and member of the National Honor Society, she is a Chicago Tribune Illinois High School All-State Academic Team finalist, and was in the top 15 percent nationwide on the national Spanish exam.  She is part of the Hononegah Gifted and Talented Program, along with an Illinois All-State musician.  She played three years of high school varsity soccer.  She plans to major in Spanish.

South Beloit

Meagan Rottman, South Beloit High School, is the daughter of Ed and April Rottman.  An Illinois State Scholar, she is captain of the school’s scholastic bowl sectional squad, and two-time scholastic bowl MVP.  She is a member of the student council, a student ambassador at her school, captain of the volleyball team, and participates in track and softball.  She plans to major in civil engineering.

Sterling

Sawyer David Schrader, Sterling High School, is the son of Robert and Sheila Schrader.  An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, he earned academic all-conference honors in golf and tennis, and is a member of the science club, Explorers, and Service Learning.  He is also a member of his school’s peer jury, and is an all-conference selection in golf and tennis.  He plans to major in mechanical engineering.

Vandalia

Zach Ehrat, Vandalia Community High School, is the son of Todd and Kathy Ehrat.  An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, he ranks in the top 10 in his graduating class.  He is involved in his school’s scholar bowl, along with math and science clubs.  He plans to major in cinema and photography.

Zion

Mustafa “M.J.” Abdullah, Jr., New Tech High at Zion-Benton East High School, is the son of Mustafa Abdullah, Sr. of North Chicago and Sharrie King of Zion.  An Illinois State Scholar and member of the National Honor Society, he was the Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB) National High School Student of the Year for 2010-2011, and vice president of The Brotherhood of Extraordinary Young Men at his school.  He plans to major in business.

Indiana

Evansville

Liz Biever, Kolbe Academy, is the daughter of Richard and Mary Biever.  She is president of the Vanderburgh County, Ind., FFA chapter, president of the Energetics and Tech 4-H Clubs, and one of two delegates from Indiana selected for the National 4-H Conference in Washington, D.C.  She plays first violin strings ensemble for school, and is an Indiana State Fair 4-H demonstration contest champion in the natural resources division, and attained master gardener status with the Purdue University Master Gardener program.  She plans to study agriculture and agribusiness economics.

Tennessee

Memphis

ShaKyla McBee, White Station High School, is the daughter of Charley Mae McBee.  She is a National Honor Society member and a Coca-Cola Scholars semifinalist, and a Ventures scholar. Her numerous school activities include being a member of the student council, Latin Club, and choral group. She plans to major in physiology with a minor in Africana Studies.

E. Johnson

Eric'el Johnson  
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Austin Pavlak

Austin Pavlak  
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Kaid Koester

Kaid Koester  
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Sidney Brothers

Sidney Brothers  
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Morgan Dillard

Morgan Dillard  
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Blake Jerrells

Blake Christopher Jerrells  
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Daniel Schmidt

Daniel Schmidt  
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Brittany Travis

Brittany Travis  
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James Tobin

James Tobin  
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Elizabeth Gillespie

Elizabeth Gillespie  
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Cameron Stengel

Cameron Stengel  
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Taylor Ingram

Taylor Ingram  
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Holden Jones

Holden Jones  
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Steven Blair

Steven Michael Blair  
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Dylan Carrico

Dylan Carrico  
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Christopher Wheetley

Christopher Wheetley  
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Tanner Rehnberg

Tanner Rehnberg  
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Rachel Slick

Rachel Slick  
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Meagan Rottman

Meagan Rottman  
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Sawyer Schrader

Sawyer David Schrader  
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Zachary Ehrat

Zach Ehrat  
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Mustafa Abdulla

Mustafa "M.J." Abdullah, Jr.  
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Elizabeth Biever

Liz Biever  
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ShaKyla McBee

ShaKyla McBee  
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