June 29, 2007

Inspiring Women's Program to honor six students

by Greg Scott


CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Inspiring Women's Program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale is recognizing six students for their academic achievement, leadership, extracurricular contributions and community service. The recipients will be honored during the Inspiring Women's Gala Event on Saturday, Oct. 13, in the SIUC Student Center Ballrooms and International Lounge.

This year's Inspiring Women's Scholarship honorees are Natalie Elise McLean of Anna, Michelle Rene Restivo of Energy, Samantha Marie Simpson of Carterville, and Danielle Ann Spratt of Oregon. Also, Jordana Janelle Pulliam of Harrisburg and Jennifer Diane Tanner of Marion will receive the Margaret H. Steele Memorial Scholarship.

The Inspiring Women scholarship, valued at $5,000 for the academic year, is awarded to incoming freshmen. Applicants must earn an ACT composite score of at least 24, rank in the top 25 percent of their graduating class, and demonstrate involvement in extracurricular activities during high school.

The Margaret H. Steele Scholarship Endowment awards $2,000 for the academic year to an incoming SIUC student transferring from a community college and majoring in elementary education. Recipients must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Jack Steele of Royalton established the scholarship endowment in memory of his wife, Margaret, who was a long-time elementary school educator in Southern Illinois.

Both scholarships are renewable for one additional year, provided that the recipients maintain full-time enrollment at SIUC, possess a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 and continue demonstrating University and/or community involvement.

Here is a closer look at this year's scholarship recipients:

• McLean, a junior majoring in English, is also a recipient of the University's Provost Scholarship, valued at $8,000 over two years. The Anna native was a Dean's List student throughout the 2006-2007 academic year at SIUC. A state scholar in high school, McLean earned the Salutatorian Scholarship and was honored by "Who's Who Among American High School Students" for her academic and athletic prowess. She competed on the track and cross-country teams at Anna-Jonesboro High School.

McLean served on the yearbook staff, and was a member of the Spanish club, church choir, and Mu Alpha Theta. She has been a volunteer assistant coach for the Anna Blue Dolphins, a summer league swim team. Her community service includes campus cleanup at the high school, Christmas caroling, and various food and clothing drives for Bethany Village and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. She is a tutor for the Adult Literacy Program at John A. Logan College.

• Pulliam, who transferred to SIUC from Southeastern Illinois College in Harrisburg, has served on the Leadership Council and was student leader in the College of Education and Human Services last fall. A Dean's List student throughout her first year at SIUC, Pulliam will be student leader president of her college this fall. In addition, Pulliam was nominated to Kappa Delta Pi, Pi Lambda Theta, and is a member of the Elementary Education Student Organization. She received the Dean's Scholar Award in April and was a Partners in Reading volunteer at the Carbondale Public Library last fall.

Pulliam also earned the $2,000 SIUC Illinois Community College Scholarship, and the $1,000 SIUC Academic Scholarship. At Southeastern, Pulliam received President's List honors every semester. She also earned the SIC Student Ambassador Scholarship, Coca-Cola Two-Year College Scholar honors, the Harry Abell Memorial Scholarship, and the Saline Association for Retarded Citizens Elementary Education Scholarship. She has served as president of Phi Theta Kappa, SIC Student Trustee, and Student Government Executive Board Member.

In addition, Pulliam received numerous honors at Harrisburg High School. A former student body president, Pulliam earned National Honor Society accolades, including the organization's leadership award, and was named most valuable member of the school's student council. Her community efforts include participating in the American Heart Walk and American Red Cross blood drives.

• Restivo, a Presidential Scholarship recipient at Southern, was an Illinois State Scholar at Herrin High School and valedictorian of her graduating class. The SIUC communications major was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" and Ms. HHS by her peers, and chosen by her teachers for the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award. An accomplished athlete who competed in four sports, Restivo became the first female in Herrin High School history to qualify for the IHSA State Golf Tournament and received Most Valuable Female Golf Athlete honors. She was also nominated for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award and received IHSA All-Academic team honorable mention accolades.

She served as president of the National Honor Society and president of her graduating class. Restivo's volunteer efforts include bell ringing for Salvation Army, working at Santa House and volunteering at the Herrin mayor's Thanksgiving dinner.

• Simpson, an Illinois State Scholar and Prairie State Scholar, is majoring in electrical engineering at SIUC and plans on performing as a member of the Marching Salukis. The Carterville native is a recipient of the SIUC Chancellor's Scholarship and Salutatorian Scholarship. In addition to being an honor roll student throughout her high school career, she was a member of the IMEA All-State Band and Heartland Honor Band.

In addition to being a section leader in the marching band, Simpson earned National Honor Society honors, served as secretary of the Future Business Leaders of America, treasurer of Interact, and was a member of a church youth group and Girl Scouts.

Simpson has also received the College of Engineering General Scholarship.

• Spratt, a psychology major, is a Provost Scholar and Dean's List student at SIUC. A tour guide on campus, Spratt is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and was recognized by the Honors Program.

An Illinois State Scholar in high school, she was also a National Honor Society member and representative for the Illinois Senate High School Principal's Leadership Conference in December 2005. A high honor roll recipient all four years of high school, she received Senior of Distinction accolades. She was a representative for the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference and was nominated to attend both the National Youth Forum on Medicine and Law.

Spratt was a member of Student Council throughout her high school career, and served as second vice president. She competed on the basketball, track and cross country teams. Her community service included raising $500 for the American Red Cross, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, assisting the American Red Cross Blood Drive, and raising money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

• Tanner has also received the George D. and Edith Wham Education Scholarship, SIUC Illinois Community College Scholarship and SIUC Academic Scholarship for Transfer Students. She was a President's List honoree throughout her tenure at John A. Logan College. The Marion native also received National Dean's List accolades and was listed in Who's Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges. She received the Presidential Scholar Award, Student Achievement Award, Change Makes a Difference Scholarship, and was a Phi Theta Kappa honor society member.

She served as secretary of the American Sign Language Club at John A. Logan and student representative of the Little Egypt Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Tanner has been an interpreter of children's books for hearing-impaired children and active in her church as a Vacation Bible School song leader. Her additional community service includes being a regular blood donor for the American Red Cross, and serving as a volunteer for Hour Famine, an organization dedicated to raising funds to end world hunger.