May 20, 2010
Nineteen named Presidential Scholars at SIUC
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The 19 graduating high school seniors selected as Southern Illinois University Carbondale Presidential Scholars share many of the same characteristics -- hard work, dedication, and determination in both the classroom and community.
An SIUC Presidential Scholar designation is a major achievement for these students. The competitive presidential scholarships cover tuition, fees, and room and board for four years at the University.
Each scholarship is awarded based on student-provided information, and include ACT or SAT scores and class rank at the time of admission. Potential candidates go through an interview process, and successful applicants have leadership roles in their community and give back to their schools and community. Successful applicants will be those viewed as becoming effective leaders both inside and outside the University classroom.
Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to attend the annual Presidential Scholarship Golf Scramble on Friday, May 21, at Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center. Lunch begins at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at noon. SIU President Glenn Poshard and previous Presidential Scholarship recipients will be available for interviews.
The late SIU President James E. Walker established the scholarships in 2001. The scholarships are the most prestigious and most comprehensive that the University awards each year.
The award is renewable for all four years as long as students maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average. The presidential scholarship is worth almost $80,000.
Scholarship winners, by hometown are:
Allen Robert Sean Foster, Anna-Jonesboro Community High School, is the son of Dale and Lori Foster. He is an Illinois State Scholar, member of the high honor roll and is in the top 10 in his class. He is a Rotary student of the month, a member of the Beta club, math team, Spanish club and Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society. He captained the high school’s soccer team this year, and is a tutor. He plans to major in elementary education with a specialization in math education.
John Curtis Edgar, Trico High School, is the son of Doug and Nancy Edgar. He has been heavily involved throughout high school with FFA, Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE), and Future Business Leaders of America. He was junior class vice president and involved with the school’s performing arts program the last two years. He was a John A. Logan College “Top 6 Juniors” Award recipient, a two-year FFA section president, delegate to the FFA National Convention as a senior, and a state FFA delegate the past three years. He plans to major in plant and soil sciences.
Bradley Horton, Belleville Township High School West, is the son of Terry and Deborah Horton. He is a member of the National Honor Society, a premier Boys’ State delegate, and a WYSE state finalist. A member of the distinguished scholars program, he is also active in the school’s marching, jazz, concert, symphonic and pep bands, the Scholar Bowl team, along with wrestling, soccer and boys volleyball squads. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Lauren Hilmes, Carlyle High School, is the daughter of Larry and Marla Hilmes. She is an Illinois State Scholar, received an Illinois High School Association Scholastic Achievement Award, and earned high honors. She made the Kaskaskia College President’s List for part-time students, earned a Universal Cheerleading Association All-American Award, and was an Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association finalist. She was active as a varsity football and basketball cheerleader, FBLA, National Honor Society, student council, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, WYSE, Spanish club, science club, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She plans to major in pre-medicine/physiology.
Rebekah Durig, Illinois Valley Central High School, is the daughter of Darrell and Beth Durig. She is a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, and an Illinois Music Educators Association All-State musician. She was active in band, Scholar Bowl, the school’s recycling club, and her church. She plans to major in architecture.
Cheyenne Adams, El Paso-Gridley High School, is the daughter of Tom Adams of Kappa, Ill., and Jeannie Adams of El Paso, Ill. She is an Illinois State Scholar and high honor roll member. She participated in school plays and was a member of the marching band, track, Key club, and Mu Alpha Theta. She participated in an internship at the El Paso Journal and was student editor, along with a junior zookeeper at Miller Park Zoo. She plans to major in journalism-news editorial.
Austen Knapp, Eureka High School, is the daughter of Mark and Patti Knapp. The school’s 2010 class valedictorian, she is a member of the National Honor Society, and a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, and a member of the WYSE team and science club. She was on the school’s honor roll all four years and the Illinois Central College President’s Honor List. She also was named the high school’s government and law student of the year and anatomy and physiology student of the year. A four-year varsity starter in softball, she also was a volunteer assistant coach for the middle school softball team. She plans to major in pre-medicine/biology.
Jonathan Dierkes, Breese Central Community High School, is the son of Ted and Angela Dierkes. He is a member of the National Honor Society, an Illinois State Scholar, a national high school football “Rudy Award” semifinalist, and a member of the high honor roll. He was captain of the school’s football team, played baseball, was student council president, and a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He plans to major in history and then attend law school.
Jessica Cogdill, Herrin High School, is the daughter of Chris and Lori Cogdill. She is an Illinois State Scholar, and Illinois Principals Association school citizen award recipient. She is president of the National Honor Society, senior class vice president, and executive student council treasurer. She is an ALPHA peer leader, member of the high school math team, and involved with WSYE. She is a member of the golf team, manager of the boys golf team, a Lifesaver, and Miss HHS nominee. She plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Evan Daigle, Litchfield High School, is the son of Joseph and Krista Daigle. He is a member of the National Honor Society, high honor role member, and is a two-time all-state Scholar Bowl selection. He is captain of the school’s Scholar Bowl team and student council vice president. He is also member of the drama club. He plans to major in electrical engineering.
Tayler D. Hill, Marion High School, is the daughter of Tony B. Hill. She is an Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society president. She is on the school’s math honor society, the math club and science club, and Scholar Bowl team, and the school’s ALPHA peer leadership group. She is also a member of the school’s WYSE team. She plans to major in chemistry.
Haley Smothers, Marion High School, is the daughter of Greg and Linda Smothers. She is a member of the National Honor Society, along with Latin, math, and Mu Alpha Theta honor societies. She is involved with WYSE, the science club, the high school’s Hope Foundation, and the high school soccer team, where she earned the 2009 Wildcat Award and was a second-team all-conference selection in 2009. She is also involved in horseback riding. She plans to major in animal science.
Kisha Williams, Rock Island High School, is the granddaughter of Clarice Williams. She is an Illinois State Scholar, and a member of the National Honor Society and National Society of High School Scholars. She is a member of various organization in the school, including Spanish club, science club, environmental action club, and Key club. She plans to major in biology.
Taryn Fischer, Monticello High School, is the daughter of Russ and Marty Fischer. She is an Illinois State Scholar, and a member of both the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. She ranked eighth in her class of 114 students, and is a four-year member of the school’s Spanish, art, and thespian clubs. She also is involved with student government and freshman mentoring. She plans to major in engineering.
Alicia Camille Sheldon, Mount Vernon Township High School, is the daughter of Tami Lovin and the late Tom Sheldon. She is an Illinois State Scholar, an Elks National Most Valuable Student recipient, and earned student of the year recognition as a sophomore and junior. She placed on the school’s honor roll every quarter and earned first-place awards in IHSA speech competitions in radio speaking in tournaments in Benton and East St. Louis. A junior Sweetheart Queen, she is senior class treasurer, speech team captain, and student council executive secretary. She is also editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper and school yearbook copy editor. She is also a member of the French Club and thespian society. She plans to major in radio-television.
Taylor Bryant, Murphysboro High School, is the daughter of Tim and Jane Bryant. She is an Illinois State Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society, and earned high honors all four years in high school. She is a member of the school’s Scholar Bowl team, Beta club, Scholastic Hi-Q, and is the editor of the school’s newspaper. She plans to major in English education.
Garrett Burroughs, Murphysboro High School, is the son of Steve and Debbie Burroughs. He is a member of the National Honor Society and a high honor roll member. He earned a John A. Logan College “Top 6 Juniors” Award, and a member of the Key club and Beta club. He is also involved in golf and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Bhavya Thota, Naperville North High School, is the daughter of Venkata and Radharama Thota. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Society of High School Scholars, and is recognized as a scholar by the Illinois General Assembly. She finished eighth in the National Vocabulary Bee. She is a member of her school’s speech team, French club, Key club, and Earth club, helped her student council, and participated in a Bollywood dance group. She plans to major in biology.
Krista Michaela Burris, Springfield Lanphier High School, is the daughter of Francis and Lisa Burris. She is an Illinois State Scholar and three-time Urban League Outstanding Academic Achievement Award recipient. She is a U.S. Achievement Academy mathematics award and NAACP Youth Award recipient. She is a vice president of the school’s student government association, bank, junior engineers technical society, and varsity cheerleading captain. She is president of the Baptist Youth Fellowship and a Fellowship of Christian Athletes member. She plans to major in mass communications and media arts.