April 30, 2012

Trotter, Gregson awarded scholarships

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two Southern Illinois University Carbondale students earned scholarships recently at the 65th Annual Theta Xi Variety Show for their academic achievements and involvement in co-curricular activities.

Courtney M. Gregson of Red Bud is the recipient of the 2012 Leo Kaplan Scholarship Award while Makayla Trotter of Carbondale is the winner of the 2012 Service to Southern Award.

Trotter is the daughter of Bill Trotter of Macomb and Stephanie Trotter of Peoria and will graduate this spring with a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental resources.  She plans to continue in the master’s program at SIU Carbondale this fall. 

She has been very active on campus, serving on the Chancellor’s Strategic Planning Committee, on the Chancellor’s Sustainability Council, the Green Fund Committee, the College of Liberal Arts Council, and in a variety of registered student organizations.  She has held numerous leadership roles including president of the Geography Club, vice president of the French Club and the secretary of the Sustainability Council. 

Trotter participated in the University Honors Program, Saluki Scholars Research Opportunity, Research Rookies and the Study Abroad program.  She has secured more than $26,000 in grants as an undergraduate while earning academic honors as well.  She served an internship with the National Geographic Society, has been a youth leader and mentor at a local church and helped area non-profit environmental organizations.  She also represented the University at the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education’s international conference, presenting her sustainable dining research. 

The Service to Southern Scholarship Award is for $1,000.

Gregson is the daughter of Walter and Mary Gregson of Red Bud.  She is a junior biological sciences major focusing on biomedicine/pre-physician assistant.  She earned a variety of academic honors and has done job shadowing with a physician assistant and worked as a student secretary in the University’s procurement services office.  Her plans are to continue her schooling after earning her bachelor’s degree to become a certified physician assistant and she hopes to work near her rural hometown, helping people. 

In previous years, the Beta Delta Chapter of Theta Xi Fraternity presented the Leo Kaplan Memorial Scholarship each year to recognize an outstanding undergraduate biological sciences student and the Inter-Greek Council at SIU Carbondale continued the tradition by awarding a $500 scholarship to Gregson.  The late Leo Kaplan was a biology professor and Theta Xi faculty adviser.