August 25, 2014
SIU names 2014 Chancellor’s Academic Scholars
CARBONDALE, Ill. – Exceptional efforts in the classroom and in their communities are among the qualities of each of this year’s Southern Illinois University Carbondale students named Chancellor’s Academic Scholars.
The Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship, SIU’s most prestigious award, is a significant achievement for the students as it covers tuition, fees and room and board for four years.
More than 560 students participated in the Chancellor’s and University Excellence Scholarship Interview Weekend, Feb. 7-8, vying for the competitive scholarships. Each scholarship is based on information that includes the students’ ACT or SAT scores and the students’ academic credentials submitted at the time of admission along with personal interviews. The applicants also show leadership roles in their community and participate in numerous activities.
The award is renewable for four years, contingent upon the students maintaining a 3.0 or higher GPA.
The Chancellor’s Academic Scholarship Golf Outing is Sept. 5 at Hickory Ridge Public Golf Center in Carbondale. The event, which serves as a fundraiser for the prestigious scholarships, begins with registration at 8:15 a.m. and a 9 a.m. shotgun start.
Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela, along with previous and new scholarship recipients, will attend. For more information, call 618/453-7424. Online registration is available at siuf.org/events/chancellorgolf14.
Winners of the 2014 scholarships, listed by hometown, along with the biographical information they provide, are:
Cody Johnson, Abingdon-Avon High School, is the son of Teresa Johnson. A National Honor Society member, he also earned a Presidential Service Award and participated in Key Club and the FIRST robotics competition. He was also in cross-country. He plans to major in mechanical engineering.
Aaron Goeckner, Altamont Community High School, is the son of Sharon and Dean Goeckner. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, he was active in FFA, Spanish club, band, and the library and pep clubs. He also participated in baseball, basketball and track. He earned a Millroad Threshermen’s Scholarship. Goeckner plans to major in finance.
Kevin Isaiah Jenkins, Belleville East High School, is the son of Christina Gotay of Belleville and Kevin D. Jenkins of San Antonio, Texas. A member of the National Honor Society and Math Honor Society, Jenkins graduated in the top 10 percent of his class and was the 2014 Scott Air Force Base Youth of the Year. He was involved in a variety of community activities including the Scott Air Force Base’s Keystone teen leadership, along with coaching youth soccer and basketball. He plans to major in civil engineering.
Jared Nicholas, Olympia High School in Stanford, is the son of Kathleen and Mark Nicholas. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, Nicholas was class valedictorian. While in school, he was in the student council, along with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) club, Key Club, drama club, speech team, marching band and chamber choir. Nicholas was also involved with the school’s competitive speech team, yearbook staff and freshman mentor program. He also earned departmental awards in English, German, science and social studies. Nicholas plans to major in accounting and German studies.
Alaina Boudreau, Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, is the daughter of Kellie Lafevor of Kankakee and Jeff Boudreau of Bradley. A National Honor Society member and Illinois State Scholar, Boudreau also earned a Martin Luther King Scholarship. She was president of her school’s French Club, secretary for Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), played in the school’s symphonic and marching bands, was involved with the drama club and captain of the girls’ track and field team. Boudreau plans to major in journalism with a specialization in advertising.
Jordan Gaston, Carterville High School, is the daughter of Raeona McCalla. A National Honor Society member, Gaston was involved in several organizations including student council, Beta club, LifeSavers, the Spanish foreign language club and freshman focus. She also played basketball and volleyball. She plans to major in biological sciences.
Courtney Kinnard, Carterville High School, is the daughter of Melissa and Darren Kinnard. A National Merit Scholar finalist and Illinois State Scholar, Kinnard was also a National Honor Society member and class valedictorian. She was an all-state band selection and member of the high school band and several other student clubs, including scholastic bowl, LifeSavers, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Beta club, Interact club and Rocketry club. She plans to major in computer science.
Anna Spoerre, Carterville High School, is the daughter of Julie Dunston of Murphysboro and Gary Spoerre of Carterville. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, Spoerre earned a silver key for a personal narrative in the Scholastic Writing Competition. She was a competitor in the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) state competition, a member of the scholar bowl, Beta club, and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). She was also a member of the school’s Interact club, Spanish foreign language club and a trumpet player in the school’s concert, marching, pep, and pit orchestra bands. She earned multiple awards for her writing, and was editor of the school’s newspaper. Spoerre was an all-conference runner in cross-country and track. She plans to major in English and journalism.
Maritza Martinez, Hubbard High School, is the daughter of Silvia and Roque Martinez. An Illinois State Scholar, Martinez was a top 10 senior student in her class, and the Horatio Alger Association Illinois State Scholar and the 2014 Activ8 Scholarship first-place recipient. She accumulated more than 200 service-learning hours in 2013, volunteering with several community organizations. Her many efforts included participating in a senior mentors club and senior girls’ council; working as a volunteer in a Chicago Public Library summer reading program for three years and as an intern in the library’s “Rham’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge Explore and Roar.” She also participated in a Thanksgiving Day food drive last year. She plans to major in psychology and Spanish.
Ellen Lechman, Effingham High School, is the daughter of Michael Lechman and the late Mollie Lechman. The class valedictorian and a National Honor Society member, Lechman participated in school plays, musicals, in addition to drama and chorus. She earned the Phil Hawkins English Award and was prom queen. She plans to study mass communications.
Alyssa S. Meyers, North Mac High School in Virden, is the daughter of Sheryl and Robert Meyers. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, Meyers was class valedictorian. She was on the school’s high honor roll and received Prairie State Achievement and President's Award for Educational Excellence. She was class treasurer, a member of the student council, Key club, the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE), science club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), drama club, and played volleyball and basketball. She plans to major in biological sciences.
Emma Anderson, Hillsboro High School, is the daughter of Jennifer and Jason Anderson. A National Honor Society member, Anderson was a member of her high school’s FFA, choir, operetta, Spanish club, and 4-H. She also participated in tennis, and earned numerous FFA-related honors, including an FFA State Degree. She plans to study international agribusiness.
Jeremiah Roberts, Jacksonville High School, is the son of Andrea and Tracey Roberts. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, Roberts was class valedictorian. He earned the outstanding senior award for mathematics, a National School Marching Award and the director’s award. He was a member of the national English and Spanish honor societies, scholastic bowl, the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) team and drumline. He plans to major in civil engineering.
Olivia Taitt, O’Fallon Township High School, is the daughter of Antoinette and Paul Taitt. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, Taitt earned a Prairie State Achievement Award and was an Academic All-American in lacrosse. She was a Delta Epsilon Phi national honor society member and competed in varsity cross-country, lacrosse and track and field. She plans to major in civil engineering.
Ben Westrich, Crab Orchard High School, is the son of Amy and Steve Westrich. An Illinois State Scholar, he was an Illinois Principal’s Association Student of the Year selection, a LEAD SI graduate and Farm Credit Scholar. He was also a four-year class president, student council president and participated in scholar bowl, 4-H and FFA. He played baseball and was a member of the school’s bass fishing team. He plans to major in agribusiness economics and crop science.
Kaitlin Friend, Morris Community High School, is the daughter of Sherry and Pat Friend. A National Honor Society member, Friend earned a Prairie State Achievement Award, the Daughters of American Revolution Outstanding Citizenship Award, and the school’s Social Studies Student of the Year Award. She was involved in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), basketball, and the school’s literary festival. Friend plans to major in business.
Valerie Pfaff, Morris Community High School, is the daughter of Mary Beth and Bill Pfaff. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, Pfaff earned a Prairie State Achievement Award, was a three-year scholar bowl member and received a National Career Readiness certificate. She participated in the school’s science club and Immaculate Conception youth group and ran cross-country for four years. She plans to major in animal science.
Nicholas J. Langheld, Crab Orchard High School, is the son of Ruth and Gene Langheld. An Illinois State Scholar, he finished first in Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) for math and physics and earned all-sectional scholastic bowl honors. He was a four-year member of the scholar bowl, engineering, business and strategic studies teams and recorded perfect attendance in high school. An Eagle Scout, Langheld was also a junior scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 42 in Marion. He plans to major in chemistry with a specialization in biochemistry.
Franchesca Alejo, Joliet West High School, is the daughter of Aurelinda and Juan Alejo. An Illinois State Scholar and Advanced Placement Scholar, Alejo was president of the school’s National Honor Society, the national French Honor Society, and graduated in the top 25 of her class. She was a member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, and participated in cross-country and track and field, where she set school indoor records in the 800-meter, mile, two-mile and 4x800 meter relay. Alejo plans to major in aviation management.
Grace Horman, Quincy Notre Dame High School, is the daughter of Michelle and Mark Horman. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, she earned Illinois High School Association Scholastic Achievement honors and the President’s Education Award. She participated in soccer and volleyball, where she earned all-area volleyball team honorable mention and 2014 Illinois State Volleyball Impact Player honors. Her other activities included Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Spanish club, and more than 50 hours of volunteer work. She plans to major in accounting.
Kara Starkweather, Chatham Glenwood High School, is the daughter of Debbie and Curt Starkweather. An Illinois State Scholar, National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society member, Starkweather was also involved with her school’s symphonic, jazz, pep and marching bands, dance, cross cultures club and Key Club. She was an Illinois High School solo and ensemble Division 1 perfect score performer, and was selected the outstanding social studies student. She volunteered with several organizations, including St. John’s Hospital, Memorial Medical Center, the Rochester Public Library and Special Olympics. She plans to major in pre-medicine and biological sciences.
Emmalie Hall-Skank, Streamwood High School, is the daughter of Janelle and George Hall-Skank. She earned high honors for eight consecutive semesters and excellence of achievement honors in both language arts and drawing. She also received the Cook County Youth Service Medal of Honor. Hall-Skank was heavily involved in several theatrical and technical roles in high school productions including “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Dracula,” “The NeverEnding Story,” “West Side Story,” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” She plans to major in interior design.
Michael Klein, Wesclin High School, is the son of Kerrie and Tim Klein. An Illinois State Scholar and National Honor Society member, Klein was class valedictorian. He was a member of the student council, along with the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) and math clubs. Klein was a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Scholar Athlete selection and a four-year letter winner in baseball and basketball. An outfielder, Klein will be a member of the Saluki baseball team. He plans to major in business with a specialization in finance.
Adriana Victoria Medina, New Tech High at Zion-Benton East, is the daughter of Melissa Perez and Efrain Medina of Zion. A National Honor Society member, she was class valedictorian, and earned scholarships from the Coalition for Healthy Communities and NAACP. She received an honors academic award for a 4.0 GPA throughout high school. In 2012, she received the National Hispanic Institute’s Lorenzo de Zavala campaign’s “Most Promising Female” award and was a National History Day state qualifier. She was involved in various organizations, including Sister 2 Sister, National Hispanic Institute, Zion-Benton Encore, and the Student Leadership Network. She plans to major in social work.
Andrew Foy, Concord Community High School, is the son of Jackie and Joe Foy. An AP Scholar with Honor and National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, Foy graduated in the top 10 of his class and was a National Honor Society member. He participated in his school’s marching, concert and pep bands, and theater, in addition to a social studies, English and interdisciplinary academic teams. Foy is also an Eagle Scout. He plans to major in forestry and geography.
Samuel Raine, Tri-Center High School, is the son of Michelle and Michael Raine. A Top Ten Student in Iowa selection by the Des Moines Register newspaper, Raine was also National Honor Society president, class president, and student council and academic team member. He also participated in drama, band, bowling and golf. Raine was a two-time Western Iowa Conference Quiz Bowl champion and a member of the Southwest Iowa Honor Marching Band. He plans to major in zoology.
Elizabeth Blalock, J.M. Tate High School, is the daughter of Robin and Timothy Blalock. A National Honor Society member, Blalock graduated in the top 10 percent of her class and was a 2014 selection for her school’s Hall of Fame. She was a member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, Rho Kappa honor society and her school’s social studies student of the year and senior social sciences award recipient. She was a member of the student council, French club, and cross-country and tennis teams. She plans to major in psychology.
Austin Weigle, Kennebunk High School, is the son of Lisa and Darrin Weigle. A National Honor Society member, Weigle was as an AP Scholar with Distinction and president of the high school’s National Honor Society chapter. He was a four-year member of the high school’s math team and a class executive officer throughout high school. He ran cross-country and track all four years in high school. He plans to major in plant biology with a specialization in biochemical and molecular physiology.
Gabrielle J. Kim, Stillwater Area High School, is the daughter of Deborah and Peter Kim. She is a two-time AP Scholar of Honor and two-time MMEA All-State Band selection. She participated in band and orchestra in high school. She plans to major in cinematography and computer science.
Levi Austin Mahan, Summersville High School, is the son of Leslie Mahan and U.S. Navy Seaman Don Mahan. A Beta club selection, Mahan participated in FFA and student government. He earned first-place individual and team honors in Missouri FFA career development event in forestry in 2014 and floriculture in 2012, and placed 11th in the National FFA floriculture event in 2013. He was a two-time all-conference selection and state qualifier in cross-country. He also participated in basketball. He plans to major in forestry.
Vyctoria Brooks, Nerinx Hall High School, is the daughter of Lisa and Bill Brooks. An honor roll student all four years and a member of her academic team, Brooks received a National Spanish Award. She was also involved in her high school theater and headed two production crews, and was a student council member as a junior. She was also involved in the school’s Diversity Club, Media Club, Pep Club and dance team, and played basketball and track and field. She plans to major in chemistry.
Paige Marie McCaleb, Central Mountain High School, is the daughter of Crystal and Earl McCaleb. A National Honor Society member, she was a class officer and on the student government executive committee. McCaleb earned several school-related academic achievement awards and was on the high honor roll. She was the 2014 girls’ soccer varsity most valuable player, member of the Croda Community Advisory Council, the nature club secretary, and part of the student activities council and student-athlete leadership group. She plans to major in biological sciences.
Alohilani Gagne, Cordova High School, is the daughter of Erica and Joseph Gagne. A National Honor Society member, Gagne graduated third in her class, earning “Tennessee Honors and Distinction,” and the William H. Sweet Award. She received a “Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition” and was an "Exemplary Recognition Graduate." She was a member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, volunteers for various political campaigns and tutors other students in math, science and English. She plans to major in chemistry and physiology.
Carmen Bouey, Collegiate School of Memphis, is the daughter of Latarsha Bryant and Rodney Bouey. A National Honor Society member, her activities include reading, writing, event planning and volunteer work. She plans to major in business administration.
Zachary Myers, Collegiate School of Memphis, is the son of Melissa and Brett Myers. An academic excellence award and leadership award recipient, Myers was class valedictorian. He participated in football and basketball. He plans to major in the teacher education program with a specialization in history.
Alexis Johnson, Springfield High School, is the daughter of Mia and Ray Johnson. A member of the National Honor Society and Tennessee Scholar, Johnson earned a 4.0 GPA and received a President’s Award for Academic Excellence. She received honors as a U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete. She participated in Future Health Professionals (HOSA) and envirothon, in addition to cross-country and track. She plans to major in pre-veterinary medicine.
Emma Wallander, Luxemburg-Casco High School, is the daughter of Kim and Andy Wallander. She graduated in the top 10 percent of her class and received the Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Award. She also participated in various activities while in high school, including musicals, variety shows, chorus, jazz choir, envirothon, conservation club, forensics and the English academic team. She plans to major in English education.
Mason Higgins, Oregon High School, is the son of Rebecca and Timothy Higgins. A National Honor Society member, Higgins was also a National Achievement Scholar Finalist, received the Martin Luther King, Jr., Outstanding Young Citizen Award, and was an International Thespian Honor Society member. He was active in his high school’s drama club, concert choir, “School of Rock” group, and rugby. He plans to major in music business and guitar performance.