2023 ChancellorProvostScholarGraduates

Chancellor Austin A. Lane, center, and LaShonda Stewart, left, with several of the graduating Southern Illinois University Carbondale Chancellor’s and Provost’s Scholars. Commencement exercises were May 12-13. (Photo by Carson VanBuskirk)

May 17, 2023

30 Chancellor’s and Provost’s Scholars graduate from SIU Carbondale

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Their exceptional efforts in their classrooms and hometowns earned them the honor of receiving two of the highest awards Southern Illinois University Carbondale offers to undergraduate students. That same attention to detail and community service efforts continued in college as 30 Chancellor’s Scholars Program recipients earned degrees during commencement ceremonies this past weekend.

The Chancellor’s Scholarship, SIU’s most prestigious freshman award, is a significant achievement for students as it covers tuition, mandatory fees, and housing and dining for four years. The Provost’s Scholarship is the university’s most prestigious transfer student award and covers tuition and mandatory fees for two years.

“We pride ourselves in developing and cultivating students of excellence at SIU, and I must say that these scholars are the embodiment of what we expect in our future leaders,” said LaShonda Stewart, a professor in the College of Business and Analytics and director of the Chancellor’s Scholars Program.

“I’m honored to have gotten the opportunity to witness how their lives transformed over the years into the knowledgeable and courageous leaders that they are today. They have made a lasting impact by demonstrating their leadership through service at SIU, and I have no doubt that they will exemplify that leadership to make a difference in this world. They are all destined to do great things. and I am extremely proud of them.  Once a Saluki, always a Saluki, and they will always be a part of the Chancellor’s Scholars Program.”

These accomplished students, listed by hometown, name, degree and high school or community college, where applicable, are:


  • Alton: Summer Schleeper, bachelor’s degree in architecture, and minors in Spanish and environmental studies; Alton High School.
  • Bloomington: Matthew Kovich, bachelor’s degree in aviation flight and management and minors in Spanish and history; Tri-Valley High School.
  • Nicolas Forcade-Perkins, dual bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering and mathematics, and a minor in computer science; Normal Community West High School.
  • Carbondale: Andrea DeYong, bachelor’s degree in animal science and minors in Spanish and chemistry.
  • Cheyenne Santos, bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a minor in forensic science; John A. Logan College and Pinckneyville Community High School.
  • DeKalb: Caleb Hoffman, bachelor’s degree in psychology and minors in neuroscience and anthropology; DeKalb High School.
  • Flora: Mekenzie Wheeler, bachelor’s degree in agriculture education; Wabash Valley College and Flora High School.
  • Herrin: Ryan Jurich, triple bachelor’s degrees in international studies, history, and economics with minors in French, classics, and political science; Herrin High School.
  • Lemont: Tobias Hagen, bachelor’s degree in management and a minor in computer science; Lemont Township High School.
  • Marion: Diazha Berry, bachelor’s degree in communication studies and minors in cinema and linguistics; Marion High School.
  • Alisa Chen, bachelor’s degree in psychology; Marion High School.
  • Marshall: Chelsea McGee, bachelor’s degree in German studies and a minor in sociology; Marshall Community High School.
  • Mulkeytown: Stefanie Doty, dual bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and political science; John A. Logan College.
  • Ember Milby, bachelor’s degree in elementary education; Rend Lake College and Benton Consolidated High School.
  • Murphysboro: Hannah Gahagan, bachelor’s degree in physiology, and minors in chemistry and American sign language; Murphysboro High School.
  • Olney: Chelsea Ochs, bachelor’s degree in agribusiness economics with a minor in animal science; Wabash Valley College and Richland County High School.
  • Peoria: Claire Morrical, bachelor’s degree in zoology and minor in environmental studies; Richwoods High School.
  • Sainte Marie: Arianna Goss, bachelor’s degree in health care management with minors in long-term care administration and health information and informatics management; Newton Community High School.
  • Springfield: Itria Bonansinga, bachelor’s degree in mathematics. Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.
  • Stewardson: Wyatt Smith, bachelor’s degree in physiology with minors in chemistry and Spanish; Stewardson-Strasburg High School.
  • Sesser: Reid Basso, bachelor’s degree in history; Rend Lake College and Sesser-Valier High School.
  • Washington: Reese Borlin, bachelor’s degree in forestry with minors in Spanish and GIS studies; Washington Community High School.


  • Bella Vista: Layton Paloutzian, bachelor’s degree in economics with minors in psychology and history; Foothill High School.


  • Terre Haute: Alyssa Dicus, bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in political science; Terre Haute South Vigo High School.


  • Horn Lake: Audrey Waldon, bachelor’s degree in civil engineering; Lewisburg High School.


  • Barnhart: Caitlyn Bartsch, bachelor’s degree in physiology with minors in chemistry and Spanish; Fox Senior High School.
  • St Louis: Julia Beckner, bachelor’s degree in zoology and minor in art; Kirkwood High School.
  • Peters: David Hernandez, bachelor’s degree in zoology with minors in theater and Spanish, Francis Howell North High School.


  • Wadsworth: Secilia Ho, bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with minors in Chinese and mathematics, Wadsworth Senior High School.


  • Bartlett: Nicholas Winkler, dual major in management and marketing; Bartlett High School.