15 students awarded university's top academic honor

July 14 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Fifteen students have been awarded Indiana State University's most prestigious scholarship - the President's Scholarship. The honor includes full tuition, room, board and books as well as a laptop computer for all four years of the student's college career.

President's Scholars must be ranked in the top 10 percent of their high school class or have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.7 on a 4.0 scale. Selection is highly competitive and based upon both academic and personal accomplishments, and an interview is required for all finalists.

This year's President's Scholar recipients include (see background on each recipient below): Micahlyn Allen, Terre Haute; Chase Buchanan, North Vernon; Cassie Davidson, Seymour; Sarah Ehrat, Vandalia, Ill.; Douglas Gehrke, Plymouth; Jaycee Hackney, Martinsville, Ill.; Jenna Harbin, New Washington; Alexandra Larkin, Fort Wayne; Meredith Lewis, Marshall, Ill.; Kendra Lindsey, Bicknell; Kelly Loman, Edinburgh; Hanna Smith, Trafalgar; Sarah Stetter, St. Anthony, Ind.; Tory Torma, North Liberty; and Morgan Wendlandt, Fort Atkinson, Wis.

The current value of these scholarships for in-state students is about $14,500 annually, or $58,000 for a scholar's four-year college career. For out-of-state students, the scholarship is valued at $22,800 annually or $91,000 for a scholar's four-year college career.

Since the program began in 1994, those students who have been named President's Scholars have distinguished themselves in unique and successful ways at Indiana State, at graduate schools across the country, and in their subsequent careers.

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Micahlyn Allen, daughter of Mike and Diana Allen of Terre Haute, is a graduate of Terre Haute North Vigo High School. She plans to major in graphic/visual arts while at Indiana State. During high school, Allen played varsity basketball and volleyball and participated in the Link Crew, Interact, National Honor Society, Junior Department Club, Student Council, Patriot Painters, Counterpoints Show Choir, school musicals, Clay Community Theatre and Youth Leadership Terre Haute. She was elected senior class vice-president. She has received various awards and honors, including being named class valedictorian, First National Bank Academic Excellence Award Winner for grades 6-12 and a two-year varsity letter winner in basketball and volleyball.

Chase Buchanan, the son of Mark and Dawn Williams of North Vernon, is a graduate of Jennings County High School. He plans to major in pre-optometry while at ISU, with hopes of attending optometry school and returning to a small community to set up a practice. During high school, Buchanan has been involved in German Club, marching band, National Honor Society, German National Honor Society, served as a tutor and been a member on school academic teams. He has received numerous awards, including being named a National Merit Commended Student and an honoree at Jennings County High School Academic Honors Banquet.

Cassie Davidson, daughter of Jerry and Leslie Ball and Greg and Michelle Davidson, is a graduate of Seymour High School. She plans to major in athletic training and Spanish while at Indiana State. During high school, Davidson participated in National Honor Society, Spanish Club, served as a youth soccer coach and a student trainer for the boys basketball team and participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters High-Five mentoring. She played both varsity and club soccer in addition to running varsity track and participating in gymnastics. She was elected vice-president of her junior and senior classes. She has received various awards and honors, including serving as vice president and president of the National Honor Society, receiving the coach's award in track and being named to all-district, all-conference and all-state academic teams in soccer.

Sarah Ehrat, daughter of Todd and Kathy Ehrat of Vandalia, Ill., is a graduate of Vandalia Community High School. She plans to major in nursing while at ISU, with hopes of becoming a nurse practitioner and earning a Ph.D in nursing. During high school Ehrat participated in marching band, concert band, pep band, National Honor Society, Jazz Band, played varsity tennis and mentored a fifth grade student. Her honors and awards include being named an Illinois State Scholar and being the recipient of the Rotary Leadership Award.

Douglas Gehrke, the son of David and Karen Gehrke of Plymouth, is a graduate of Plymouth High School and plans to major in music business while at Indiana State. During high school, Gehrke held leadership positions in Key Club, American Field Service, Student Council, DeMolay, marching band and speech team. He participated in Crimson Connection Show Choir, Spanish Club, National Honor Society and theater productions in addition to participating in numerous community service projects. His honors and awards include being a Hoosier Boys State delegate and a Coca-Cola National Scholarship semi-finalist.

Jaycee Hackney, daughter of Kenny and Julie Hackney of Martinsville, Ill., is a graduate of Martinsville Jr./Sr. High School. She plans to major in accounting while at Indiana State, with hopes of becoming a Certified Public Accountant. During high school, Hackney participated in Student Council, National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters and was a member of the yearbook staff. She was elected class president for the past four years and played varsity basketball and volleyball. Her numerous honors and awards include various academic awards, being named an Illinois State Scholar and all-conference in basketball.

Jenna Harbin, daughter of Bette Harbin of New Washington, is a graduate of New Washington High School. She plans to major in education and psychology in hopes of becoming a high school counselor or having her own practice. During high school, she was involved in Youth Philanthropy Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, the school's academic team and served as statistician for the boys and girls basketball teams. She also played varsity volleyball and tennis. Her numerous honors and awards include being a Hoosier Girls State delegate, earning varsity letters in tennis and volleyball and earning an academic excellence award.

Alexandra Larkin, daughter of Robert and Sherrie Larkin of Fort Wayne, is a graduate of Southside High School and plans to major in journalism. During high school she was involved with her school newspaper, serving as news section editor her junior year and editor her senior year. She attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Law in Washington D.C. and participated in the Chase Bank Leadership Academy.

Meredith Lewis, daughter of David and Joyce Lewis of Marshall, Ill., is a graduate of Marshall High School. She plans on majoring in pre-medicine while at Indiana State, in hopes of pursuing a career in a health-related field. During high school, Lewis was involved in National Honor Society, Rotary Interact, Scholastic Bowl, Marshallettes, band, Science Club, Spanish Club, softball, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Red Rush, Take Charge Leadership and Peers Actively Listening and Sharing (PALS). Her numerous honors and awards include being named an Illinois State Scholar, Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen, Illinois Girls State delegate, and recipient of a Bausch & Lomb Science Award.

Kendra Lindsey, daughter of Brian and Lou Ann Lindsey of Bicknell, is a graduate of North Knox High School and plans to major in business administration and pre-law at Indiana State. During high school, Lindsey participated in academic teams, National Honor Society, Student Council, band, Knox County Youth in Philanthropy, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), serving as editor of the school newspaper, 4-H, peer tutoring and worked with the Knox County Teen Court. Her numerous honors and awards include receiving the DAR Outstanding Citizenship Award, an academic letter recipient, 4-H State Fair Fashion Review finalist and a workshop presenter at the Student Council State Convention.

Kelly Loman, daughter of Chris and Rhoda Loman of Edinburgh, is a graduate of Roncalli High School. She plans on majoring in chemistry while at Indiana State, in hopes of becoming a physician. During high school, she participated in show choir, played piano, participated in dance and took part in numerous community service projects including Lungs for Life, Prostate Cancer Run, volunteering at the St. Vincent DePaul food pantry and traveling to Appalachia to help residents build or repair their homes. She is a recipient of the Indiana State Sycamore Community Service Scholar Award.

Hannah Smith, daughter of Constance Anderson and Terrance Smith, is a graduate of Indian Creek High School. She plans to major in pre-medicine, in hopes of becoming a physician caring for low-income families. During high school, she played junior varsity and varsity softball, was a member of the Science academic team, participated in service learning activities and volunteered at Johnson County Memorial Hospital. She was the recipient of the Spanish excellence award and attended the 2006 Lugar Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders.

Sarah Stetter, daughter of Stan and Brenda Stetter of St. Anthony, is a graduate of Forest Park Jr./Sr. High School and plans to major in interior design at Indiana State. During high school, she participated in National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD), Beta Club, art club, spirit club, 4-H, Natural Helpers, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and played varsity volleyball and basketball. Her numerous honors and awards include being named to the Indiana Academic All-State Team in volleyball, Project Excel Round 1 winner, National Honor Roll, receiving academic honors and numerous awards with Project Lead the Way.

Tory Torma, son of Todd and Penny Torma of North Liberty, is a graduate of Mishawaka Marian High School. He plans to major in pre-medicine, in hopes of becoming a physician practicing in a small community. While in high school Torma played varsity football and competed on the varsity track team in addition to writing for the school newspaper. He also participated in the National Honor Society, German Club, ROTC and was a member of the AV Technology Crew. Torma was named an All-State Academic Team in football and was a Marian Medalist in Math and German.

Morgan Wendlandt, daughter of Tim and Doreen Wendlandt of Fort Atkinson, Wis., is a graduate of Fort Atkinson High School and plans to major in marketing at Indiana State. While in high school Wendlandt participated in the Fort Atkinson Varsity Athletic Club, Spanish Club, International Club, volunteered at a local food pantry, mentored elementary school students and volunteered with Meals on Wheels and Special Olympics. She lettered in four sports -- soccer, tennis, golf and basketball. She was named a Rotary Top Scholar her freshman and senior years and earned school and conference honors in four varsity sports.

Deadline for admission for the next class of President's Scholars is December 1, 2008. Students graduating from high school in 2009 will be eligible to apply and be considered for the next class. For an application or more information, contact ISU's Office of Admissions at 1-800-GO-TO-ISU or e-mail admissions@indstate.edu

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CONTACT: Office of Admissions, Indiana State University, 1-800-GO-TO-ISU or admissions@indstate.edu  

WRITER: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications & Marketing, (812) 237-3783 or paula.meyer@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Fifteen students have been awarded Indiana State University's most prestigious scholarship - the President's Scholarship. The honor includes full tuition, room, board and books as well as a laptop computer for all four years of the student's college career.

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