Medallion Scholarship recipients announced
Nov. 15, 2002
KALAMAZOO --Twenty-seven high school students (see list below) successfully competed against hundreds of top graduating seniors in the Class of 2002 to win prestigious Medallion Scholarships to attend Western Michigan University.
Each Medallion is valued at $32,000 over four years and bears the name of the scholarship donor or the name of an individual in whose name the scholarship was established. Awarded in August, the prizes number among the largest merit-based awards in American higher education and are the highest honor WMU bestows on incoming freshman.
Recipients are selected based on their participation in a competition held each winter. The event includes essay writing and group problem solving for the students as well as information sessions for their parents.
To be invited to compete, students had to apply to WMU by Dec. 31 and have a high school grade point average of at least 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale) and an American College Test score of at least 25.
This year's recipients were among 823 seniors from 352 high schools in 13 states who participated in the 18th annual Medallion Scholarship Competition. They have a collective GPA of 4.08 and an average ACT score of 29. The 2002 competition included 392 students with perfect 4.0 GPAs and 263 students who scored 29 or higher on the ACT.
Competition participants who do not win a top Medallion award receive either a $24,000 Board of Trustees Scholarship or a $4,800 WMU Academic Scholarship.
Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, firstname.lastname@example.org
2002 Medallion Scholarship recipients
Marie Armstrong of Eaton Rapids, Mich., received the Richard Lenon Medallion and is studying earth science. She is the daughter of Antoinette Armstrong of Eaton Rapids and T. Darryl Armstrong of Lansing and a graduate of J.W. Sexton High School. A National Honor Society member, she took advanced placement courses as well as attended a computer engineering class at Michigan State University, attended the Summer Engineering Academy at the University of Michigan and participated in the Lansing Area Manufacturing Partnership Program at General Motors. Armstrong played softball for four years and basketball for three years. She was named to the Academic All-State Team in both of those sports and to the Academic All-Conference Team four straight years. In addition, she was a member of Students Against Drunk Driving and the varsity club. Her volunteer activities have included rescue mission work and service as secretary of "Nex" Generation.
Dylan Crossman of Coloma, Mich., received the Elsie Watson Medallion and is studying secondary education. He is the son of Todd and Pamela Crossman and a graduate of Coloma High School. A National Honor Society member, he earned numerous state and district awards in science and mathematics competitions as well as local awards including the Southwestern Michigan College Math/Science Academic Achievement Award and 1999 and 2000 Student German Language Awards certificates of merit. Crossman was a four-year member of the marching, concert and pep bands as well as of the German Club, Students Against Drunk Driving and the Student Leadership Forum. The International Society of Poets published one of his poems in 2001. His community service activities included work as an elementary tutor and with a hospital-sponsored health fest.
Kristina Dietz of Portage, Mich., received the Jane and John Todd Medallion and is studying nursing. She is the daughter of Charles and Marilyn Dietz and a graduate of Portage Northern High School. A National Honor Society member, she participated in the French and DECA clubs. She also attended Peer Assistant Listeners conferences, participated in a two-week study abroad program at the end of her sophomore year and performed well in DECA competitions related to future problem solving at the state and district levels. Dietz, a longtime figure skater, was a member of the marching band for two years and participated in the concert band and color guard. She has worked as a vacation camp leadership facilitator for at-risk kids and has volunteered for her church, the Festival of Trees and the American Cancer Society. She also has served as a mentor, helping others deal with drug, alcohol and sexual harassment concerns.
Erin Dudley of Midland, Mich., received the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation Medallion and is studying dance. She is the daughter of Jeffrey and Carol Dudley and a graduate of Midland High School. A National Honor Society member, she was a commended National Merit Scholarship Competition participant in 2001. She participated in student government her freshman year, was involved in two theatre productions and was a member of the dance team for three years, serving as captain her junior year. Dudley also sang in her church choir for three years, studied dance as well as taught at two dance studios, gave riding lessons, and trained and showed horses for many years. Her community service activities included work with her church's youth group, 4-H and a nursing home in addition to serving as an assistant vacation Bible school teacher and helping with beach cleanups and a blood drive.
Heather Finch of Sturgis, Mich., received the Burdick-Thorne Medallion and is studying University Curriculum. She is the daughter of Jerry and Joann Finch and a graduate of Sturgis High School. A National Honor Society member, she was a four-year member of the symphony and marching bands, a four-year member of the track team, and a two-year member of the key club and cross country team. Finch, who performed well in numerous state and district solo and ensemble musical competitions, was a principal player in the symphony band her sophomore, junior and senior years as well as a section leader in the marching band her junior and senior years. She also played with community groups such as the Sturgis Wind Symphony and volunteered as a piano accompanist.
Colin Hopper of Northville, Mich., received the Robert Hadley Medallion and is studying University Curriculum. He is the son of Preston and Deborah Hopper and a graduate of Farmington High School. An accomplished swimmer, he earned scholar-athlete awards as well as academic letters throughout his high school career. Hopper was a member of the swim team for four years, serving as co-captain his senior year; a member of the math club for four years; and participated in concert band for one year. His volunteer activities have included managing a girls swim team in Farmington in 1999 and 2000. His work experience has included posts as head lifeguard and pool chemistry supervisor at an area club.
Sarah Husain of Portage, Mich., received the Bill Parfet Medallion and is studying University Curriculum. She is the daughter of Shaghil and Gulnar Husain and a graduate of Portage Northern High School. A National Honor Society member, she was a four-year member of the French club, environmental club and tennis team. She has earned numerous honors, including nominations for the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine and a national leadership award; status as a finalist in two Arabic recitation competitions of the Islamic Society of North America; and an 11th place national finish on the National French Exam. In addition, Husain had one of her poems published in the National Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans and received a Kalamazoo Optimist Club VolunTEEN Award for five years of community service, dedication and leadership. Her extensive list of volunteer activities included four years as co-chairperson of the Muslim Youth of North America's Kalamazoo chapter youth group and service as a third-grade teacher at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center, where she also directed the children's choir. She also has served as a peer French tutor and reading tutor and worked with the Red Cross, VolunTEEN Leadership Corps, Borgess Medical Center, the Voluntary Action Center, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Make-A-Difference Day and WMU's Community Information Systems.
Jamie Kazmirzack of Lansing, Mich., received the Harold and Beulah McKee Endowed Medallion and is studying history. She is the daughter of Volker and Kristine Kazmirzack and a graduate of Lansing Catholic Central High School. A National Honor Society member, she was active in the drama program all four years of high school, participating in two productions each year. She also was a member of the Spanish Club for three years, a school ambassador for two years and a volleyball player her freshman year. Kazmirzack served her high school as a Eucharistic minister and member of Todo por Christo. Her community service activities included a longtime association with the Immaculate Heart of Mary-St. Casimir School and work with the St. Vincent De Paul store. Two of Kazmirzack' brothers already attend WMU. Ryan is a previous Medallion Scholarship winner and Robert is a member of the Lee Honors College.
Sarah Kenning of Warren, Mich., received the Mike and Sandy Reed Medallion and is studying pre-medicine. She is the daughter of James and Kitty Kenning and a graduate of Warren Mott High School. A National Honor Society member, she took classes for four years at the Macomb Mathematics Science Technology Center, where she gained significant experience in independent scientific research. She also was involved in her high school's marching band for four years, serving as drum major her junior and senior years; the symphonic band, second jazz band and volleyball for three years; and the concert band for one year. In addition, Kenning was a member of her church's youth group, as well as a senior acolyte leader and youth choir member. Her community service activities included tutoring and work with the South Oakland Shelter.
Mark Kraus IV of Clarkston, Mich., received the Richard Lenon Medallion and is studying aviation flight science. He is the son of Mark and Wendy Kraus and a graduate of Clarkston High School. A National Honor Society member, he participated in football and track all four years of high school and was voted captain of the track team. He also was a member of the Wolves Renaissance Club for two years and played piano. Kraus has held several jobs outside of school in addition to his athletic commitments. His community service activities included work with Lighthouse North.
Danielle Matthys of St.Clair, Mich., received the John Schreuder Medallion and is studying nursing. She is a graduate of St. Clair High School. A National Honor Society member, she was dual enrolled at St. Clair Community College, where she completed three biology classes. At St. Clair, she served as both parliamentarian and secretary for the Business Professionals of America club and attended BPA conferences as well as performed well in several BPA state and district competitions in the areas of international business, management concepts and spelling. Matthys was a member of the student council for four years; took ballet for four years and jazz dance for three years; and was involved in volleyball, the school paper and the Make a Difference Committee for one year. She participated in nine-day educational study abroad trips to France in 2000 and Spain in 2001 in addition to working steadily throughout high school. Her community service activities included volunteering at a senior citizen home and with the American Legion, Festival of Trees, Salvation Army and a therapeutic horseback riding program for the handicapped.
Grayson McKinney of East Grand Rapids, Mich., received the Tom and Gail Kasdorf Medallion and is studying secondary education. He is the son of Pam McKinney and a graduate of East Grand Rapids High School. A National Honor Society member, he received Excellence in Acting awards in district and regional one-act play competitions, honorable mentions from two Grand Rapids Area High School Technology conferences and a Presidential Fitness Award. He was a four-year member of the Spanish club, which he served as president his senior year, and of the drama club, which he served as treasurer his junior year. McKinney also was a two-year member of the key club and forensics and lacrosse teams and a one-year member of the vocal jazz and Madrigals groups, football and cross country teams, and STEP program, which helps elementary children make good decisions regarding such issues as peer pressure, drugs and anger management. McKinney, who took tap and jazz dance lessons as well as acting, art and photography classes, participated in nine high school plays. His community activities included serving as co-president of his church youth group, serving on the planning committee and as a core group leader for Healthy High, and working with Habitat for Humanity, the Humane Society and other organizations.
Meghann Meeusen of Romeo, Mich., received the Russ Gabier Medallion (funded by a donation from the late Gwen Frostic) and is studying elementary education. She is the daughter of Michael and Barbara Meeusen and a graduate of Lutheran High School North. A National Honor Society member, she received several essay writing and other awards, including a certificate of merit from the Society of Women Engineers. She was a member of the mock trial, quiz bowl and golf teams for four years and was an academic all-league selection her junior year. Meeusen also was a member of Example, a students against substance abuse club; studied piano; and taught swimming. Her community activities included volunteering as an altar server, youth group leader and religious education teacher at her church.
Timothy Nendorf of Battle Creek, Mich., received the Diether Haenicke Medallion (funded by a donation from the late Gwen Frostic) and is studying chemical engineering. He is the son of Robert and Faith Nendorf and a graduate of Lakeview High School. He was a three-year member of the National Honor Society, which he served as secretary for one year, and the student council, which he served as president for one year. A Charmaine Hamilton Outstanding Senator Award winner, he attended Boys State, was charter president of the key club, and was a three-year member of the yearbook, serving as editor his senior year. Nendorf also was a four-year member of the soccer team, which he captained for two years, and the swimming team, which he captained his senior year. He was an all-conference scholar-athlete award recipient in soccer and swimming four consecutive years, was named to the Olympic development soccer team and earned numerous local and regional soccer accolades. Nendorf also played in the band for two years, was a member of the pep club for four years and participated in homecoming activities throughout high school. His community service activities included leadership on Battle Creek Community Foundation committees, helping to found a Kid's Cafe Mentorship program and fund raising for the Woodlawn Preschool, in addition to work with the Battle Creek Balloon and Air Show, Binder Park Zoo, Taste of Battle Creek, Charitable Union, Salvation Army and American Cancer Society.
Joshua Ockert of Beulah, Mich., received the Helen Flashpoler Medallion (funded by a donation from the late Gwen Frostic) and is studying computer science. He is the son of Mark and Ettajoe Ockert and a graduate of Benzie Central High School. A National Honor Society member, he founded the chess club, was a symphonic band member for three years and participated in soccer for two years. Ockert, who is a member of Western Michigan Mensa, taught himself the C programming language and graduated from high school in three years. His service activities included founding XPC and volunteering to maintain a school computer lab for two years.
Amy Ostrander of Saginaw, Mich., received the Richard Lenon Medallion and is studying University Curriculum. She is the daughter of Walter and Sara Ostrander and a graduate of Swan Valley High School. A National Honor Society member and Michigan Merit Award winner, she participated in the SVSU Math Olympiad for four years and attended MASC Leadership Training and Regional conferences. Ostrander was a four-year member of the student council and Students Against Destructive Decisions, both of which she served for two years as an executive board member, and the international club. She also participated in basketball and softball for three years and volleyball for two years. Her community service activities included organizing blood drives at her school through the Saginaw Valley Blood Program, helping coach freshman volleyball and tutoring freshman students, in addition to work with the Shields Elementary Fun-Fest, East Side Soup Kitchen and Operation Sparkle.
Katie Perz of Troy, Mich., received the Robert and Susan Brown Medallion and is studying University Curriculum. She is the daughter of Scott and Kristin Perz and a graduate of Troy High School. A National Honor Society member, she was involved with Students Against Drunk Driving for two years and the peer mediation club for one year. Perz also played basketball for three years and was a four-year member of the soccer team, of which she was captain her senior year. She was employed as a coaching assistant at summer youth soccer camps and as a youth instructional trainer and office assistant at the Troy Sports Center. Her service activities included active participation in her church's youth group and volunteering as a trainer and head coach for youth soccer.
Nicole Repair of Battle Creek, Mich., received the George Franklin and Harriet Hall Medallion and is studying psychology. She is the daughter of Ken and Helen Repair and a graduate of Harper Creek High School. A National Honor Society member, she won an Excellence in Education Award from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2002 and participated in the academically rigorous 21st Century Health Careers Program, a collaboration among the Calhoun Area Technology Center, Kellogg Community College and Battle Creek Health Systems. Repair served on the student council for three years and attended the 1999 Student Senate Leadership Forum. She was a four-year member of the swimming team, for which she was captain her senior year; a three-year member of the softball team; and a one-year member of the track team. She also participated in plays and musicals and was a member of the choir for one year. Repair was employed for three summers as a swimming instructor for the Harper Creek schools. Her community service activities included work with the Calhoun County courts and a variety of church-related fund-raisers.
Nicole Rivera of Kalamazoo received the Frank Sardone Medallion and is studying nursing. She is the daughter of Maida Hernandez of Kalamazoo and Anthony Rivera of Jacksonville, Fla., and a graduate of Kalamazoo Central High School. A National Honor Society member, she received local academic achievement awards three out of her four years of high school. Rivera was employed throughout her high school career, including as a dietary aide at a residence for senior citizens. Her community service activities included working as a clinic assistant for Planned Parenthood and a tutor for elementary students.
Janelle Smolinski of Franklin, Mich., received the Fred and Dot Mortimore Medallion and is studying University Curriculum. She is the daughter of Mary Seipke of Franklin and Alan Smolinski of Watertown, Mass., and a graduate of Wylie E. Groves High School. A National Honor Society member, she won grants to attend two Economics for Leaders institutes; earned first place in behavior science at a districtwide science fair, for which she received a scholarship to attend Brandies University's Boston Summer Science Program; and was on the team that took first place in group musical at a statewide thespian festival. Smolinski was a member of the student council for four years and was vice president and two-time treasurer for her class. She also presided over the Bible study club for two years, was a member of HOBY for three years and was a forensics team member for one year. Smolinski also participated in several artistic groups throughout her high school career. She founded and co-led the a capella group, vocalized with the Madrigals choir, and was involved in musicals and plays, serving as a director her senior year. Her community service activities included work with her church, summer camps, a soup kitchen, a nursing home and school offices.
Nicolas Stafford of Portage, Mich., received the Joe and Diane Hemker Medallion and is studying accountancy. He is the son of Ruth Hurd of Portage and Ronald Stafford of Wilmington, N.C., and a graduate of Portage Northern High School. A National Honor Society member and Who's Who selection, he competed in DECA, advancing to the national level once and state level twice. Stafford was a four-year member of the baseball team and played both basketball and football for two years. He was involved with his church's religious education and confirmation programs and did community service work with Breadlift and Ministry of Community.
Shelby Tomczak of Lowell, Mich., received the Harroun Fire Protection Medallion and is studying chemical engineering. She is the daughter of Roger and Kathy Tomczak and a graduate of Lowell Senior High School. A National Honor Society member, she was invited to attend Girls State, participated in Model U.N., and attended numerous leadership programs, including the Leader Training School and Females in Engineering Conference. Tomczak received a Good Citizen Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution and a scholar athlete award twice in softball and once in basketball. She served for years as student council treasurer as well as a choir member and section leader and one year as president of the Lady Arrow Varsity Club. Tomczak also was captain of the basketball team, of which she was a four-year member and the softball team, of which she was a three-year member. Other extra-curricular activities included participation in the environmental and international clubs and Students Against Drunk Driving. Her community service activities often involved volunteer coaching and officiating and included work with the Leaders Club, which she served as both secretary and president; the Community Asset Development Committee; YMCA Board of Directors; Red Cross; Adopt-a-Road; Adopt-a-Stream; American Cancer Society; and Amnesty International.
Mark Tower of Grandville, Mich., received the Ethel Adams Medallion and is studying aviation flight science. He is the son of Stephen and Janice Tower and a graduate of Grandville High School. A Who's Who selection, he twice was co-captain of the Quiz Bowl team, earning a personal medal of excellence; won the Nuts and Bolts Award for excellence in drama technology; and received several academic, athletic and band letters. Tower was a four-year member of the marching and concert bands, serving as section leader for both, and the technical team for school plays and musicals, serving as a set-building group leader. He also acted and sang in school theatrical productions for three years and was a four-year member of the cross country team. His community service activities included participating in mission trips here and abroad, teaching and counseling children through adventure day camps and neighborhood Bible clubs, and work as an auditorium light and sound systems operator and elementary school French teacher.
Phillip Warner of Kalamazoo received the Ron Kilgore Medallion and is studying aeronautical engineering. He is a graduate of Comstock High School. A National Honor Society member, he took classes at the Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center and was selected by the Oshtemo Rotary chapter to participate in its Life Leadership Campus. Warner earned numerous first-place awards in state and district solo and ensemble musical competitions and a variety of local awards. In addition to four years as a member and section leader of the marching and concert bands, he performed with the jazz and pep bands for two years and the Varsity Choralaires for one year. Warner also was a member of the track team for three years; cross country team for two years, serving a stint as captain; and swimming for one year. His community service activities included extensive involvement with his church's choir, bands and youth group, which he helped to organize, as well as work as a Bible school teacher and mission trip participant.
David Sale Weber of Tokyo, Japan, received the Art and Marti Hearon Medallion and is studying mechanical engineering. He is the son of Barbara Sale and a graduate of the American School in Japan. A National Honor Society member, he served for four years on the yearbook staff, twice as editor, and two years on the school paper, spending his senior year as tech editor. Weber also was a member of the baseball team for four years and a peer counselor and media production network member for three years. His community service activities included work with his church's youth group and food preparation for the homeless. Weber, who spent his early childhood in Detroit and completed the 8th grade at the Xiamen (China) International School, speaks conversational Mandarin and plays both acoustic and electric guitar.
Stefanie Wilde of Cedar Springs, Mich., received the Emily and Richard Hoffman Endowed Medallion and is studying chemical engineering. She is the daughter of Michael and Stacey Wilde and a graduate of Cedar Springs High School. A National Honor Society member and Who's Who selection, she was "triple" enrolled during her senior year, also attending Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids Community College. Throughout her career at Cedar Springs High, Wilde was cast in leading and support roles in playsand musicals. She also was a one-year member of the Varsity Voice choir, student council and soccer team. Her community service activities included work with her church as a day camp counselor/teacher and the Voight House X-mas Dinner.
Laura Wolanin of Midland, Mich., received the Merze Tate Endowed Medallion and is studying education. She is the daughter of Ted and Nancy Wolanin and a graduate of Midland High School. A National Honor Society member, she served four years on the student council, acting as president her senior year, and three years as a class officer, spending her freshman year as vice president. Wolanin also was a three-year member of the soccer team, a two-year member of Students Against Violence Everywhere and a one-year member of the environmental club. Her community service activities included leadership posts on the Midland County Youth Action Council, which she served one year as president; Midland County Gang and Violence Prevention Partnership; and her church youth group's youth outreach team and retreat planning team. She also volunteered with the Lunchbox Learners program and as an elementary school aide.