WMU News

Forty-eight seniors named Presidential Scholars

April 4, 2005

KALAMAZOO--Forty-eight Western Michigan University seniors were named 2005 Presidential Scholars. The award is WMU's highest honor presented to a senior.

Students are nominated for the award by faculty members. They are selected on the basis of their general academic excellence, academic and/or artistic excellence in their major and intellectual and/or artistic promise.

WMU President Judith I. Bailey presented scholars with certificates at the 25th annual Presidential Scholars Convocation this spring. Intended to celebrate the excellence of WMU students, the event is sponsored by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the President. It included a reception, dinner and program.

2005 Presidential Scholars
Western Michigan University

Tamara N. Allison was named a Presidential Scholar in Family and Consumer Sciences. Helping individuals and their families is Allison's main focus, especially when it comes to relationships, parenting, food sciences and nutrition. While at WMU, she assisted with four classes at Kalamazoo Central High School and, as a post-baccalaureate scholar, studied school lunch programs and their impact on obesity at three Michigan schools. Her completed research project was presented at a conference in Washington, D.C. She is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Sigma Theta national honor societies and received the Project Good Start and Mayor Dennis Archer Scholarships from the College of Education, as well as a Crystal Grady Scholarship from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. She has taken part in the Alternative Spring Break program and, in 2003, worked as an orientation student leader. She was appointed a student assistant for Bronco Days and was elected Minority Homecoming Queen in 2004. She also tutors and mentors nine pre-education students. After her December graduation, she hopes to become a high school teacher, possibly in her hometown of Detroit. She is the daughter of Irving Allison of Southfield, Mich., and Carolyn Allison of Detroit.

Keri E. Anderson was named a Presidential Scholar in Educational Studies. She had just entered WMU when she volunteered at a school, helping students with moderate to severe disabilities. She enjoyed that experience so much, she changed her major from elementary education to special education with a focus on cognitive impairments and learning disabilities with specialization in early childhood. She has been involved in the Student Council for Exceptional Children and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, serving as president of the latter, and participated in a six-week summer mission project in inner city Detroit, where her passion for working with children at risk further blossomed. Anderson's Lee Honors College thesis centered on the topic of helping special education students develop self-determination to better equip them for the real world. She is spending her third internship on an Army base at Heidelberg Middle School in Heidelberg, Germany. After graduating in April, the Grand Rapids, Mich., native plans to work at an elementary or middle school and obtain a master's degree in the area of emotional impairments. She is the daughter of Dwight and Marlene Anderson of Comstock Park, Mich.

Joan L Baker was named a Presidential Scholar in Teaching, Learning and Leadership. She knows a lot about children because she has three of her own. She and her husband of 20 years, Carl, are the proud parents of daughters, Samantha, 15, and Emily, 14, and son, Carl, 12. Baker received her degree in December and is now certified to teach elementary school children starting in kindergarten and social studies and science in middle school. Her internship was in a fifth-grade classroom this past fall at Northeastern Elementary School in Kalamazoo. Baker hopes to have her own classroom soon and teach third, fourth or fifth grade. She received a bachelor of science in business administration from Michigan Technological University in 1984 and plans to obtain a master's degree. In her spare time, she volunteers with the Kalamazoo Children's Choir, Mattawan Little League, Mattawan Cub Scout Pack 161 as a den leader, AYSO soccer as a team mom and as a classroom parent volunteer. She and her family live in Kalamazoo.

Rebecca G. Berndt was named a Presidential Scholar in History. Perseverance and service have been hallmarks of Berndt's personal and academic life. She was a standout on her high school cross-country and track teams, despite an accident in which she fractured a vertebra and broke her back in five places. After high school, this nontraditional-age student joined the Army Reserves and headed to boot camp. When Berndt returned to civilian life, she worked in a deli and grocery store for a year, then completed the final phase of her military training as a combat medic, receiving an EMT degree with honors. She enrolled at WMU to become a history teacher, earning several academic honors along the way. Berndt was scheduled to graduate in 2004, but was sent to Afghanistan as a medic for nine months and will receive her diploma in April. She is the daughter of Jerry and Mary Berndt of Dorr, Mich.

Ryan A. Breisach was named a Presidential Scholar in two departments--Accountancy and Economics. A member of the Lee Honors College, Breisach came to WMU as a Medallion Scholar and has been repeatedly recognized for academic achievement by both the Haworth College of Business and the Department of Economics. Breisach spent last summer as a research intern with the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, conducting a study of water and wastewater affordability for the city of Kalamazoo and developing policy recommendations. For his accountancy honors thesis, he is focusing on the convergence of international accounting standards. Breisach was a three-year member of the Bronco Marching Band, an officer in the WMU Cycling Club, tutored his fellow students in economics and volunteered for Junior Achievement. He will graduate in April, and this fall, he will begin pursuing a law degree with a specialty in utility law. He hopes eventually to become a law professor. He is the son of Eric and Tobi Breisach of Kalamazoo.

Andrea L. Brown was named a Presidential Scholar in Integrated Supply Matrix Management. She will complete her fourth student internship this summer, this one at DaimlerChrysler, before taking her skills to the workplace after her December graduation. Her three other internship experiences have been at Johnson Controls in Holland, Mich., BorgWarner Automotive in Bellwood, Ill. and Whirlpool Corp. in St. Joseph, Mich. She is particularly interested in plant operations and strategic sourcing through collaborative relationships with suppliers. Brown's internship at DaimlerChrysler will take her into a final assembly plant this summer and allow her to continue her focus on those topics. Global interaction is important to her and she has taken advantage of study abroad opportunities in Australia and to 14 nations in Europe. She is spending the spring semester in Queretaro, Mexico. She is the daughter of Loren and Margaret Brown of Waterford.

Tristan H. Brown was named a Presidential Scholar in Environmental Studies. Brown has tailored both his environmental studies major and student planned major to attain a broad education that will prepare him for graduate studies after he earns his diploma this April. He hopes to attend the London School of Economics/Columbia University dual master of public administration program. A member of the Lee Honors College and Phi Beta Kappa, Brown is an active campus and community leader and volunteer with an outstanding academic and research record. He has earned top national honors such as the Udall Scholarship and selection to USA Today's 2005 All-USA College Academic Third Team, done pollution abatement research through the National Science Foundation, and earned prestigious grants from WMU to support investigations on topics ranging from campus water quality to the culture and environment of Malaysia. Brown also has been involved in campus, local, state and national politics. He is WMU's first Lloyd Meeds Policy Fellow and created a documentary about Malaysia that is being considered for airing by a national cable network. He is the son of the late Jack R. Brown and Enid Hilton of Franklin, Mich.

Jason C. Carrigan was named a Presidential Scholar in Business Information Systems. A computer information systems major, Carrigan has managed to merge his passions for programming and database design with a love for the Spanish language and an interest in the developing world. As an intern this semester with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Carrigan completed a summer 2004 internship in San Isidro, Costa Rica, with International Teams, a nonprofit missions organization. The Lee Honors College senior is currently examining issues of corporate governance, risk, and compliance management and is writing his honors thesis on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which requires stricter corporate governance in the wake of major corporate scandals. Following his April graduation, he hopes to return to Costa Rica for two years before beginning his work toward an advanced degree in business. He is the son of Tom and Kathy Carrigan of Vermontville, Mich.

Daniel J. Centilli was named a Presidential Scholar in Aviation. Centilli, who graduated in December with a major in aviation flight science and a minor in business management, is well on his way to realizing his lifelong ambition of becoming an airline captain. He is now enrolled at the Gulfstream Academy of Aeronautics in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. When he completes that training, he will be an intern first officer, flying commuter aircraft for Gulfstream International Airline. Centilli spent his years at WMU polishing his international credentials as well. The Lee Honors College member completed a senior thesis on "The Potential Effects of the Trans-Atlantic Common Aviation Area on Shannon Airport, Ireland," and he was the first WMU student to take advantage of a semester-long aviation student exchange opportunity with Swineburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. He is the son of Laurie and Bob Centilli of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Erin L. Chupinsky was named a Presidential Scholar in Music Theatre Performance. Music, theatre, and dance have come together for Chupinsky. During the past three years, she performed in many WMU productions, including "Godspell," "Brigadoon," various roles in the Stars and Moon Cabaret Series, and as a company member of the dance department's "Graduate Presentations." She performed in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Sweeny Todd" at the Kalamazoo Civic Theatre and also appeared in several other local productions. Chupinsky recently traveled to England to attend the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, where she studied classical theatre. As a Lee Honors College member, Chupinsky presented a cabaret performance that she wrote, produced, performed and directed for her honors thesis. She was awarded both Medallion and Hearron scholarships and is a member of the National Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi. After graduating in April, she plans to do summer stock theatre and perform on a cruise ship before heading to New York to begin a professional theatre career. She is the daughter of Daniel and Jean Chupinsky of Novi, Mich.

Michael D. Clift was named a Presidential Scholar in Chemistry. Clift is a member of the Lee Honors College and expects to graduate in April with a degree in biochemistry and biology. Following graduation, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in chemistry with emphasis on organic synthesis, leading to a career in either the pharmaceutical industry or university-sponsored research. Clift is a member of several honor societies, including Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, Golden Key and Mortar Board. His research at WMU included the collection of anaerobic bacteria from the Kalamazoo River with the ultimate goal of isolating microorganisms that are capable of biodegrading a mutagenic environmental contaminant, polychlorinated biphenyls. He also investigated the cause of organophosphate induced delayed neuropathy. In addition to his work at WMU, he volunteered in the DNA Division of the Michigan State Police Forensics Lab and is an intern at ProNAi Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical research firm. He is the son of Ronald and Debra Clift of Bellevue, Mich.

Dianne M. Conn was named a Presidential Scholar in Spanish. She is a member of the Lee Honors College and expects to graduate in December. Her academic focus at WMU has been the study of Spanish and English for secondary education. She taught Spanish to students in grades 9-12 for her education internship at Vicksburg High School. During her junior year, she studied at the University of Seville in Spain, lived with a native family and traveled throughout Europe and Africa. Conn has received a Cultural Diversity Scholarship, the Spanish department's Inca Garcilaso de la Vega Award and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies. Her honors thesis produced a study unit with topics ranging from Spanish history, culture, linguistics and learning to critical pedagogy. Following graduation, she will begin studies toward a master's degree in Spanish at WMU, where she will teach introductory Spanish as a graduate teaching assistant. She is the daughter of Nancy and the late Ronald Conn of Ortonville, Mich.

Alana M. Dumasius was named a Presidential Scholar in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. Industrial logistics, planning and distribution are Dumasius' specialties, and she has spent her WMU years compiling industry experience through three major internships and as a research assistant at Kalamazoo's Bronson Methodist Health Center, where she conducted a time and work study of the nursing staff. The Lee Honors College member is currently a product availability intern with the Kellogg Co. in Battle Creek, Mich. She also has been a global supply management intern with Delphi Corp. in Troy, Mich., and an engineering intern with Eaton Corp. in Marshall, Mich. She hopes one day to work abroad. To enhance opportunities toward that goal, Dumasius is completing a second major in Spanish language and culture and has spent a semester in Spain. After her April graduation, she plans to work in industry and eventually pursue a master's degree in business or engineering. She is the daughter of John and Andrea Dumasius of Grosse Ile, Mich.

Kathryn S. Duthler was named a Presidential Scholar in Theatre. Theatre and writing are the main interests of Duthler, who has studied both theatre performance and creative writing at WMU. She hopes to continue her training in both areas as a graduate student and eventually write and act professionally. Duthler, who graduates in June, studied this past summer at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland. She then performed in "Women of Troy" with a cast from the WMU Department of Theatre at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Her studies were sponsored by the Diether H. Haenicke British Isles Scholarship. She also had the honor of performing in a WMU production of "Othello" that was selected to go to the American College Theatre Festival in early 2005. She is the daughter of Jack and Susanne Duthler of Holland, Mich.

Jamie P. Falahee was named a Presidential Scholar in Speech Pathology and Audiology. As a youth, she often job-shadowed her mother, a speech-language pathologist. She always enjoyed the experience and now wants to help people in the same way. After graduating in April, Falahee plans to obtain her graduate degree and work in a pediatric clinic. Her chosen profession will allow her to study the development of language in children and conduct research in speech, language and hearing while helping others with their communication problems. Falahee, a member of the Lee Honors College, received a Medallion Scholarship and serves on the Kalamazoo Volunteer Committee and has worked and studied at the Michigan Hearing Center. She is excited about the advances now unfolding in her profession and is eager to begin work as a speech-language pathologist. She is the daughter of Charles and Pamela Falahee of Jackson, Mich.

Christine A. Gilboe was named a Presidential Scholar in Management. She will graduate in April with a major in human resource management and a minor in communication. Gilboe is particularly interested in staffing and legal issues in human resources. This fall, she will begin working towards a joint degree in law and a master's in human resources and industrial relations. Her ultimate goal is to become an employment attorney specializing in corporate compliance and employment litigation. She will graduate from the Lee Honors College and currently is completing her honors thesis on all-girl schools and the influence of single-sex education on young women. Gilboe has held two internships at Stryker Medical, first as a buyer intern for eight months and currently as a recruiter intern. Active in a wide range of campus organizations, she had leadership roles in such groups as the Western Student Association and the Dean's Student Advisory Council for the Haworth College of Business. She is the daughter of David and Linda Gilboe of Troy, Mich.

Charles C. Golden was named a Presidential Scholar in Africana Studies. Golden expects to graduate in December with a Bachelor of Arts in Africana studies and a Bachelor of Business Administration in business management. Following graduation, he hopes to pursue master's and doctoral degrees in Africana studies and a Master of Business Administration degree. He is a recipient of the Dennis Archer Scholarship­Detroit Area Compact and serves as president of the WMU Young Black Males Support Network. During his two-year presidency, the organization engaged in a mentor/tutor program at Kalamazoo's Edison Elementary School and earned the W.E.B. Dubois Organizational Leadership Award. Golden is completing an Africana Studies Program internship at Edison Elementary, where he works with African American sixth-graders, assisting them with reading, mathematics, science and social skills. His future aspirations include founding a private K-12 school offering a multi-perspective curriculum and establishing programs that will facilitate home ownership for low-income families. He is the son of Charlie and Kathi Golden of Detroit.

Mary Beth Greendonner was named a Presidential Scholar in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. Following her April graduation, Greendonner plans to continue her career in the nuclear power industry. She holds an associate's degree in mechanical engineering technology from Purdue University. She is employed by American Electric Power at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Power Plant in Bridgman, Mich., the community where she lives. Her academic interests include fire protection systems, thermodynamics and fluid systems. Greendonner is a member of the National Fire Protection Association, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers and Pi Tau Sigma, an honorary mechanical engineering fraternity. She is the daughter of Charles and Lois Moore of Michigan City, Ind.

Hannah J. Gryska was named a Presidential Scholar in Political Science. She is a member of the Lee Honors College and expects to graduate in April. She is a political science major with a concentration in public policy and also is majoring in environmental studies. Her areas of interest include environmental policy, the role of advocacy by nonprofit organizations in public policymaking and the socio-economic status and political involvement of women in the United States. She received two undergraduate research awards: one was used to study the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of WMU's campus energy production and use, and the other funded her honors thesis on the role of nonprofit organizations in public policymaking. Gryska is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and recipient of the Stanley and Helenan S. Robin Scholarship for Academic Excellence in Political Science. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a master's degree in public administration. She is the daughter of Jim and Kathy Gryska of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Jeffery S. Hammerberg was named a Presidential Scholar in Geography. Hammerberg, who graduated from WMU in December 2004, earned a bachelor of science degree with a concentration on geographic information processing. He has a minor from the Department of Geosciences and won that department's 2004 Senior Honor Award. Hammerberg has traveled extensively in the United States and was exposed to the outdoors early in life, giving him a strong appreciation for America's natural heritage and resources. His college course work allowed him to develop skills in remote sensing, geographic information systems and statistical analysis that will serve him well as he pursues a career in resource management with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources or National Forest Service. He is the son of Gary Hammerberg of Manchester, Mich., and Carol Sisco of Kalamazoo.

Chad J. Herremans was named a Presidential Scholar in Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging. His chemical engineering studies have focused on painting and coating applications, primarily in the automotive industry, and also in the area of water purification and wastewater treatment. During the summer of 2004, Herremans enjoyed an internship with Coca Cola of North America. In 2002, he was named "Chemistry Student of the Year" by his department. He would like to relocate to Colorado after his April graduation and is in the process of exploring both employment and graduate school opportunities in that area. He expects his graduate work to focus on a specific area of chemical engineering, such as automotive painting applications. He is the son of Timothy Herremans of Edwardsburg, Mich., and LeAnn Money of Buchanan, Mich.

Korin T. Isotalo was named a Presidential Scholar in Communication. She is a member of the Lee Honors College and expects to graduate in April with a media studies major, a coordinate major in women's studies and a minor in English. She is a member of Lambda Phi Eta, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies and has worked as a residence hall assistant for three years. She received an undergraduate research award from the College of Arts and Sciences, which Isotalo used to conduct focus groups with readers of teen magazines to determine their perceptions of the messages in the publications. She is also conducting content analysis of a reality television dating show, using an undergraduate research grant from the Lee Honors College. Following graduation, she plans to pursue a doctorate in media and cultural studies, with the career goal of teaching at a university. She is the daughter of Eric and Eileen Isotalo of South Lyon, Mich.

Christopher C. Jacobs was named a Presidential Scholar in Civil and Construction Engineering. Jacobs began his fascination with civil engineering as a youngster while accompanying his father on business trips to Europe. He looks forward to a career that will have an emphasis on structural engineering, particularly the steel and concrete design of high-rise buildings and bridges. He is currently working as an undergraduate research assistant in his department, and his duties have included literature reviews, collaborating on the development of new construction technologies, laboratory experiments and materials and field-testing. Jacobs has assisted in the scanning of state bridges and pavement for the Michigan Department of Transportation, using ground-penetrating radar. This summer, he plans to complete an internship with that agency. Following his December graduation, he plans to work in his field and attend graduate school at WMU. An active community volunteer, he hopes to use his professional skills some day as a member of Engineers Without Borders. He is the son of Carl Jacobs of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Shirley Jacobs of Bluffton, S.C.

Carrie R. Janiski was named a Presidential Scholar in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Janiski has explored nearly all facets of athletic training, working with men's basketball, football, softball, and in the WMU sports medicine clinic at Sindecuse Health Center. A member of the Lee Honors College, she is completing an internship at K Valley Orthopedics. Her honors college thesis is a pedometry study titled "Taking Steps to Improve Health at WMU," and she is a research assistant in the dance department in a pilot study in cooperation with Case Western Reserve University. An active member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, Janiski was awarded a Ford Scholarship in 2001. She also was awarded a Medallion Scholarship and is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She was awarded scholarships from the National Athletic Trainers' and the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers' associations, as well as Research and Creative Activities grants through the Lee Honors College. She hopes to study orthopedic surgery in medical school after her April graduation. She is the daughter of Jean and Dan Janiski of Clio, Mich.

Carrie L. Johnson was named a Presidential Scholar in Marketing. Majoring in food and consumer packaged goods marketing, Johnson also has developed an interest in marketing research. Last summer, she completed an internship with Wirthlin Worldwide, an international marketing research firm, in their Grand Rapids, Mich., branch, where she will work again for several months after her April graduation. A Lee Honors College member, Johnson is conducting primary research for her honors thesis that examines the role that gender plays in the wedding decision planning process. Next fall, she will begin work on an MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she will be enrolled in the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research. She has been awarded a graduate assistantship that includes a full tuition waiver. Johnson hopes to eventually earn a doctoral degree in marketing and enter the world of academe. She is the daughter of Steve and Kim Johnson of Galien, Mich.

Joseph C. Johnson was named a Presidential Scholar in Mathematics. The whole of mathematics amazes Johnson, but his current areas of interest are point-set topology, analysis and logic. He also has worked as a tutor and is active in the mathematics honor society. A teaching assistant, he relishes the opportunity to instruct others in his chosen field. After graduation in June, he plans to enroll in graduate school and pursue a doctorate in mathematics. He would like to become a university professor. His outstanding academic work has earned him several honors, including a federal grant and two scholarships administered by the Department of Mathematics. He is the son of Virginia and Thomas Johnson of Greenville, Mich.

Laura J. Ketchum was named a Presidential Scholar in Music. She hopes to embark on a career as a band or orchestra director after her April graduation. After a few years of working, she plans to begin studies for a master's degree. During her final semester, she has been an intern teacher at Parchment Community Schools in the instrumental music program. As a member of the Lee Honors College, she presented a music recital and lecture titled "Euphonium vs. Baritone: The History of the Confusion" as her honors thesis. In 2003, she took part in the University Symphonic Band's tour of Brazil. Ketchum has received multiple merit awards and scholarships, including the Coggan Distinguished Music Education Award, Leonard Meretta Band Award, Michael Listiak Music Education Award, Evelyn Rosen Hart Award, Music Alumni Friends Award, Kalamazoo Valley Blues Association Award, WMU Alumni Legacy Award, and a WMU Academic Award. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta, Pi Kappa Lambda and Golden Key honor societies. She has also been a member of the University chapter of Collegiate Music Educator's National Convention. She is the daughter of Douglas and Judith Ketchum of Otsego, Mich.

Joel M. Krzan was named a Presidential Scholar in Statistics. He is a graduate of Portage Central High School, where he excelled in mathematics. He transferred to WMU from Clemson University in spring 2004 and expects to graduate in April 2006 with a major in statistics and a minor in economics. He plans to spend the next year exploring statistical applications in economics and business and looks forward to taking statistics courses in quality control, experimental design and sampling. Krzan has worked as a communications technician at Bronson Methodist Hospital and is also on the fitness staff at Bronson Athletic Club. He intends to pursue graduate studies in a quantitative field, either in applied statistics, operations research or an applied economics degree. He is the son Mike and Lisa Krzan of Centerville, Ohio.

Lisa R. LaMarre was named a Presidential Scholar in Dance. She has been studying dance since age 7. A dancer, performer, teacher and choreographer, she has studied ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, pointe, social dance and partnering. While at WMU, she received two Dalton Exceptional Dance Major Scholarships and an Undergraduate Entrepreneurial Program grant to study dance in New York at Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, and the Limòn Institute. LaMarre recently worked with BalletMet, a nationally known ballet company based in Columbus, Ohio, and participated in the American College Dance Festival. She has performed in Nevada, Missouri and Ohio as well as throughout Michigan. She is a member of Phi Sigma Theta and has served as treasurer of the Orchesis Dance Society for two years. LaMarre participated in the Great Works Dance Project at WMU and has taught young dancers at private studios and summer camps. After graduating in April, she plans to begin a professional career as a performer, teacher and choreographer. She is the daughter of William and Elaine LaMarre of Alpena, Mich.

Joshua D. Levi was named a Presidential Scholar in Art. Levi has designed a stellar academic career and laid out a bright future while taking his studies to an international stage. As a graphic design student, Levi's primary interests are typography and print media with related interests in photography and painting. Levi studied poster design and typography at the University of Art and Design in Basel, Switzerland, during summer 2004. In December 2003, he participated in a travel study program in Israel, where he experienced the ancient art, architecture and design of the Near East. Levi, who graduates in December, is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies and actively participates in the WMU chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. He received the School of Arts' 2003 Rose Netzorg Kerr and James Kerr Award in Graphic Design and the College of Fine Arts Dean's Award in 2004. After graduation, he plans to work as a design professional and eventually open his own design office. He is the son of Paul and Mary Levi of West Bloomfield, Mich.

Patrick J. Lombardo was named a Presidential Scholar in Computer Science. A transfer student, Lombardo came to WMU largely because of the flexibility the computer science program offered. He has made the most of his education, taking courses in a variety of computer science fields, as well as interning as a systems programmer for a particle accelerator group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and completing three co-op stints as a global network analyst at the U.S. Department of Defense in Maryland. Lombardo also has studied Arabic and Middle Eastern culture. He studied in Egypt in 2004. He recently joined the U.S. Army and, upon graduating this June, he will be commissioned as a second lieutenant. His future plans include working full time for the defense department and entering graduate or law school. He is the son of John and Lynn Lombardo.

Bryan A. Martin was named a Presidential Scholar in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Digital design and the integrated circuit manufacturing process are Martin's primary academic interests, and he hopes to put his knowledge to work in the nation's defense industry. During the summer of 2003, Bryan was a research intern in the National Science Foundation's Research Experience for Undergraduates program at Penn State University. In that role, he wrote software designed to increase the accuracy of the testing and calibrating process used for MEMS--micro electromechanical sensors. In addition, he has put his skills to work by serving his department as a supplemental instructor in its Circuit Analysis course, a challenging pre-engineering course in which many students need outside assistance to master the concepts. Martin plans to pursue a doctoral degree while working in the defense sector, where heavy emphasis is placed on digital signal processing and digital microcontrollers. He is the son of William and Karen Martin of Kentwood, Mich.

Heather M. McAdam was named a Presidential Scholar in Foreign Languages. Although McAdam's main academic focus is French and international business, her Lee Honors College membership has allowed her to explore fields such as economics, political science, and law. She is interning at a Kalamazoo law firm and, after graduating this coming April, plans to enroll in law school and study international law. McAdam is a recipient of WMU's Medallion Scholarship, the University's highest honor for an incoming freshman. During her undergraduate career, she has studied extensively in France, where this past fall she also taught English to French students. McAdam has received multiple study abroad awards from the University and is a member of several honor societies, including Phi Beta Kappa. She is the daughter of Gary and Rebecca McAdam of Williamston, Mich.

Irving R. McFarren was named a Presidential Scholar in Manufacturing Engine3ering. He began his manufacturing engineering studies as a full-time student at Muskegon Community College. A year later, he began working as an engineering student at Howmet Corp., a Muskegon-area manufacturer of aircraft engines and parts. He remains at Howmet and has advanced to his current position of process engineer. McFarren is completing his degree at WMU's campus in that city. Following his April graduation, McFarren plans to take a year or two hiatus from the classroom before beginning work toward a master's degree, most likely in manufacturing management. He is the son of Robert and Verginia McFarren of Muskegon, Mich.

Katrine (Kay) M. Miller was named a Presidential Scholar in Social Work. After her graduation in April, Miller has her sights set on obtaining a master's degree in social work with a concentration in policy planning administration. She is performing a field internship with Community AIDS Resource Education Services (CARES) of Southwest Michigan, working in the areas of case management, support services and prevention education. After graduate school, she would like to work as a full-time social work professional in the Kalamazoo area and eventually pursue a Ph.D. with specialization in international social work. Miller is a successful business owner and the proud single parent of four sons. She received a Women's Coalition Grant, a private donor scholarship and Robert Barstow Award from the School of Social Work. She has been a volunteer mentor for adolescents, a lunchroom volunteer at Paramount Charter Academy and an office volunteer for CARES. She is a member of Phi Alpha, a social work honors society, the National Association for Social Workers and Pilgrim, an association for environmental change. She is the daughter of Sherlean Nutter of Kalamazoo.

Erin A. Muston was named a Presidential Scholar in Occupational Therapy. She is part of the 4+1 program in occupational therapy, which leads to a master's degree in occupational therapy in five years. After her graduation in December, she will begin her master's degree work. She currently is doing pediatric fieldwork at the WMU Unified Clinics and will also complete fieldwork in the areas of mental health and geriatrics. Muston has been awarded scholarships through the Medallion Scholarship Program and AMBUCS, a nationwide service club. The Lee Honors College member has been active in the Alpha Lambda Delta honor society and is a member of Golden Key International Honour Society. She also is an active member in the Student Occupational Therapy Association, serving last year as a faculty delegate and currently serving as president. She is the daughter of Jo Ann and Michael Muston of Flushing, Mich.

Thu Thi Hoai Nguyen was named a Presidential Scholar in Finance and Commercial Law. A Ph.D. in financial economics and a career in academia are among Nguyen's plans for the future. The Vietnam native would like to provide talented students with the tools they need to become professionals in her country. The finance major spent last fall as a student research assistant in the Haworth College of Business, working on two research papers that were presented at the Academy of Economics and Finance's 30th Annual Meeting last month in Savannah, Ga. She also has worked as a tutor for her department, offering junior-level students help with course work in business finance and computer applications in finance. Active in a number of extracurricular activities, Nguyen has served as vice president of the Vietnamese Student Association and a member and officer of the Student Entertainment Team. She is the daughter of Nguyen Khac Tuan and Le Thi Tuyen Minh of Hanoi, Vietnam.

Danielle R. Odette was named a Presidential Scholar in Geosciences. As a double major in geology and geography with an environmental resource management specialization, Odette has been keenly involved in her studies. She has served as a teaching assistant, helped develop a 400-level course and has done geosciences research that is slated to be presented at a Geological Society of America sectional meeting in Minnesota and the GSA annual conference in Utah. A transfer student, she is currently president of the Geology Club and heavily involved in providing students with additional field experiences, as well as with caring for the Rood Hall Mineral Museum and developing a series of student-run seminars. Odette expects to graduate in December 2005. She plans to attend graduate school and looks forward to a career as a geoscientist. She is the daughter of Mike Odette and Gayl Grenadier of Birmingham, Mich.

Benjamin J. Purrenhage was named a Presidential Scholar in Industrial Design. Purrenhage will bring a wealth of industrial design background with him when he heads to industry after his April graduation. He plans to join a design firm as part of the creative team. Purrenhage has served as his department's lab manager since 2002, scheduling other employees, helping students with their design projects and maintaining equipment. He also has undertaken design projects, sponsored by Johnson Outdoors, the Little Tykes Co., and Crown Equipment Corp. A summer internship with Johnson put him in charge of accessory design for the company's 2005 line of watercraft. In addition, Purrenhage worked as a design assistant for Duncan Aviation in Battle Creek, Mich., where he was responsible for developing seat renderings and paint schemes for customer approval. He was a finalist at the 2003 Association of Woodworkers and Furniture Suppliers Fair with a coffee table he designed. His design was published in Freshwood: New Designers that same year. He is the son of Mary Purrenhage of Lake Orion, Mich.

Amanda R. Rivard was named a Presidential Scholar in Sociology. She expects to graduate in April with majors in psychology and sociology and a minor in women's studies. This past year, she was a member of a 12-student team that assisted with research on self-regulated learning and the role of the classroom environment. She has also been involved in a program where she works two hours a day with an autistic student at Kalamazoo's Croyden Avenue School. Her work involves implementing learning plans that have been designed specifically for the child's needs. Rivard hopes to continue that work as a volunteer in the future. She has worked as a teaching assistant for a general psychology class and is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society. Following graduation, she plans to pursue either a specialist degree in school psychology or a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology. She is the daughter of William and Judith Rivard of Clinton Township, Mich.

Talline M. Robadey was named a Presidential Scholar in Biological Sciences. Robadey expects to graduate in April with a major in biological sciences. She was awarded an assistantship from the National Institutes of Health Bridges Program and is a McNair Post-Baccalaureate Scholar. She conducted research on the evolutionary history of the tomato family using molecular markers and on the defense response in tobacco following viral infection, among other projects. After completing her NIH assistantship, Robadey remained involved as a counselor and peer mentor. She first became interested in studying biology as a sixth-grader living in Brazil. She plans to pursue a doctorate in biology and a career as a university professor, because she wants to continue to do research and also serve as a mentor to students. She is the daughter of Silvia Roberto and Celia Ramos Martins of North Charleston, S.C.

Jared A Rogge was named a Presidential Scholar in Nursing. Rogge works at Borgess Medical Center as a nurse extern II in the cardiovascular lab recovery unit. As a member of the Lee Honors College, he is examining the stigma of mental illness and attitudes toward the mentally ill for his honors thesis. His findings will be presented in April as part of Nursing Scholarship and Research Day. A member of Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key International Honor Society, Rogge has been involved as both a participant and site leader for The Alternative Winter Experience, spending part of his winter break volunteering in another part of the country. Rogge also has worked for the WMU Office of Admissions and Orientation as an orientation student leader and student orientation coordinator, as well as volunteered for Drive Safe Kalamazoo, Bronco Bash and Bronco Days. After graduating in April, Rogge hopes to receive an internship in critical care nursing and possibly become a physician assistant, nurse anesthetist or educator. He is the son of Marvin and Lorraine Rogge of Owosso, Mich.

Diane L. Strohschein was named a Presidential Scholar in Physics. Whether engaged in her hobbies or her education, Strohschein shows no fear. The private pilot, licensed skydiving instructor and member of a professional skydiving exhibition team is majoring in both mathematics and physics. She has been conducting research in experimental atomic physics since 2003 and spent the summer of 2004 at Auburn University in Alabama working on an atomic physics project sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Off campus, Strohschein has been a reading tutor for third-graders and on campus has been a teaching assistant in the College of Aviation and teacher and tutor for the mathematics department. She is a member of the Lee Honors College, as well as president of the Physics Club. Strohschein will graduate in June 2006 and plans to teach and conduct physics research at a university. She is the daughter of Ann Marie Strohschein of Lockport, Ill.

Joshua D. Upson was named a Presidential Scholar in Philosophy. He plans to enroll in graduate school after graduating in April. His academic interests in the philosophy of time and metaphysics have led him to pursue a career in academia as a professor. He also enjoys the study of history and, in 2003-04, received a special achievement award from the Department of History. Upson has divided his time at WMU between his studies and the University's student-run radio station, WIDR 89.1 FM. He started volunteering at the station as a DJ during his freshmen year and now is director of promotions. Through WIDR, he has been active in the campus and local communities, participating in such activities as organizing charity concerts and working on food drives. He is the son of LuAnne and David Upson of Galesburg, Mich.

Michelle J. VanWagner was named a Presidential Scholar in Psychology. VanWagner expects to graduate in December. Her areas of academic interest are organizational psychology, behavioral systems analysis, organizational behavior management and instructional design technologies. She has worked as a research assistant on three projects and has conducted three smaller scale research projects of her own. Projects in which VanWagner was involved include behavior-based, work-safety studies; implementing a performance management package at a physical therapy clinic; development, implementation and evaluation of a training system for professional presentation skills; and development of Web-based training materials, among others. In the fall, she plans to return to WMU to pursue graduate studies in applied behavioral analysis and continue her research in behavioral systems analysis, performance management and instructional design. She is the daughter of John and Theresa VanWagner of Mattawan, Mich.

Casey L. VanWormer was named a Presidential Scholar in Anthropology. VanWormer graduated magna cum laude in December 2004 with majors in anthropology, English and theatre performance. She hopes to combine these diverse disciplines into a doctorate in performance studies. She enjoys the university environment, and her ultimate career goal is to be a university professor. She spent the 1998-99 school year living in Germany. Her research interests include protest and underground theatre movements in nations that have recently undergone sweeping political upheaval. VanWormer translated E.T.A. Hoffman's "Der Sandmann" and adapted it for the stage. The resulting one-act play earned a spot in WMU's New Play Project. She also wrote and produced "Ezekiel 14," a play that contrasts human and bonobo chimpanzee behaviors. She is the daughter of Linda and Leslie VanWormer.

Kevin A. Walters was named a Presidential Scholar in Comparative Religion. He expects to graduate in April with a double major in comparative religion and philosophy. His areas of academic interest include Eastern philosophy and religion, in particular the Zen sect of Japanese Buddhism. He plans to pursue a doctoral degree in a field relevant to Japanese Buddhist philosophy, with the career goals of teaching, research and writing. In June, he is attending a seminar on Japanese religion and culture in Tokyo and Nikko, Japan. His extra-curricular activities at WMU include music composition and photography. Walters is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Sigma Theta and Phi Theta Kappa honors societies. He is the son of Brenda Moran of Michigan City, Ind., and Bruce and Vicki Walters of South Bend, Ind.

Katherine C. Webb was named a Presidential Scholar in English. She is double majoring in creative writing and broadcast and cable production with a minor in journalism. A member of the Lee Honors College, her academic interests range from screenwriting and playwriting to post-Holocaust literature and political analysis. She also has recently become intrigued by documentary film. Outside class, Webb is vice president of the College Democrats and was a vice president and co-founder of Students for Democracy and Students for Howard Dean. She participated in the Camp Wellstone grassroots organizing program in 2004 and was named a fellow in the inaugural 2005 Young People For program by People for the American Way initiative. When she graduates in April 2006, Webb plans to enter film school and combine her desire to effect social change with her love of film. She is the daughter of Douglas and Janice Webb of Ann Arbor, Mich.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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