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Top seniors to be honored as 2009 Presidential Scholars

March 19, 2009

KALAMAZOO--Forty-six students will be recognized as Western Michigan University's top seniors for 2009 during the 29th annual Presidential Scholars Convocation Tuesday, March 24, in WMU's Fetzer Center.

Each year, faculty members select the most outstanding senior in their various academic schools, departments and programs to represent their units as a WMU Presidential Scholar, the highest academic award that WMU can bestow to an undergraduate. Selection is based on the students' general academic excellence, academic and/or artistic excellence in their majors, and intellectual and/or artistic promise.

The 2009 Presidential Scholars Convocation, which is by invitation only, will begin at 6:30 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Dr. John M. Dunn, WMU president, who will present a talk titled "The Indispensable Condition."

Also speaking during the convocation will be Dr. John A. Jellies, president of the WMU Faculty Senate, and Danielle Harik, president of the Western Student Association.

This year's list of Presidential Scholars include a young woman who intends to spend time in the Peace Corps before going to work in the nonprofit sector, an undergraduate researcher whose work in nuclear physics has been presented at Argonne National Laboratory meetings, a mother and U.S. Army veteran whose degree will allow her to teach children with special needs, a double major in aviation and dance who is a licensed pilot and an award-winning choreographer and dancer, and a future diplomat who is getting degrees from both WMU and a Ukrainian university.

The convocation is sponsored by WMU's Faculty Senate and Office of the President. For more information, contact Janice Anderson, convocation committee chair and Faculty Senate administrator, at (269) 387-3310, or contact Elena Gaudio, committee member and executive secretary to WMU's president, at (269) 387-2351.

2009 Presidential Scholars

  • Accountancy--Adriana M. Kniffin, Kalamazoo
  • Anthropology--Kourtney K. Collum, Monroe, Mich.
  • Art--Aaron T. Reming-McGrane, Kalamazoo
  • Aviation--Jared K. Neterer, Mattawan, Mich.
  • Biological Sciences--Sylvia Radzikowski, Caledonia, Mich.
  • Business Information Systems--Burt G. LeClercq, Oak Harbor, Wash.
  • Chemistry--Jeffrey Rabe, Garden City, Mich.
  • Civil and Construction Engineering--Marianne M. Zenz, Grass Lake, Mich.
  • Communication--Sara L. Waisanen, Hancock, Mich.
  • Comparative Religion--Diane E. Hall, Traverse City, Mich.
  • Computer Science--Daniel E. Frandsen, Portage, Mich.
  • Dance--Lonnie D. Poupard Jr., Monroe, Mich.
  • Economics--Emily E. Hawrysz, Oak Lawn Ill.
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering--Gregory M. Vosters, Otsego, Mich.
  • English as well as Gender and Women's Studies--Philip M. Taylor, Lambertville, Mich.
  • Environmental Studies Program--Michael P. Coryell, Onekama, Mich.
  • Family and Consumer Sciences--Liza M. Nay, Richland, Mich.
  • Finance and Commercial Law--Jason S.H. ter Avest, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Foreign Languages--Victoria L. Mansberger, Kalamazoo
  • Geography--Magdalena K. Wisniewska, Warren, Mich.
  • Geosciences--Stephanie K. Ewald, Holt, Mich.
  • Health, Physical Education and Recreation--Anthony P. Rohr, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • History--Jenna E. Teachout, Kalamazoo
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering--Jordan R. Avery, Jackson, Mich.
  • Integrated Supply Matrix Management--Michael G. Kozan, Clio, Mich.
  • Interdisciplinary Health Services--Joshua K. Radi, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Management--Benjamin A. Brown, Marcellus, Mich.
  • Manufacturing Engineering--Douglas N. Whitener Jr., Twin Lake, Mich.
  • Marketing--Thalia J. Playford, Sudbury, Ontario
  • Mathematics--Bryan A. Phinezy, Monroe, Mich.
  • Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering--Brian L. Doorlag, Plainwell, Mich.
  • Music--Benjamin L. Beck, South Haven, Mich.
  • Music Theatre Performance--Hannah L. Sielatycki, Portage, Mich.
  • Nursing--Samantha J. Barrett, Saginaw, Mich.
  • Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging--Margaret E. Gerhart, Montague, Mich.
  • Philosophy--Scott M. Cressey, Hartland, Mich.
  • Physics--Jack R. Winkelbauer, North Branch, Mich.
  • Political Science--Michael A. Gregor, Macomb, Mich.
  • Psychology--Manish K. Goyal, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Social Work--Jamie L. Crandell, Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Sociology--Lucas B. Patton, Morenci, Mich.
  • Spanish--Olena Koshmanova, Lviv, Ukraine, and Kalamazoo
  • Special Education and Literacy Studies--Phoenicia M. Green, Allegan, Mich.
  • Speech Pathology and Audiology--Paula S. Vergunst, Kalamazoo
  • Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies--Alysha J. Bartz, St. Clair, Mich.
  • Theatre--Jenna M. D'Angelo, Eaton Rapids, Mich.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

WMU News
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