Top engineering seniors honored as 2017 Presidential Scholars

Fifty students – including seven from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences -- were recognized as Western Michigan University's top seniors for 2017 during the 37th annual Presidential Scholars Convocation on March 28. Each year, faculty members from across the University select the most outstanding senior in their various academic schools, departments and programs to represent their units as a WMU Presidential Scholar. This year, 50 scholars were chosen from a senior class of more than 5,941 students.

The Presidential Scholar designation is the highest academic honor that WMU can bestow on its undergraduates. Selection is based on the students' general academic excellence, academic and artistic excellence relative to their majors, and intellectual and artistic promise.

The 2017 Presidential Scholars Convocation, which was by invitation only, included a program featuring a keynote address by Dr. John M. Dunn, president of WMU. Also making remarks were Dr. Suzan F. Ayers, president of the WMU Faculty Senate, and Taylor Hall, vice president of the Western Student Association. After each of this year's scholars were recognized and awarded certificates, a dessert reception was held while the scholars had their pictures taken with Dunn and Ayers.


  • Chemical and Paper Engineering—Daniel J. VanZweden of Kalamazoo
  • Civil and Construction Engineering—Alec J. Ingram of Grand Rapids
  • Computer Science—Andrew S. Gifford of Portage
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering—Sarah K. Seng of Battle Creek
  • Engineering Design, Manufacturing and Management Systems—Regan H. Elzerman of Fowlerville
  • Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management—Michelle M. Valente of Rockford
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering—Zachary A. Reinke of Bushton, Kansas