Seniors honored for academic excellence as 2024 Presidential Scholars

Contact: Deanne Puca

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Forty-five students were recognized as Western Michigan University's top seniors for 2024 during the annual Presidential Scholars Convocation.

Each year, faculty members from across the University select the most outstanding senior in their nearly 50 academic schools, departments and programs to represent their unit as a WMU Presidential Scholar. This year, scholars were chosen from a senior class of 4,349 students.

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

The 2024 Presidential Scholars Convocation, which was by invitation only, featured a keynote address by 2023 Presidential Scholar Rebecca J. Adams, who graduated this past spring with a Bachelor of Science in speech pathology and audiology.

WMU President Edward Montgomery and Dr. Sarah Summy, president of the Faculty Senate, also spoke at the March 15 event.

"Each and every one of the Presidential Scholars personifies the best of what we want our students to take from their Western experience," said Montgomery. "They've pursued their purpose and received a quality, hands-on education. They've developed grit and the ability to overcome setbacks and obstacles. They've identified their ‘why’ and are prepared to lead a full, well-rounded life. As soon as they graduate, they will be taking the next step toward a meaningful career or graduate school. I’m very excited for the scholars, proud of all they have accomplished, and we cannot wait to see what they do next in fulfilling their life's journey."


  • Accountancy—Opal Eddy of South Haven, Michigan
  • Art—Gracie Klingbeil of Naperville, Illinois
  • Aviation—Matthew Rendell of Granger, Indiana
  • Biological sciences—Kayla Byrd of Haslett, Michigan
  • Business information systems—Shanice Tan of Malaysia
  • Chemical and paper engineering—Alyson Block of Des Plaines, Illinois
  • Chemistry—Seth Byrne of Hemlock, Michigan
  • Civil and construction engineering—Summer Yeck of Muskegon, Michigan
  • Communication—Cori Osterman of Brighton, Michigan
  • Comparative religion—Logan Deater of Traverse City, Michigan
  • Computer science—Chanjin Park of South Korea
  • Dance—Ashlie Roth of Portland, Oregon
  • Economics—Chloe Wieber of Plainwell, Michigan
  • Electrical and computer engineering—Sergei Akhmatdinov of Russia
  • Engineering design, manufacturing and management systems—Alex Seymour of Scotts, Michigan
  • English—Lauren Johnson of Kalamazoo
  • Environment, geography and sustainability—Alexa Hempel of Macomb, Michigan
  • Family and consumer sciences—Danielle Shemanski of Jackson, Michigan
  • Finance and commercial law—Olivia Bainbridge of Grand Blanc, Michigan
  • Geological and environmental sciences—Moira Burns of Marysville, Michigan
  • History—Abigail Ward of Decatur, Michigan
  • Human performance and health education—Hannah Spitzley of Fowler, Michigan
  • Industrial and entrepreneurial engineering and engineering management—Nathan Snyder of Alto, Michigan
  • Integrated supply management—Madison Dober of Lake Orion, Michigan
  • Intercultural and anthropological studies—Hollie Powless of Kalamazoo
  • Interdisciplinary health programs—Elise VanSparrentak of Kalamazoo
  • Management—Haley Jackson of Portage, Michigan
  • Marketing—Megan Hansen of Mundelein, Illinois
  • Mathematics—Ritabrato Chatterjee of India
  • Mechanical and aerospace engineering—Adam Tuckey of Marysville, Michigan
  • Music—JD Reeves of Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Nursing—David Le of Kalamazoo
  • Philosophy—Richele Wilkin of Sycamore, Illinois
  • Political science—Cecelia Chapleau of Portage, Michigan
  • Psychology—Claire Dine of Saint Joseph, Michigan
  • Public affairs and administration—Collin Holzberger of Port Huron, Michigan
  • Sociology—Kelli Sanji of Bartlett, Illinois
  • Spanish—Piper Meldrum-Roy of Muskegon, Michigan
  • Special education and literacy studies—Morgan Lenox of Buchanan, Michigan
  • Speech, language and hearing sciences—Anna Munson of Kalamazoo
  • Statistics—Reagan Hartman of Union, Michigan
  • Teaching, learning and educational studies—Mary Borkholder of Colon, Michigan
  • Theatre—Lindsey Beck of West Bloomfield, Michigan 
  • University studies—Marcia Nyland of Parchment, Michigan
  • World languages and literatures—Logan Case of Cincinnati, Ohio

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit WMU News online.