WMU News

2003 Presidential Scholars announced

May 21, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Forty-five Western Michigan University students recently were named 2003 Presidential Scholars. The award is WMU's highest honor presented to a senior.

See below for a complete list of 2003 Presidential Scholars, including the scholars' hometowns, majors and other biographical information.

Students are nominated for the award by members of the faculty. 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.

Scholars were presented with certificates by Interim President Dr. Daniel M. Litynski, at the 23rd annual Presidential Scholars Convocation this spring. The event, which celebrates the excellence of WMU students, is sponsored by the Faculty Senate and the Office of the President. It included a reception, dinner and program.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

2003 Presidential Scholars

Brenda M. Abbey of Clio, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Speech Pathology and Audiology. An interest in helping others and the joy of working with children sparked Abbey's studies in both speech and teaching. A member of the Lee Honors College, she researched the acoustic speech patterns of preadolescent males and females for her honors thesis project. As an elementary education minor, she is teaching in local schools and plans to one day work as a teacher of children with speech and language impairments. While attending college, Abbey has worked in the WMU Bookstore and for Family and Children Services, helping special needs children in the community. A member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Phi Kappa Phi, she plans to obtain her teaching certificate and, after graduating in December, will pursue a master's degree in speech pathology and audiology. She is a native of Grand Blanc, Mich., and the daughter of Mike and Betsy Abbey of Clio.

John W. Abbey of Rogers City, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Geography. Bicycles, transportation, urban planning and the Chinese culture make up Abbey's wide variety of interests. An April graduate, he intends to continue his education at WMU in a master's degree geography program with an emphasis in community development planning. He then hopes to pursue a career in transportation planning involving bicycle issues. A member of the Lee Honors College, Abbey has traveled extensively, including study in China at the Beijing Language and Culture University. He received the Freeman Award for Study in Asia and the Department of Geography's Alumni Scholarship Award for academic excellence. Abbey was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Theta Upsilon and Golden Key honor societies. He also served as president and treasurer of the Chinese Culture and Language Club and was a member of the WMU Cycling Club. His interest in bicycle planning issues is a result of his membership in the League of Michigan Bicyclists and having participated in events sponsored by the International Human Power Vehicle Association. He is the son of Charles and Luise Abbey of Rogers City, but grew up in Marine City, Mich.

Alexi H. Akins of Park Ridge, Ill., was named a Presidential Scholar in Dance. Akins has pursued the field of dance on several levels. During her college career, she had an internship with the Institute for Therapy Through the Arts, a program through the Music Institute of Chicago, assisting clients in using expressive arts therapies. She also has done backstage work for a number of dance concerts, working as a lighting designer, lightboard operator and stage manager. Akins also choreographed a dance for the 2002 Orchesis Concert and has performed in various concerts as a student. She traveled to England to attend a workshop on Laban Movement Analysis. Having graduated in December 2002, Akins has her sights set on obtaining a master's degree in dance/movement therapy at Columbia College in Chicago. She was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key International Honour Society. The daughter of Valerie Fronstin-Akins, she hails from Park Ridge.

Khalid Al-Yabhouni of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was named a Presidential Scholar in Comparative Religion. With an interest in Middle Eastern politics and the Islamic faith, Al-Yabhouni is currently completing his honors thesis, which addresses the history and culture of the Persian Gulf Region. Once he receives his bachelor's degree in June, he plans to continue his education in a graduate program at the London School of Economics and hopes to aid in resolving conflict in the Middle East. A native of the United Arab Emirates, Al-Yabhouni has traveled throughout the world, particularly in Europe, the Middle East and the United States. He has been a member of the Phi Sigma Theta honor society. Al-Yabhouni was awarded a full scholarship by his country to study abroad at WMU, and he has taken part in many introductory classes and discussion sessions about Islam and political issues within his country.

Reed M. Bonner of Berkley, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Music. A love for playing trumpet and teaching has grown into a calling for Bonner. This duality is reflected in the Lee Honors College member's senior thesis, titled "A Review and Comparison of Four Outstanding Trumpet Artists/Teachers." In addition to working on his thesis, Bonner worked as an intern teacher in the music department of Three Rivers Community Schools. During summer 2002, he attended the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colo., a prestigious summer music program designed to foster substantial growth in musicianship. He was recently named the 2002 Presser Scholar of the School of Music and was awarded the Evelyn Rose Hart Scholarship for Music Education, a WMU Academic Scholarship and a WMU Brass Area Scholarship. Bonner was a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the Golden Key International Honour Society and Phi Kappa Phi. An April graduate, he is pursuing a master of music degree and plans to obtain a doctoral degree in music and become a trumpet professor at a university, while also performing extensively as a professional musician. He is the son of Paul and Gail Bonner of Berkley.

Melissa A. Bottke of Wixom, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Marketing. An April graduate and a recipient of WMU's prestigious Medallion Scholarship, Bottke was a double major in Spanish and marketing. She's choosing from among several job offers in the field of Hispanic marketing research and sales, and plans to return to school for her master's degree after establishing herself in the workforce. During her four years on campus, she worked year-round as a facility manager in the Student Recreation Center and served on the center's student employee board. Bottke studied abroad at the University of Granada in Spain, laying the groundwork for her Lee Honors College senior thesis, titled "The Importance of Diversity Marketing in Today's Business: A Case Study Into Coca-Cola's Hispanic Marketing Program." She was a member of both the Alpha Lambda Delta and Golden Key honor societies, and has been named to the National Dean's List, which honors the top 1 percent of American university and college students. Melissa served as a senator in the Western Student Association and held several leadership posts with the professional business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi. A member of the Honors Student Association, she played intramural sports and racked up more than 200 hours of community service work with such organizations as the American Red Cross, St. Jude's Children's Hospital and the March of Dimes. She is the daughter of James and AnnMarie Bottke of Wixom.

Thomas B. Crisp of Holland, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Teaching, Learning and Leadership. Crisp is working toward a degree in elementary education in December and will complete his student teaching internship this fall. A member of the Lee Honors College, he is especially interested in high-stakes testing, teacher accountability, and the role of multicultural education in the classroom and the curriculum. Crisp's honors thesis, "The Implications of Societal Morality on Children's Literature Throughout History," examines the content of children's literature and moral standards of society. He is a member of several organizations, including Phi Delta Kappa, Kappa Delta Pi, the Michigan Education Association and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Crisp plans to pursue master's and doctoral degrees. Her parents are Rick and Brenda Crisp of Holland.

Alan M. Curtis of Alpena, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in History. With an interest in the fur trade of the Great Lakes Region, Curtis plans to continue his education in either an anthropology or archaeology doctoral program, or in environmental law. He has traveled extensively, including trips to Germany, France, England and Austria, in addition to spending two summers in Alaska. A December 2002 graduate, Curtis received the Smith Burnham Award for being the top junior in the history department and the A. Edythe Mange International Scholar Award. He was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. His parents are Kevin and Paula Curtis of Alpena.

Allison G. Danforth of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Foreign Languages and Literatures. Danforth is a Spanish major with an interest in Latin American politics and library science. She spent four months studying international relations at La Universidad Americana in Managua, Nicaragua, and plans to return to Latin America this year. Her professional experience includes an internship at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, as well as positions with the University of Michigan Law Library and WMU's Waldo Library. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and the Lee Honors College, Allison was awarded the Ruth Y. Kirby Scholarship in Spanish and the Rogers Memorial Shakespeare Award. An April graduate, the Kalamazoo resident hopes to move to Texas to attend graduate school.

Kelly DeRight of Paw Paw, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Integrated Supply Matrix Management. Since graduating in December 2002, DeRight has accepted a position with DaimlerChrysler at its corporate headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich. During her time at WMU, she completed a procurement and supply internship with that company, as well as a stint as a business and enterprise resource planning intern at Pharmacia Corp. DeRight received the WMU Excellence Award, was active in the Chi Omega Sorority and belonged to Beta Gamma Sigma, an honor society for business majors. She intends to pursue her MBA this fall at either Wayne State University or Oakland University. She is the daughter of Barry and Jane DeRight of Paw Paw.

Brent M. Dupay of Brownstown Twp., Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Political Science. A December 2002 graduate, Dupay plans to put his political science degree to work in the public sector. His particular areas of interest are international relations and U.S. foreign policy. Dupay's timely honors thesis was titled "Dealing With Troublesome States: 'Containment' versus 'Engagement' in Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policy." He has worked as a teaching assistant and co-managed a small Internet auction business. A member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and recipient of the Mark Denenfeld Endowed Scholarship for Academic Excellence and Community Service, Dupay plans to attend graduate school and eventually work as a civil servant and university professor. He is the son of Dennis D. and Cheryl K. Dupay of Brownstown Township.

Eric J. Dziuban of Saginaw, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Biological Sciences. A major in biomedical sciences, Eric graduated in April and plans to attend medical school. A recipient of WMU's prestigious Medallion Scholarship, this Lee Honors College student spent time in Scandinavia and also has studied in Sydney, Australia, where he volunteered at an animal conservation research park and later conducted research for his honors thesis. Dziuban worked as a student orientation leader, writer and editor for the Western Herald, and a Red Cross blood drive volunteer. He also held positions with Bronson Methodist Hospital as a volunteer research intern, emergency room volunteer and communications technician. Dziuban led a residence hall Bible study through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, and he spent his most recent spring break working with that group on a mission to the Dominican Republic. He is the son of Joe and Lynette Dziuban of Saginaw.

Jennifer E. Egan of Macomb, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Whether seated in the classroom or leading a class of her own, Egan gets her exercise. She is pursuing a major in physical education and a double minor in health education and adapted physical education. In addition to teaching group exercise classes at WMU, she works part time at Croyden Avenue School, where she teaches physical education to students with special needs. Egan especially enjoys her work with the Special Olympics and Unified Sports Programs. She expects to graduate in December and wants to teach adapted physical education and eventually work toward a master's degree. Her "ultimate dream" is to one day own and manage a fitness facility. Egan is a member of several professional organizations, including the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, Phi Epsilon Kappa and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. She is the daughter of Greg and Donna Egan of Macomb.

Michelle A. Glisan of Leaf River, Ill., was named a Presidential Scholar in Aviation. A position in an intern-bridge program at Atlantic Coast Airlines will be the first stop in a career journey that Glisan hopes will eventually lead to a career as a pilot for Federal Express. The Lee Honors College member is an aviation flight science major who graduated in April. She chose an aviation topic for her recently completed senior honors thesis that examines "The Impact of International Terrorism on the Aviation Industry in the United States during the George W. Bush Administration." Glisan is active in a number of professional organizations and currently serves as president of Alpha Eta Rho Professional Aviation Fraternity, vice president of the College of Aviation Student Council and secretary of WMU's chapter of Women in Aviation. She was chosen to represent the college in both 2002 and 2003 as a member of WMU's two-woman flight team that competed in the Air Race Classic, a women's cross-country race that dates back to the days of Amelia Earhart. Glisan also broadened her horizons by taking advantage of WMU's study abroad opportunities and spent one summer studying in London. She is the daughter of Ron Glisan of Leaf River and Kathy Nelson of Peachtree City, Ga.

Kenneth L. Gruel of Adrian, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Aeronautics, the automotive industry and the power transmission industry are among the fields Gruel is considering for a career after his December graduation. The electrical engineering major also plans, however, to continue his education and dreams of one day earning a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. His main areas of interest are power transmission systems, micro-controllers and communication systems, and he is doing independent research on chaos-based communication systems. Since May 2001, Gruel has held an internship at Consumers Energy's Battle Creek, Mich., facility, where he works on projects aimed at increasing the reliability of the distribution system. He also maintains the company's distribution computer model and power line maps for his home area. A member of the Tau Beta Pi and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, Gruel also is devoted to music and plays electric and upright bass in a local band during his free time. He is the son of Keith and Margaret Gruel of Adrian.

Diane M. Hall of Fenwick, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. A nontraditional student, Hall has been pursuing a degree in production technology over the past several years while working full time. She currently manages the Contractor Logistics Support Program for Smith Aerospace in Grand Rapids, Mich. That program is designed to sustain a navigation system installed on the U.S. Air Force's C-130 aircraft, which is used worldwide for humanitarian relief, troop transport, research and firefighting. In addition to management of that program, Hall's responsibilities have expanded recently to include other project management opportunities, as well as engineering development and project support. She says her educational achievements have helped make that possible. After she graduates in December, Hall intends to "bask in the satisfaction" of finally completing her degree and, after a short reprieve, plans to begin work on a master's degree in business. She is a resident of Fenwick and the daughter of Hilda Hall of Clermont, Fla.

Britt S. Hamer of Midland, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Anthropology. A dual major in anthropology and Spanish has prepared Hamer for a career in education. Her specific interest is in social studies curriculum development at the secondary level. A member of the Lee Honors College, Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key International Honour Society, Hamer was a recipient of both a Medallion Scholarship and a Cultural Diversity Scholarship. She was active in United Students Against Sweatshops and the Navigators, and has studied abroad in Spain. Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, she participated in a volunteer mission trip to New York. An April graduate, Hamer plans to attend graduate school at the University of Iowa. She is the daughter of Paul and Onie Hamer of Midland.Vassar Pioneer Times.

Ryan M. Hicks of Sterling Heights, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Economics. An April graduate who was a double major in economics and marketing, Hicks plans to enter the work force and is considering going to law school. He was a member of the Phi Chi Theta business fraternity and also participated in the Fall into the Streets volunteer program to help clean up the Knollwood Park area. In his free time, Hicks participated in WMU's Disc Golf Club, played intramural sports and worked part-time at a local restaurant. He is the son of Paul and Kathleen Hicks of Sterling Heights.

Rose E. Hoelzle of Cass City, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in English. Following her April 2004 graduation, Hoelzle plans to teach high school English. A recipient of WMU's prestigious Medallion Scholarship, she has worked as assistant news editor for the Western Herald and served as a foreign correspondent for that newspaper while studying abroad at Sunway College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She is currently completing a collection of poetry, which will be her senior thesis for the Lee Honors College, and she plans to attend a writing workshop at the University of Iowa this summer. She also is the founder of "Drive Safe Kalamazoo," an initative born through a class project. In conjunction with the University and local taxicab companies, Hoelzle's plan would make free taxi service available to WMU students to and from bars and parties. She has traveled to the University of Texas to consult with organizers of similar programs and hopes to have "Drive Safe Kalamazoo" operating by fall. Hoelzle has served as an orientation student leader and coordinator, a student ambassador, and a Bible school leader for preschoolers at Agape Christian Church. She is the daughter of Judy and Larry Hoelzle of Cass City.

David P. Hoogerheide of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Chemistry. Metal-ammonia systems and high-temperature super conductivity are Hoogerheide's interests. A double major in chemistry and physics, he is currently doing undergraduate research that could possibly be used to expedite the development of the next generation of computer hard drives. He completed an internship at the former Pharmacia Corp. in a research and development drug laboratory and hopes to study solid-state physics in graduate school after his April 2004 graduation. A member of the Lee Honors College, Hoogerheide is a WMU Medallion Scholar and National Merit Scholar, and he was awarded the Drug, Chemical and Allied Trades Scholarship. He is also a recipient of the Paul Rood and Nathan Nichols physics scholarships as well as the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. He has been involved in several outside activities including the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society and the WMU Physics Club. Hoogerheide also has an interest in music and has played his French horn with WMU's Concert Band and Horn Choir. His volunteer activities include helping as a computer administrator at Bible Truth Books and the Providence Christian School. His parents are John and Jane Hoogerheide of Kalamazoo.

Julie D. Houck of Lansing, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Mathematics. A mathematics and computer engineering major, Houck plans to go on to graduate school and become a professor. In the time leading up to her April 2004 graduation, she intends to carry out research projects in collaboration with faculty members from both the mathematics and electrical and computer engineering departments. A member of the Lee Honors College, she received the Erik A. Schreiner Memorial Scholarship from the mathematics department. Houck is a member of Pi Mu Epsilon and treasurer for the Atheist Society. She is the daughter of Bradley Charles Houck and Denise Marie Houck of East Lansing.

Jonathan L. Hunt of China Twp., Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Philosophy. Majoring in both finance and philosophy, Hunt plans to attend law school following his graduation in April 2005. From there, he hopes to practice appellate law or teach as a professor. Hunt has gained community experience through his involvement with the Western Michigan Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and Students for a Sustainable Earth. A member of the Lee Honors College and recipient of the Department of Finance and Commercial Law's Edwin Grossnickle Scholarship, Hunt works as an office manager at American Express Financial Advisors. He is the son of Patrick Hunt of China Township.

Kevin M. Lapplander of Mt. Clemens, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. Since earning his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in April, Lapplander plans to pursue both a career in industry and a master's degree in his discipline. Since April 2002, he has been working for FEMA Corp. in Portage, Mich., as a laboratory technician. His duties include performing experiments in the areas of product development and quality control and preparing reports for engineers. Prior to taking that job, he worked on campus for two semesters as a homework grader for a materials science class. Lapplander is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies as well as the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society and Pi Tau Sigma mechanical engineering society. He is the son of Gary and Debra Lapplander of Mount Clemens, Mich.

Amber K. Law of Canton, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Accountancy. Law graduated in April and has entered WMU's master's degree program in accountancy, with plans to finish that degree in December of this year. She's already been hired by one of the "Big Four" accounting firms, and she's slated to start work there in January 2004. Her goal is to eventually become a partner at that company and perhaps one day teach accountancy at a university. Law has traveled to England, Ireland, Scotland and Japan. During her time at WMU, she completed three internships, including two summers in the financial reporting department of an automotive supplier and several months as an auditing intern at one of the nation's top accounting firms. A member of the Lee Honors College, Law recently completed her senior thesis, which examined the impact of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on the auditing profession. She has won a number of scholarships, including the Arthur Andersen Scholarship in Accountancy, the Fifth/Third Bank Academic Scholarship and the Bernadine Branchaw Scholarship. Law's extracurricular activities included serving as a member of the Honors Student Association and as vice president and currently as president of Beta Alpha Psi, the national honorary accounting fraternity. She is the daughter of Bruce and Darlene Law of Canton.

Mathew S. Leland of Livonia, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Music Theatre Performance. Most of Leland's life since high school has been dedicated to one thing: theatre. An April graduate, he has focused primarily on acting and singing. Because of the amount of time he spends studying and working professionally, Leland has little time for other activities. In addition to acting and singing, he would like to enter the field of composing for the theatre and plans to attend graduate school down the road. In the meantime, he has scheduled auditions for a number of productions, including a callback for a national tour, as well as auditions and interviews for such places as The Stratford Theatre Festival in Ontario, Canada, and many other locations across North America. In September, he plans to move permanently to New York. As a singer, Leland has won numerous vocal competitions at the state and regional level and has worked professionally in the business. He is the son of Ronald Leland of Livonia.

Andrea S. Lofquist of Marysville, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Environmental Studies. A triple major in environmental studies, Spanish and political science, Lofquist's career interest lies in urban environmental policy. She traveled to Mexico as part of a community service and cultural exchange program, and spent time studying at the Universidad de Burgos in Spain. Following her December graduation, Lofquist plans to undertake additional studies abroad. Amidst her travels, she has found time to become involved at the local level, as well. Lofquist works as a peer advisor for the Office of Study Abroad and has been active in Students for a Sustainable Earth, Amnesty International, the Bronco Ambassador Program and the political science department's Model Arab League. This Lee Honors College and Phi Kappa Phi member has received various scholarships and awards, including the President's Grant for Study Abroad, the Howard J. Wolpe Scholarship in Foreign Study and the Woman's Life Insurance Society Frank H. Lee Scholarship. She is the daughter of John and Diane Lofquist of Marysville.

Tarah S. Lowell of Rockford, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Family and Consumer Sciences. For Lowell, the latest fashion trend amounts to more than a matter of personal style. Instead, she considers it her life's calling. In April, she completed her degree in textile and apparel studies with an emphasis on merchandising, the culmination of a college career that included studies at the American Institute of Foreign Study in Florence, Italy, and work at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Lowell, who is pursuing work as a buyer or designer sales representative, was a member of WMU's Merchandising Opportunities and Design Association, Alpha Lambda Delta, the Golden Key International Honour Society and other organizations. Beyond the classroom, she also worked as a research assistant and in 2001 worked with special needs children in New York as part of Alternative Spring Break. After gaining more work experience, Lowell plans to pursue a master's degree. She is the daughter of Marvin and Lynn Lowell of Rockford.

Loresa Mathias of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Communication. A public relations major, Mathias hopes to use her experience to build a career in international public relations. A member of Lambda Pi Eta and Phi Kappa Phi, she served on the capital campaign marketing committee for Community Advocates. As an intern with the City of Kalamazoo and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, she created a sponsorship packet for a new bomb robot and wrote speeches for both the mayor and public safety chief. An April graduate, Mathias plans to brush up on her French and Spanish while working in public relations, and she hopes to one day attend graduate school. She is a Kalamazoo resident.

Joan E. McDonald of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Occupational Therapy. A nontraditional student, McDonald embarked on a new life experience when she decided to go back to school and pursue a degree in occupational therapy. She was a 16-year, full-time employee at the Kalamazoo Public Library, but had to resign her library assistant position in October 2002, when classes, work and fieldwork collided. During her college career, McDonald has been working in geriatric rehabilitation and recently worked with clients in a geriatric assessment center and in pediatric outpatient therapy. She is dual enrolled in the occupational therapy graduate program and plans to obtain a master's degree in the discipline after graduating in June. She and her husband, Bill, have been married for 30 years and they have four children. The Kalamazoo resident is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and Golden Key honor societies.

Andrea K. Miller of Vestaburg, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Social Work. While at WMU, this Lee Honors College member worked with people with mental disabilities, teaching job and daily living skills at Mid-Michigan Industries in Mount Pleasant, Mich. She also worked through the Kalamazoo Public Education Foundation as the family center coordinator at Edison Environmental Science Academy to help boost parental participation in school. Miller's focus recently shifted to gerontology, and she completed an internship at South Haven Area Senior Services, where she was part of a visually impaired support group and organized programs and services for seniors. She also has worked at The Fountains at Bronson Place, a Kalamazoo-area retirement community, and did volunteer work in a classroom for children with severe mental impairments at Croyden Avenue Schools. An April graduate, Miller plans to earn a master's degree in social work. She is the daughter of Michael and Sandra Miller of Vestaburg.

Amy L. Nowakowski of Alpena, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Geosciences. A dual major in geosciences and environmental studies has prepared Nowakowski for a career in climatology. As president of the Geology Club, she has gained valuable experience organizing events and studying various geological regions, while traveling through areas of Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula and upstate New York. A member of both Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Theta Kappa, Nowakowski was awarded the Department of Geosciences' Schmaltz Award, which funded a field trip to study in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. She has spent the past two summers living in Denali National Park in Alaska, strengthening her interests in backpacking, running, yoga and traveling. Nowakowski expects to graduate in August and plans to attend graduate school. She is the daughter of Mark and Diane Nowakowski of Alpena.

Futaba Okamoto of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Physics. A 2002 Presidential Scholar in Mathematics, Okamoto was recognized again for her work in topology and modern algebra. She has a love of cosmology and the stars, and this April graduate plans to pursue a master's degree in mathematics. After leaving Japan upon high school graduation in 1998, Okamoto has made the most of her time at WMU. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and Phi Beta Kappa, and a multiple winner of the Paul Rood and Beeler Memorial Scholarships. She also has been a teaching assistant for two astronomy labs, and a tutor for math, statistics and physics classes at the Academic Skills Center. Her parents are Shingo and Itsuko Okamoto of Nagoya, Japan.

Angela S. Pantaleo of Novi, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Sociology. An April graduate who double majored in both criminal justice and sociology, Pantaleo plans to become a juvenile probation officer and eventually attend law school. This past fall, she completed a seven-month internship for the Kalamazoo County Family Court. Pantaleo was a member in the National Honor Society; Alpha Lambda Delta; Alpha Phi Sigma, the national criminal justice honor society; and Alpha Kappa Delta, the national sociology honor society. She also was a member of the Lee Honors College and received an award for membership into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. As a volunteer, Pantaleo traveled to the island of St. Maarten with Faith Community Church to do missionary work. Her parents are Rick and Nancy Pantaleo of Novi.

Melissa N. Pouget of Canton, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Psychology. Researching the human mind is Pouget's main area of interest. In addition to assisting with numerous research projects, she has been focused on completing her honors thesis, which explores the relationship of self-control with depression and attention deficit disorder. Pouget also works for Living Ways Inc., where she supports and fosters independence in daily living for men diagnosed with schizophrenia. She is a member of the Lee Honors College and the Psi Chi Honor Society, as well as numerous national psychology organizations. In September 2002, she was awarded the Monroe-Brown Scholarship for her thesis project, and she presented it at the Association of Behavior Analysis in San Francisco in May. Her interest in school and parental partnerships to assist children with behavioral and learning difficulties will be explored further after her expected graduation in August. Pouget then hopes to attend graduate school in psychology and work in a counseling position with children in an elementary school setting. She is the daughter of Martin A. and Vita A. Pouget of Canton.

Richard C. Reynolds of Wayne, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Finance and Commercial Law. This Lee Honors College member also received a WMU Academic Scholarship through the Medallion Scholarship Program and the Cinq-Mars Scholarship, a two-year, full-tuition award given to the University's top two junior-level finance students. In the summers, Reynolds has worked as many as 80 hours a week as a union laborer to finance his education. As an advertising account executive for the Western Herald, he broke the monthly sales record, bringing in more than $26,000 in advertising revenue in only his second full month of working there. He served on the board of directors at the Herald is a member of the Financial Management Association. He also participated in a United Campus Ministry program in downtown Kalamazoo, where he mentored inner-city youth. An April graduate, Reynolds plans to pursue a front-office job with a professional sports team or a post in the new field of financial engineering, and he intends to complete his master's degree in the near future. He is the son of Greg and Ann Reynolds of Wayne.

Lacresha L. Roberts of Lansing, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Africana Studies. Roberts, who finished her undergraduate degrees in Africana studies and psychology in December 2002, is pursuing her master's degree in social work at WMU. Her goal is to work for a non-profit organization where she can help disadvantaged families. As a Ronald McNair Scholar, Roberts wrote a research thesis titled "Coping During the Waiting Period after HIV Testing" and presented her findings at a conference in Puerto Rico. She also traveled to South Africa and Mozambique in the summer of 2002 to work for USAID. As a research assistant with that organization, she researched the expansion of national park boundaries for the first Mozambique atlas. A National Collegiate Minority Award winner, Roberts is a four-year member of You Beautiful Black Woman and served as chair of community service, organizing fund-raising events for the American Breast Cancer Society and Community AIDS Resource and Education Services. She also has volunteered as a mentor for Bethany Christian Services and as a tutor for the Kalamazoo Public Schools. She is the daughter of Elnora and Micheal Scott of Lansing.

Jeffrey R.H. Rogers of Swartz Creek, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Theatre. Working in the technical and design areas of theatre has occupied much of Rogers' attention during his college education. He has done design work for "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "Wiley and the Hairyman" and "Eden," but counts lighting design he co-created for Tina Landau's "Space" as the highlight of his collegiate career. Rogers is the recipient of a WMU Board of Trustees Scholarship, the Evelyn C. Burke and Mary and R.E. Jackson Scholarships and two Lee Honors College Research and Creative Activities Awards for "Space" and "Eden." He is a member of Theta Alpha Phi and Phi Kappa Phi and worked as a student assistant in the Dalton Center Multi-Media Room. An April graduate, he plans to more fully explore a passion for the study of theatre by pursuing a doctoral degree in theatre history and dramaturgy. His parents are Dave and Peggy Rogers of Swartz Creek.

Julie A. Ruiter of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Nursing. Ruiter has explored many areas of nursing, from maternity to hospice and everything in between. But she has always stuck to a strong desire to work with children and her first instinct to be a pediatric nurse. An April graduate, Ruiter plans to practice pediatric nursing in an intensive care unit at a large, university hospital. In fall 2004, she plans to work part time while pursuing a master's degree in nursing and someday hopes to incorporate her second degree in Spanish into her nursing practice. During college, Ruiter completed an externship at the University of Michigan Medical Center and worked at SpringHill camp as a health officer. She was president of the WMU Student Nurses Association and served as a representative to the School of Nursing Student Council. She also was a member of the National Student Nurses Association and the Michigan Nursing Students Association. A Kalamazoo native, Ruiter was the first and only Heyl Scholarship recipient in the WMU Bronson School of Nursing. Her parents are Michael and Kay Ruiter.

Zoheb A. Sait of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Computer Science. Sait has been fascinated with computers since he was very young, and he first came to WMU from his native India in fall 2000 to pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science. His June graduation, however, will be just the start. He plans to continue on to earn both master's and doctoral degrees in computer science and to focus on his main areas of interest: computer networks and human-computer interaction. Sait currently works as a programmer for the Association for Behavior Analysis in Kalamazoo, where he develops and maintains Web-based systems and software to meet the needs of the organization. He has participated in the Association for Computing Machinery for the past two years as a member of the team representing WMU against other collegiate competitors. Sait also is a member and officer of Upsilon Pi Epsilon, an international honor society for the computing sciences, and he was named to the Computer Science Undergraduate Honor Roll in 2002. The son of Ahmed Sait and Balquis Ahmed of Mumbai, India, he is a Kalamazoo resident.

Amanda J. Schmidt of Bay City, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Educational Studies. Until recently, Schmidt had plans to finish her degree in special education in April, complete another internship and then look for work. But it didn't turn out that way--work found Schmidt instead. The Bay City, Mich., native is a Young Adult Program teacher at the Van Buren Intermediate School District, where she assists young adults who have cognitive impairments. In her new role, Schmidt helps students gain vocational training, bolsters their sense of independence and prepares them for post-school life in the community. Because she feels such a strong connection to her students, Schmidt plans to apply for the position again in the fall in hopes that she will continue to have a positive impact on the young adults. She also would like to learn sign language and work toward becoming a Master Teacher. She is the daughter of Ralph and Mary Schmidt of Bay City.

Nichole L. Smith of Mason, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Management. One of the University's elite Medallion Scholars, Smith majored in human resource management. A December 2002 graduate, this Lee Honors College member completed her senior thesis project on training expatriates for international assignments, an undertaking which combined her dual interests in employee training and foreign study. While at WMU, she completed two business internships, worked as an orientation leader and studied abroad in Lyon, France. Her extracurricular activities included volunteering in an after-school program, helping new students move into the residence halls as a Bronco Buddy, serving as a member of the International Order of Rebekahs, visiting Appalachia to rebuild a home and renovate a Christian camp, and playing intramural volleyball and soccer. Smith was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies as well as the Society for Human Resource Management. She is the daughter of Betty and Irvin Smith of Mason.

Steven M. Stryd of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Business Information Systems. Stryd is a computer information systems major, specializing in database administration with a side interest in wireless network security. A member of the Lee Honors College, he is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma, Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies. Stryd is working to become a Microsoft Certified Software Engineer and is currently completing an honors thesis that combines medical data mining and situational analysis. He has received Golden Key's Outstanding Senior Graduate Award and a Western Academic Scholarship. Outside the classroom, he works in microcomputer repair in WMU's Office of Information Technology, along with being active in his church's youth group and volunteering as a ski patroller at the Bittersweet Ski Area in Otsego, Mich. After graduating in June, Stryd plans to pursue a master's degree in computer information systems and eventually become involved in the medical informatics arena, where he believes the greatest practical advances in technology will take place in the coming decades. He is the son of Thomas and Nancy Stryd of Kalamazoo.

Angela M. Wolak of Vassar, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Art. While her primary interests lie in designing for the print media, Wolak also has pursued studies in Web design, photography and painting. A graphic design student, she has undertaken such personal projects as the continued development of an original typeface. Wolak recently interned for Kalamazoo public relations agency Lam & Associates, where she designed projects ranging from stationery systems to Web sites. After graduating in April 2004, she plans to seek experience working for a design firm before returning to school to pursue a master of fine arts degree. Ultimately, she would like to open her own design studio and may one day teach graphic design at the college level. A member of the Lee Honors College, Wolak received the Rose Netzorg Kerr and James Kerr Award in graphic design and art in 2002. She also received the Robert and Eleanor DeVries Award for her work in the WMU Student Art Exhibition last year. She belongs to the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies. Wolak is an active member of the student graphic design organization, DesignED, an affiliate of the American Institute of Graphic Arts. She is the daughter of Thomas and Mary Wolak of Vassar.

Chunjie Ying of Kalamazoo was named a Presidential Scholar in Statistics. A double major in statistics and accountancy, Ying is on her way to building a career in statistical programming, data gathering and data mining. As a part-time catalog assistant at WMU's Waldo Library, she worked on a team that improved the accuracy of the library information system by creating, updating and rearranging its catalogs. Ying was a member of both the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society. An April graduate, she plans to pursue a graduate degree in her field. Her parents are Shanghai, China.

Erin R. Zahnow of Metamora, Mich., was named a Presidential Scholar in Paper and Printing Science and Engineering. Zahnow has leveraged the skills she gained as a double major in paper and chemical engineering to enhance her education by completing four internships during her undergraduate years. She worked for three semesters in the WMU Paper Pilot Plant, assisting clients with trials and performing lab testing. She then spent eight months working in product development and data analysis with Fox River Paper Co., and she interned at Pharmacia Corp. while completing a senior design project. For the past two and a half years, she has been an intern for Graphic Packaging Corp., working on process optimization and coating operations. Zahnow also has been active in honors and professional organizations, serving twice as an officer of the Society of Women Engineers and serving for four years on the executive board of Ts'ai Lun, WMU's student chapter of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry. She also was a founding member and is current president of WMU's student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The Lee Honors College member has won nine scholarships from WMU's Paper Technology Foundation and a number of awards. She earned her chemical engineering degree in April and will receive her paper engineering degree in December. After that, Zahnow plans to take a chemical engineering position and eventually return to school to earn a graduate degree in that discipline. She is the daughter of Timothy and Jill Moore of Metamora.

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