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Top seniors to be honored as Presidential Scholars

March 24, 2008

KALAMAZOO--Forty-seven students will be recognized as Western Michigan University's top seniors for 2008 during the 28th annual Presidential Scholars Convocation Thursday, March 27, 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 2008 Presidential Scholars Convocation, which is by invitation only, will begin with a reception at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and a program. Dr. John M. Dunn, WMU president, will present the keynote speech, titled "The Power of Conviction." Dr. Mary D. Lagerwey, president of the WMU Faculty Senate and associate professor of nursing, will preside over the event.

This year's list of Presidential Scholars include a young woman who already has contributed to making life better for those with traumatic brain injuries or developmental disabilities; a biological scientist who has researched coral reef rainforest species in Belize; a dancer who has had her choreography commissioned locally and who has performed twice at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; and two scholar-athletes who have excelled academically while amassing an impressive record of volunteer service.

The convocation is sponsored by the WMU 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.

2008 Presidential Scholars

Accountancy--Colleen E. Mead, Clarkston, Mich.

Africana Studies--Coleman Cunningham, Kalamazoo.

Anthropology--Anthony P. Helms, Columbia, S.C.

Art--Lynn M. Batchelder, Clarksville, Mich.

Aviation--Whitney C. Porretta, Metamora, Mich.

Biological Sciences--Stephen C. Denuyl, Clinton, Mich.

Business Information Systems--Michael G. Sisk, Benton Harbor, Mich.

Chemistry--Emily Alampi, Sterling Heights, Mich.

Civil and Construction Engineering--William P. Rizor, Battle Creek, Mich.

Communication--Krystal M. Bresnahan, Haslett, Mich.

Comparative Religion--Sara B. Dorrien, Kalamazoo.

Computer Science and Mathematics (double scholar)--Kyle C. Kolasinski, Howell, Mich.

Dance--Jacquelyn N. Nowicki, Clarendon Hills, Ill.

Economics--Kurtis J. Wickey, Burr Oak, Mich.

Electrical and Computer Engineering--Rachel D. Olson, New Baltimore, Mich.

English--Jennifer L. Dempsey, Romeo, Mich.

Environmental Studies--Carrie J. Susemihl, Three Rivers, Mich.

Family and Consumer Sciences--Amy M. Bobalik, Sturgis, Mich.

Finance and Commercial Law--Adam D. Priskorn, Dexter, Mich.

Foreign Languages--Lindsey M. Rucker, Kalamazoo.

Gender and Women's Studies--Skylar J. Bre'z, Kalamazoo.

Geography--Gus J. Martinka, Vassar, Mich.

Geosciences--Shawn M. McCloskey, Portage, Mich.

Health, Physical Education and Recreation--Lara J. Vertalka, Grand Ledge, Mich.

History--Johnna L. ap'Morrygan, Owosso, Mich.

Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering--Benjamin L. Smith, Athens, Mich.

Integrated Supply Matrix Management--Scott R. Huard, Rockford, Mich.

Interdisciplinary Health Services--Jennifer L. L'Esperance, Kalamazoo.

Management--Amanda J. Manley, Lawrence, Mich.

Manufacturing Engineering--Jennifer L. Roesener, Muskegon, Mich.

Marketing--Timothy D. Hiller, Orrville, Ohio.

Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering--Roel A. Brusselmans, Plainwell, Mich.

Music--Katherine E. Rohwer, Kalamazoo.

Music Theatre Performance--Jana M. DeBusk, Kendallville, Ind.

Nursing--Amanda R. Albert, Marine City, Mich.

Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Imaging--Trisha A. Janicki, Houghton, Mich.

Philosophy--Joshua C. Boardman, Stevensville, Mich.

Physics--Jesse D. Snyder, Fife Lake, Mich.

Political Science--Bethany K. Whittles, Holland, Mich.

Psychology--Megan R. Heinicke, Kent City, Mich.

Social Work--Jessie C. Kadolph, Frankenmuth, Mich.

Sociology--Denise L. Powers, Simi Valley, Calif.

Spanish--Ryan J. Minier, Reed City, Mich.

Special Education and Literacy Studies--Amy L. Marshall, Grand Junction, Mich.

Speech Pathology and Audiology--Laura E. Koop, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies--Lauren A. Kenny, Hoffman Estates, Ill.

Theatre--Casey E. Riddle, Ada, Mich.

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

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