TU announces 10 winners of nationally competitive scholarships

Friday, April 06, 2012

This spring, The University of Tulsa is pleased to announce that at least 10 students have been awarded prestigious nationally competitive scholarships from several foundations.

Julie Monda (BS '09), Rachel Hoffmann, Tara Drwenski and Yvette Guereca won National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships, and Will LePage is one of seven nationwide to receive the Udall Scholarship twice. LePage, Stephen Macke and Cody Martin each received a scholarship from the Barry Goldwater Foundation. Landry Harlan and Malia Castillo received Benjamin Gilman Scholarships, and Weston Kightlinger was one of only 12 students in the U.S. to receive an Engineers Without Borders International scholarship.

TU students continue to lead the state, winning more nationally competitive scholarships than all other Oklahoma universities combined. Since 1995, TU students have received 51 Goldwaters, 41 NSF fellowships, nine Udalls, nine Trumans, five British Marshalls and four Gilmans, to name a few.

View a complete listing of TU scholarship winners

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellows

The NSF Graduate Research fellowship promotes outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Fellows receive three years of support, a $30,000 annual stipend, $12,000 per year cost-of-education allowance to the institutions the fellows attend, international research and professional development opportunities and access to the TeraGrid Supercomputer – the world's largest, most comprehensive distributed cyber infrastructure for open scientific research. Three TU seniors and one TU graduate student received 2012 NSF stipends: Rachel Hoffmann, a biochemistry graduate student from Searcy, Ark.; Tara Drwenski, a senior physics student from Oklahoma City; Yvette Guereca, a psychophysiology graduate student from El Paso, Texas; and Julie Monda (BS '09) of Memphis, Tenn., who is pursuing graduate studies at the University of Tennessee's Health Science Center and will soon enter a doctoral program in biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The Udall Foundation

Established by Congress, the Udall Foundation is dedicated to educating a new generation of Americans to preserve and protect their national heritage through scholarship, fellowship and internships focused on environmental and Native American issues. The foundation is also committed to promoting the principles and practices of environmental conflict resolution. This year, 80 students were selected from 585 applicants. Of those 80, there were seven repeat scholars including TU's Will LePage, a mechanical engineering and chemistry junior is from Center Town, Mo. He has worked on the design, construction and implementation of solar-powered water treatment systems for developing communities. Outside the classroom, LePage is a member of TU's cross-country varsity track team and is a peer minister at the Newman Catholic Center where he plays guitar at weekly services. In addition to receiving his second Udall Scholarship (a first in TU's history), LePage also received a 2012 Goldwater Scholarship.

The Barry M. Goldwater Foundation

Established by Congress, the purpose of the foundation is to provide the nation with a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in these fields. Trustees of the foundation awarded 282 scholarships for the 2012–13 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors across the United States, including three from TU: LePage; Samuel Cody Martin, a junior chemistry major from Bristow, Okla.; and Stephen T. Macke, a computer science and applied mathematics junior from St. Louis, Mo.

CH2M HILL Engineers Without Borders

Pre-med/chemical engineering sophomore Weston Kightlinger of Linesville, Penn., has been awarded one of only 12 CH2M HILL Engineers Without Borders-USA Scholarships in the United States. CH2M HILL, a global full-service consulting, design, construction, and operations firm, provides $5,000 scholarships to students who are actively involved with EWB chapters and projects at their universities. Kightlinger is working on two research projects, including a solar shower project that supplies a simple and inexpensive water heating system to people in the village of Cotani, Bolivia.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

The Gilman Scholarship program provides U.S. undergrads who are receiving Federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study abroad programs worldwide. Award recipients are chosen by a competitive selection process and must use the scholarship to defray eligible study abroad costs. The two TU students receiving the award are: Landry Harlan of Fayetteville, Ark., an international business sophomore who will study Mandarin in China; and Malia Castillo of Kellyville, Okla., an anthropology junior studying in Indonesia.