PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University Regents Scholarships, aimed at attracting high-achieving high school seniors to the Pullman campus, hit the mark this week as 25 exceptional students were offered scholarships worth $14,000 per year. The prestigious awards are renewable for four years, making the package worth $56,000 per student.
“The program recognizes outstanding seniors by acknowledging their accomplishments and offering them opportunities for significant support toward their education,” said President V. Lane Rawlins. “These students, if they choose WSU, will join current students who work side by side with a world-class faculty that cares about their success.”
The 25 scholars have a group grade point average of 3.97 and an SAT average of 1300. They include student body presidents and senators, National Honor Society members, National Merit Finalists, musicians, varsity athletes and community volunteers. Their academic interests include mathematics and science, psychology, political science, business, education, law and medicine, among others.
“I think this is a great program,” said Bill Cofer, Faculty Senate president. “President Rawlins has emphasized the importance of raising academic standards and I think this is a tangible way to do that. It’s a way of making WSU very attractive to top-level students. Hopefully, it will result in their choosing to come here.
“The faculty think (the importance of ) this is huge, and I believe they are supportive of this program. When you attract the top academic students, it raises the level for everyone. In the classroom, it raises the level particularly through peer interaction,” Cofer said.
Regent Scholarship recipients were selected from communities large and small in every region of the state. Puyallup and Vancouver each have two scholars in the group of 25.
High school principals, statewide, nominated nearly 300 seniors for a Regents Scholarship. Every nominee is offered a two-year, $3,000 scholarship to WSU, higher than the level originally announced due to the achievements and potential of these students. One hundred of the Regents Scholarship winners were then considered for an additional $1,000, also renewable a second year. The top 25 were offered four-year, full-ride scholarships.
Each student nominated had to have a minimum 3.8 grade point average. While the top 25 have a 3.97 GPA as a group, the semifinalists have a 3.95 group GPA, and the other nominees have a 3.93 group GPA. Seventy-six students have a 4.0 GPA.
The WSU Regents Scholars Committee also evaluated the students’
academic strengths and interests, leadership capabilities, and extracurricular and community involvement.
The top 25 scholars are Christine Brinn of Bellingham, Dianna Conley of Renton, Laurel Dube of Rosalia, Alexandra Ford of Chelan, John Fouhy of Woodinville, Amanda Foust of Pasco, Kathryn Gehrett of Auburn, Emily Gish of Yakima, Janeen Heath of Kirkland, Caleb Kytonen of Spokane, Julie Lund of Vancouver, Christopher Mair of Port Angeles, Molly Marshall of Colbert, Shauna McAllister of Sumner, Steffany McCowen of Dayton, Daniel Pederson of Pomeroy, Todd Phillips of Brewster, David Rail of Vancouver, Justin Ripka of Puyallup, Katherine Santiago of Puyallup, Ali Sheikhizadeh of Olympia, Kristin Simmler of Redmond, Jeremy Stalberger of Walla Walla, Richard Waddle of Grandview and Inga Zornes of Wenatchee.
Editor’s Note: Individual information about the scholars are being released today (Dec. 14) to their hometown newspapers by the WSU News Bureau. Questions concerning student information can be directed to Debra Smith, (509) 335-7209, or Sue Hinz, (509) 335-3583.