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Charlene Brown
Wells Scholars Program
chajbrow@indiana.edu
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Last modified: Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 Wells Scholars announced at Indiana University

21 top students to receive Wells Scholarships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2008

Editors: Links to photographs of each Wells Scholar are available with their biographical information below.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University announced today (July 30) that 20 entering freshmen and one current IU student will join the more than 400 others who have been named Wells Scholars since the first class enrolled in 1990.

Wells Scholars

The Wells Scholars scholarship, created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, ranks among the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any American university. A group of last year's scholars surrounds a sculpture of Wells at IU Bloomington.

Print-Quality Photo

The scholarship, created in honor of the late IU Chancellor Herman B Wells, ranks among the most competitive and prestigious awards offered by any American university. Wells Scholars have gone on to win more than 50 national and international scholarships, fellowships and grants, such as the Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, Soros, Mitchell, Churchill, Fulbright and Goldwater.

Today, many Wells Scholar alumni contribute to Indiana as residents, and others are studying or working throughout the country and overseas as attorneys, doctors, teachers, business people, clergy and artists. Some have gone on to clerk for Indiana and U.S. Supreme Court justices, are engaged in international relief and service efforts or are scholars at renowned educational institutions such as MIT, Yale and IU itself. There are Wells Scholars currently serving in the Armed Forces and other positions in government.

On his 90th birthday, Chancellor Wells was officially presented with the prestigious scholarship program as a gift from his many friends and admirers. After his death in the spring of 2000, this community of talented and dedicated young scholars remains as a permanent legacy of his educational vision.

Incoming freshmen Wells Scholars receive full tuition and course-related fees, as well as a living stipend, for four years of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus. Newly named recipients who already are students at IU receive tuition, fees and a stipend for their remaining undergraduate years.

The Wells program also offers special seminars; an optional year of study abroad; support for a summer research or service project, creative activity, or internship; and a wide range of extracurricular events and activities. The Wells program emphasizes close interaction with faculty, academic and career advising, opportunities for community service and contact with distinguished visitors.

Freshman Wells Scholars are nominated by their high schools or the IU Office of Admissions and selected for having demonstrated exceptional qualities of character, leadership and distinction both inside and outside of the classroom. Internal Wells Scholars are nominated by IU Bloomington faculty.

The 21 new Wells Scholars, their hometowns, and their high schools are:

  • Eric Anderson, of Munster, Ind., who was a National Merit Scholar and a National AP Scholar at Munster High School. Anderson won four individual gold medals in state Science Olympiad competition and was captain of his school's team, which twice placed in the top five at state competitions. He also captained the Junior Engineering and Technical Sciences team, which placed first in the state twice and placed second at state a third year; the Envirothon team, which placed second statewide; the Academic Super Bowl interdisciplinary team, which placed fourth statewide; and the Academic team, which is comprised of all four teams. He won three state championships and placed third and fourth at the international level in competitions sponsored by DECA, the international association of marketing students. This past year, he served as DECA's state president. Anderson plans to study chemistry, finance and informatics. Anderson's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5206.html.
  • Erika Anderson, of Bloomington, Ind., who was a National Merit Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction at Bloomington High School North. A four-year member of her school's three-time state champion Science Olympiad team, she won 13 state medals and served as team co-captain for three years. The team finished 10th in the nation in 2008, and she placed in the top 10 in four events. Anderson was named an Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star. She twice was named to the All-State Honor Band and once named to the All-State Orchestra for her accomplishment on oboe, and received the Marine Corps Semper Fidelis band award. She interned in an IU biology laboratory while still in high school and plans to major in biology. She will participate in the biology department's Integrated Freshman Learning Experience mentored research program. Anderson's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5193.html.
  • Vasundhara Bhargava, of Fort Wayne, Ind., who was valedictorian, a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction at Homestead High School. A member and officer of her school's speech team, she was named conference champion in foreign extemporaneous speaking and qualified for state competition; and she received the Spartan Speaker of the Year and Spartan Mentor awards. Bhargava was a four-year member of the marching band and its drum major for two years. The band competed at the state level all four years, and Bhargava was honored by her school with the Virginia Marshall Award for leadership in band. A member of the journalism honor society Quill and Scroll, she served as co-editor-in-chief of the yearbook and wrote for the school newspaper. She plans to major in economics and mathematics. Bhargava's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5194.html.
  • Candace Borders, of Santa Rosa, Calif., an AP Scholar with Distinction, who is the first Wells Scholar from Santa Rosa High School. She graduated as a recipient of the Santa Rosa High School Foundation scholarship and was named Santa Rosa Teachers Association Student of the Year. As a freshman, she co-founded the journalism club (which has since become a class) and the school's award-winning newspaper, the Santa Rosan, which she served as editor-in-chief for four years. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat recognized Borders for her work in newspaper design and layout, sports news, features and reviews. She interned at Dow Pharmaceutical Sciences Inc. and volunteered with the Sonoma County Conservation Action group. Borders intends to pursue studies in finance, entrepreneurship and communication and culture. Borders' photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5195.html.
  • John Brown, of Loves Park, Ill., was a National Merit Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction and is the first Wells Scholar from Auburn High School in Rockford, Ill. He also was a Presidential Scholar semi-finalist. The co-captain of his school's state champion Scholastic Bowl team, he was named first team All-State and was selected as a member of the All-Star team that won a national title for Illinois at the 2008 Panasonic Academic Challenge. He was a member of the Masonic Academic Bowl team that was a four-time regional champion and a member of the national champion Knowledge Master Open team. Active in Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering, he qualified for state competition three years, placing third in state in biology his sophomore year. Brown plans to major in mathematics and will participate in the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars mentored research program. Brown's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5207.html.
  • Nicole Budzynski, of Carmel, Ind., who was a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, graduated from Zionsville Community High School summa cum laude. She placed second statewide on the National Spanish Exam and sixth in state on the American Chemical Society Chemistry Exam. She was a member of her school's Fed Challenge Team, which placed second in state competition. A 10-year member of 4-H, she won blue ribbons in geology at the Indiana State Fair. The recipient of the Zionsville Kiwanis Club's Student Volunteer Award, she served as youth co-chair for Boone County Youth As Resources, a United Way-sponsored program providing grants for community-based volunteer projects. She also was selected as a representative from her county to serve on the organization's regional board. A former participant in the IU Kelley School of Business' Young Women's Institute, Budzynski plans to major in finance. Budzynski's photo is at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5196.html.
  • Tyler Chernesky, of Fort Wayne, was a National Merit Scholar who graduated as valedictorian from Carroll High School. He received a Principal's Leadership Award for Indiana and a Hoosier Heroes Scholarship for an essay on one of his teachers. A member of the National Forensics League Speech and Debate Society and his school's speech team, Chernesky won the state championship in discussion and qualified for national competition in the extemporaneous speaking category. The news editor, copy editor and opinion columnist for his school newspaper, he won a Project Excel Round One Writing Award and a National Student Press Association rating of excellent for opinion writing. He was student council executive president his senior year, class president his junior year, and class vice president his freshman and sophomore years. Chernesky plans to major in English and history. Chernesky's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5197.html.
  • Elizabeth Fernandez, of Westerville, Ohio, graduated as valedictorian and is the first Wells Scholar from Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio. She also was honored with the Breakfast Club award for leadership and exemplary effort, the Cardinal Star award for outstanding achievement and an academic recognition award from the Ohio State University. She served as co-editor-in-chief and writer for her school's newspaper, the Phoenix, which won a Gold Medallion from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. She also served as student body secretary her senior year and as class secretary for three years. Fernandez plans to major in journalism. Fernandez's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5208.html.
  • Amy Fuhs, of Munster, Ind., was a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Honor at Munster High School, where she graduated as co-valedictorian. Her honors include an American Mathematics Contest Certificate of Distinction and an Award of Excellence from the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages for High School Students for her studies in León, Spain. Fuhs was a member of her school's speech and debate team, qualifying for the national tournament in policy debate, and was a member of the We the People team, which finished second in the state. She was selected to attend the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine. She plans to major in neuroscience and Spanish and will participate in the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars mentored research program. Fuhs photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5209.html.
  • Sunjay Gorawara, of Buffalo Grove, Ill., is the first Wells Scholar from Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Ill, where he graduated as an AP Scholar with Honor, a Coca-Cola Scholar and a Honeywell Scholar in Science, Technology and Public Policy. His awards include the ComEd Achievements in Science Scholarship and first place in the Civil Rights Defense Fund Senior Essay Contest. Gorawara also earned awards from the American Statistical Association and Abbott Laboratories for research presented at Illinois Junior Academy of Science state fairs and served two years as Illinois Junior Academy of Science president. He competed nationally through Future Business Leaders of America, served as FBLA's northern area leader and was selected for the University of Pennsylvania's Leadership in the Business World institute. A member of the Congressional Debate team, he competed at the national level and received a National Forensic League Distinction Award. He plans to major in finance, accounting and international studies. Gorawara's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5200.html.
  • Eric Hutson, of Crawfordsville, Ind., was a National Merit Scholar at Crawfordsville High School, where he also was co-chief executive officer of the nationally recognized PBL: Amtrak, a problem-based learning project. He helped his school win the Sycamore Leadership Award for community service to public transportation; and his other honors include an Amtrak Golden Spike Award for service, a Rotary Club award for community service and an Award of Excellence from the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages for High School Students for his studies in León, Spain. Hutson plans to pursue a major in biochemistry and will participate in the biology department's Integrated Freshman Learning Experience mentored research program. Hutson's photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5210.html.
  • Eli Isaacs, of Indianapolis, is a senior at IU who is completing majors in economics and political science, a certificate in the Liberal Arts and Management Program and a minor in psychology. Isaacs is co-founder and executive board member of the Virtú Project -- a student-run, non-profit investment fund benefitting the global health care relief work of the Timmy Foundation. An associate justice on the IU Student Association Supreme Court and a member of the LAMP Student Advisory Board, he is the recipient of a Center for Advancing Student Leadership Top Ten Student Leader Award Award and of the 2008 Kenneth R. R. Gros Louis Scholarship for academic excellence, leadership, and service as a university citizen. He has interned with the Indianapolis Local Public Improvement Bond Bank and served as a teaching assistant in the Kelley School of Business. He also is Indiana deputy state coordinator for Students for Barack Obama, the official student branch of the presidential candidate's campaign. He graduated from North Central High School in Indianapolis. Isaacs' photo is available at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5192.html.
  • Ian Kaelble, of Indianapolis, was a National Merit Scholar, an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Hoosier Scholar at Lawrence Central High School, where he graduated as valedictorian. He received the It's Our Community scholarship sponsored by Community Health Network, a Phi Beta Kappa outstanding junior award and a Yale Book Award for academic promise. President of his school's speech team, he qualified for national competition three years and was awarded a Degree of Outstanding Distinction from the National Forensic League. Accomplished on the clarinet and the violin, he was a member of Lawrence Central's national champion marching band and state champion concert band and symphony orchestra. He plans to major in psychology and neuroscience and will participate in the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars mentored research program. Kaelble's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5198.html.
  • Hannah Kennedy, of Indianapolis, was an AP Scholar with Distinction at Park Tudor School, where she participated in the Global Scholars Program, a two-year intensive class and independent research project in which she focused on 20th century political theatre. Named a Distinguished Member of the Thespian Society, she has performed in more than 20 school and community theatre productions and received a first-place Marion County Prelude Award for theatre, top honors in state vocal competition and multiple endowed awards for fine arts from her school. A member of the Indianapolis Mayor's Youth Council and a silver medalist on the National Spanish Exam, Kennedy received a Mount Holyoke Book Award for academic excellence, leadership and service and won second place in the Sergeant Wesley Hare Essay Contest. She plans to further develop her interest in performance at IU with studies in theatre and drama. Kennedy's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5211.html.
  • Justin Kingsolver, of Fishers, Ind., was an AP Scholar at Hamilton Southeastern High School, where he captained his school's national semi-finalist Quiz Bowl team and its state runner-up Brain Game team. He was selected from 26,000 members to serve as the American Legion Boys Nation vice president and was honored as the 2007 Hoosier Boys State Most Outstanding Citizen. Kingsolver won the Ken Wright Life and Community Scholarship, the Fishers Chamber of Commerce Education Through Experience Scholarship and his school's Set a Good Example Award. Selected to attend Sen. Richard G. Lugar's Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders, he was appointed as a U.S. Senate Page following his sophomore year and was selected as one of two Indiana delegates to the 2007 U.S. Senate Youth Program his junior year. Kingsolver plans to pursue majors in political science and international studies. Kingsolver's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5199.html.
  • Grant Lin, of Indianapolis, was a Presidential Scholar, National Merit Scholar and National AP Scholar at Lawrence North High School, where he graduated as valedictorian with an International Baccalaureate Diploma. His honors also include winning the FIRST Robotics Website Excellence Award, twice earning summa cum laude distinction on the National Latin Exam and being named an Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star. Lin was international president of Key Club and received an award for outstanding service. At Hoosier Boys State, he was elected lieutenant governor and Senate president and has been vice president and secretary of the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Indiana Alumni Association. He earned a Degree of Distinction from the National Forensic League. Lin plans to pursue studies in biochemistry, physics, and neuroscience. Lin's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5201.html.
  • Mary Mattern, of Attica, Ind., was valedictorian of Attica Junior-Senior High School and Wendy's female Heisman High School Award winner for Indiana. At Hoosier Girls State, Mattern won the Samsung-American Legion state scholarship; and she was a semi-finalist in the Coca-Cola Scholars Program. A long-time member of 4-H, Mary won multiple Grand championships and blue ribbons in State Fair competition, including the State Grand Sweepstakes, the top 4-H honor for forestry. She served as secretary and as president of National Honor Society and as vice president of her class for four years. A varsity athlete in five sports and captain of her school's volleyball, basketball, track, cross country and cheerleading teams, Mattern was named Academic All-State in four sports and an all-conference athlete eight times, and received multiple mental attitude and other awards. She plans to major in biology. Mattern's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5212.html.
  • Mark O'Dell, of La Porte, Ind., was a National Merit Scholar and valedictorian at George Washington High School in South Bend, Ind., where he was honored with the South Bend Principal's Association Student Recognition Award for outstanding citizenship. He was an Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star and was a Presidential Scholar semi-finalist. O'Dell qualified for national competition in the Chemistry Olympiad and captained his school's state finalist Quiz Bowl team. He captained the Academic Super Bowl math, English and interdisciplinary teams was parliamentarian of the student council. He attended Sen. Lugar's Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders and was a member of the Northern Indiana Conference student advisory board. A three-time member of the All-State Orchestra, he played cello in the South Bend Youth Symphony. He intends to major in mathematics and public affairs policy analysis. O'Dell's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5213.html.
  • Kristyn Rice, of Michigan City, Ind., is a Richard G. Lugar Scholar and the first Wells Scholar from Michigan City High School, where she graduated with highest distinction. She was twice selected to participate in Leadership La Porte County and was chosen to attend Sen. Lugar's Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders. At her school, Rice served as captain of the Quiz Bowl team and as junior class secretary. She was selected as a student member of a Michigan City Area Schools policy committee and served as a peer tutor, a Boys and Girls Club mentor, and a volunteer with La Porte County Home. A former participant in the IU Kelley School of Business Young Women's Institute, Rice plans to major in marketing and international business. Rice's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5214.html.
  • Mikaela Shaw, of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the first Wells Scholar from McAuley High School. Her awards include the Western Economic Council Grant for merit, the AXA Achievement Community Scholarship, the Robert A. Cunningham Memorial Scholarship for volunteerism and scholastic achievement and Union Central's 2008 Community Involvement Council Scholarship. She won the outstanding attorney award at Mock Trial state competition and earned a gold medal in Science Olympiad chemistry regional competition. She also received a President's Volunteer Service Award and a Prudential Spirit of Community bronze medallion and was president of Key Club and secretary of Guiding Our Life Decisions club. She represented her school at the Ohio Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership seminar. She plans to major in biology and history and will participate in the biology department's Integrated Freshman Learning Experience mentored research program. Shaw's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5215.html.
  • Tarlise Townsend, of Bloomington, Ind., was a National Merit Scholar at Edgewood High School in Ellettsville, Ind. She competed on her school's Academic Super Bowl English, fine arts, math and science teams and on the Spell Bowl team. She participated in the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages for High School Students with studies in Krefeld, Germany. Through the IU OPEN program, she attended IU as a high school senior and was nominated to Delta Phi Alpha, the German honor society. Townsend served as a student member of the Richland Bean Blossom Township's Gifted, Talented and High Ability Committee, which examined programs for high ability students in the school system. She plans to major in neuroscience and Germanic studies and will participate in the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars mentored research program. Townsend's photo is available online at http://newsinfo.iu.edu/asset/page/normal/5202.html.

For more information about the Wells Scholars Program, go to www.indiana.edu/~wsp/ or call 812-855-9491.