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Charlene Brown
Wells Scholars Program

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, July 26, 2007

2007 Wells Scholars announced at Indiana University

25 top students to receive Wells Scholarships

July 26, 2007

Wells Scholars

One feature of the Wells Scholars Program is its special seminars and opportunities to meet prominent campus visitors, such as Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen (center).

Print-Quality Photo

Editors: Photographs of each Wells Scholar are available online at

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University announced today (July 26) that 24 entering freshmen and one current IU student will join more than 370 others who have been named Wells Scholars since the first class enrolled in 1990.

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 40 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, Cornell 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 of IU. Newly named recipients who already are students at IU receive tuition, fees and a stipend for their one to two remaining undergraduate years.

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

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.

The 25 new Wells Scholars, their hometowns, and their high schools are:

• Gerald Aggrey, the son of Kwesi Aggrey and Deborah Hamlin-Aggrey of Valparaiso, Ind. -- A graduate of Valparaiso High School, he is a National Achievement finalist. He also attended Loyalsock High School in Williamsport, Penn., and Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, N.J. As a high school student, Aggrey was selected to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program and was vice president of the Loyalsock Technology Student Association.

• Carlo Angiuli, the son of Tommaso Angiuli of Glenview, Ill. -- A graduate of New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., Angiuli is a National Merit Scholar and a National AP Scholar. He has received a Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship and the Rensselaer Medal. Angiuli co-led New Trier's math and state champion scholastic bowl teams and was a member of the Illinois All-Star Scholastic Bowl team that won the National Panasonic Academic Challenge.

• Matthew Burkhart, the son of Darwin and Jenise Burkhart of Logansport, Ind. -- A Hoosier Scholar and the first Wells Scholar from Lewis Cass High School, Burkhart was the class valedictorian. He won Future Business Leaders of America state championships in business calculations and business math, and competed in these events at the national level. Burkhart served as state vice president of FBLA, as president of Cass County United Youth Council and as president of the Student Council.

• Erin Chapman, the daughter of Robert and Monica Chapman of North Bend, Ohio -- The first Wells Scholar from Taylor High School, Chapman was valedictorian and an AP Scholar with Honor. She received a Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship and multiple awards from the Cincinnati chapter of the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater. She also received Regional Scholastic Art Gold Key awards for drawing and art portfolio. Chapman served as class president and student body president.

• Desirée Cossyleon, the daughter of John and Nora Cossyleon of Munster, Ind. -- The class valedictorian from Munster High School, Cossyleon earned distinction as a Richard G. Lugar Scholar and as a recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's award for academic excellence. An officer for her school's speech team, she was a state finalist in duo interpretation. Cossyleon was principal violist in the Northwest Indiana Youth Orchestra and was selected for the Indiana All-State Orchestra. She was president of her school orchestra and of the junior class Executive Council.

• Matthew De Leon, the son of Nelson De Leon and Carol Wood of Chesterton, Ind. -- A graduate of Chesterton High School, he was the recipient of the National Merit Hispanic Recognition Award and also was named a Richard G. Lugar Scholar. He twice placed in the top five at the state level in the Science Olympiad and won the state championship in "Wright Stuff," a rubber-band-powered airplane building event. He was second in the state debate tournament in the public forum contest, and he earned a Degree of Special Distinction from the National Forensic League.

• Caitlin Dunn, the daughter of Tom and Rita Dunn of Portland, Ind. -- A graduate of Jay County High School, Dunn has received numerous honors, including the Bausch & Lomb Science Award, the Portland Foundation Academic Award and the DAR Good Citizen Award. She placed in the top 10 in the nation in the First Freedom student competition and traveled to Japan as the winner of an essay competition. She was a member of her school's Academic Super Bowl English team, which placed second in state, and she served as vice president of Student Council.

• Laura Goins, the daughter of Nancy Sasse and Dan Goins of Palmyra, Ind. -- The class valedictorian and the first Wells Scholar from North Harrison High School, Goins is a National Merit Scholar and the recipient of a United States Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award. She was named an Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star and received a Yarmuth Book Award for academic achievement. She served as president of National Honor Society.

• Margaret Hathaway, the daughter of Stephanie Girardi of Wilmette, Ill., and John Hathaway of Springfield, Ill. -- Currently a student at IU Bloomington, Hathaway will receive the Wells Scholarship for her senior year. She is completing majors in anthropology and folklore with a minor in biology. She has plans to pursue an academic career in anthropology. She has conducted field work in a Maori community in New Zealand and twice has interned at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. Her dedication to residential life at IU and her leadership in Collins Living-Learning Center have been recognized with the Irving Katz Residence Hall Student Scholarship and the Jean C. Halterman Distinguished Service Award.

• Mika (Teal) Larsen, the daughter of Sura Gail Tala of Unionville, Ind. -- The first Wells Scholar from Harmony High School in Bloomington, Larsen graduated with a number of unusual educational experiences. For her Harmony senior project, she spent two months volunteering at the Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon, where she worked with gorillas, chimpanzees, wildcats, birds, crocodiles and other wildlife. She also has conducted a study of alternative education in Denver.

• Carol J. "CJ" Lotz, the daughter of Steve and Janice Lotz of Eureka, Mo. -- The first Wells Scholar from Eureka High School, Lotz was named a St. Louis County Outstanding Student Leader and a Gateway Leader of Tomorrow. She received the Koplar Spirit of Eureka Award for leadership and was chosen by Louie Magazine as one of "Twenty-Five Teens to Watch." Active in the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater, she served as lead critic of her school's award-winning team, and her reviews were published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

• Emma McClure, the daughter of James and Maureen McClure of West Lafayette, Ind. -- The valedictorian of West Lafayette High School, McClure is a National Merit Scholar and placed second in state on the National French Exam. She also received an Achievement Award from the National Council of Teachers of English, won first place in the essay and overall high school categories at the Purdue University Creative Writing Contest, and was a Presidential Scholar semi-finalist. A Junior Olympics fencer, McClure earned a national E ranking in epée and foil.

• Jessica Meyer, the daughter of Joyce Meyer of Crawfordsville, Ind., and John Meyer of Bozeman, Mt. -- Valedictorian of Crawfordsville High School, Meyer received an Award of Excellence from the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages for High School Students and placed second in the Indianapolis Children's Museum's Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest. A member of the PRIDE drug prevention program national team-of-the-year, she served on the Crawfordsville PRIDE advisory council.

• Luke Pacold, the son of Ivan and Swat Pacold of Elmhurst, Ill. -- A graduate of St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, Pacold is a National Merit Scholar. He served as captain of his school's Scholastic Bowl team, which won the sectional championship in the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association contest and competed in the National Academic Quiz Tournaments' national competition. He was named to the Scholastic Bowl Illinois All-State team. He earned a perfect score on the National Latin Exam, and he competed on his school's Certamen team, which won third place in state competition.

• Dylan Pittman, the son of Michael and Terry Pittman of Evansville, Ind. -- The valedictorian at North High School, he was honored with the Kiwanis Scholastic Achievement Award. President of his school's debate and speech teams, he won the Indiana High School Forensic Association's Hawker Award for outstanding mental attitude and twice competed at the national debate tournament in public forum debate after placing at the state level.

• Tara Sarin, the daughter of Viren and Ashoo Sarin of Carmel, Ind. -- A graduate of Carmel High School, Sarin is a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction. She served as a reporter and news editor for her school's newspaper which won Gold Medal and Gold Crown Awards. The recipient of a National Forensics League Degree of Excellence, she served as board leader of her school's speech team and qualified for state competition. She has been a research intern at the IU School of Medicine.

• Sarah Saviet, the daughter of Elizabeth Ahmann and Richard Saviet of Cheverly, Md. -- A National Merit Scholar, Saviet was educated as a homeschooler and studied music at Peabody Preparatory in Baltimore, Md. Her numerous awards for violin performance include first place in the strings division at the Washington Performing Arts Society's Feder Competition; first place in the Peabody Preparatory full concerto competition; first place in the high school strings division of the Friday Morning Music Club competition in Washington, D.C.; and honorable mention at the National Symphony Orchestra's high school competition.

• Jacob Sherry, the son of Thomas and Tracey Sherry of New Orleans, La. -- Educated as a homeschooler, Sherry also has taken classes at Tulane University and at Thetford Academy in Vermont. Active in the circus arts, he spent two summers touring with Circus Smirkus, the international youth circus based in Vermont. The circus recognized him for his leadership abilities with its Buster Award. Trained on classical piano and French horn, Jacob was selected as the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra principal French horn player and has served on the orchestra youth council.

• Ethan Sperry, the son of Douglas and Linda Sperry of Terre Haute, Ind. -- An AP Scholar with Distinction, Sperry graduated from Terre Haute South Vigo High School. He won first place in the Indiana State Science and Engineering Fair and in the Indiana Academy of Science Talent Search Competition. Twice named a finalist in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, he received the third place American Statistical Association Award for Excellence, placed third in the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, and was a pre-college fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

• Catherine Suffern, the daughter of Michael Suffern and Karen Imbus of Cincinnati, Ohio -- A National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, Suffern graduated as salutatorian from Walnut Hills High School. She earned summa cum laude recognition on the National Latin Exam and was a recipient of a Swarthmore Book Award for commitment to community and diversity and for academic excellence. She was lead critic for her school's chapter of the Critics and Awards Program for High School Theater and was active in the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.

• Esther Uduehi, the daughter of Joseph and Joy Uduehi of Evansville, Ind. -- A National Achievement Scholar, an AP Scholar, and a Richard G. Lugar Scholar, Uduehi graduated as a valedictorian from F. J. Reitz High School. She was a two-time Grand Award winner at the Tri-State Science and Engineering Fair and a two-time finalist at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. A champion in the international business plan event at the 2007 DECA state conference, she placed in the top 10 at the international level. At the Business Professionals of America state conference, she won first place in financial math and analysis. She was also a two-year member of the Indiana All-State Orchestra.

• Caitlin Van Kooten, the daughter of Richard and Mary Van Kooten of Bloomington, Ind. -- An AP Scholar, Van Kooten graduated as salutatorian from Bloomington High School South. She was a member of the BHSS solar bicycle racing team, which won the national championship her junior and senior years for its work building and riding bikes powered with the aid of solar energy. She also was a recipient of an IU Molecular Biology Institute Science Award, and she served as president of National Honor Society and co-editor-in-chief of the BHSS newspaper.

• Lindsay Whisler, the daughter of Thomas and Karen Whisler of Carmel, Ind. -- The valedictorian at Westfield High School, Whisler won a championship in women's monologue at the Indiana State Thespian Conference and was a high merit winner in the Creative Communications Young Poets Contest. She served as art editor for her school's literary magazine and received an artistic merit award at the Hoosier Crossroads Scholastic Art exhibit.

• Gregory Willoughby Jr., the son of Nikki Knox of Indianapolis -- An AP Scholar with Distinction, Willoughby graduated from Warren Central High School, where he earned the top rating in his school in the American Scholastic Mathematics Association contest. He was captain of the Academic Super Bowl science team, which won regionals and competed at the state level, and was on its Science Olympiad team. He has been a research intern at the IU School of Medicine.

• Jordan Youkilis, the son of Tom and Alison Youkilis of Cincinnati, Ohio -- A National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar, Youkilis graduated from Wyoming High School. He also was a winner of the Procter & Gamble Fund Scholarship, a Simon Lazarus Jr. Human Relations Award for outstanding community service, and a University of Virginia Book Award for outstanding leadership.

For more information about the Wells Scholars Program, go to or call 812-855-9491.