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Charlene Brown
Wells Scholars Program

George Vlahakis
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 Wells Scholars announced at Indiana University

20 top students to receive Wells Scholarships

July 30, 2009

EDITORS: Links to photographs of each Wells Scholar are available with their biographical information below. The following links will take you directly to the student in your city.

Kaitlin Blatt, of Cincinnati
Adam Friedman, of Chesterfield, Mo.
Kasey Greer, of Plymouth, Ind.
Mackenzie Hammel, of Cincinnati
D. Christian Hines, of Terre Haute, Ind.
Alexis Howard, of Bourbon, Ind.
Eric Jiang, of Kokomo, Ind.
Andrew Johns, of Indianapolis
Gabriel King, of South Bend, Ind.
Jarrod Lowery, of Batesville, Ind.
Casey McGlasson, of Sullivan, Ind.
Mohsin Mukhtar, of Plainfield, Ind.
Isak Osagyefo Nti Asare, of Laramie, Wyo.
Jasmine Page, of Indianapolis
Sonia Phadke, of Valparaiso, Ind.
Sarah Siebertz, of Elkhart, Ind.
Barrett Tenbarge, of Carmel, Ind.
Henry Thomas, of Wilmette, Ill.
Grant Williams, of Munster, Ind.
Jason Wong, of Bloomington, Ind.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University announced today (July 29) that 18 entering freshmen and two current IU juniors will join the more than 420 others who have been named Wells Scholars since the first class enrolled in 1990.

2009 Wells Scholars

New, current and recent Wells Scholars alumni gathered at the Wells statue on the IU Bloomington campus this summer. Seated are recent alums Rohini Michelle Sarin and Yun William Yu.Standing are Jason Wong, Mohsin Mukhtar, John Brown II, Robert Bercovitz, Matthew De Leon and, another alumna, Tara Maloney.

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 20 new Wells Scholars, their hometowns, and their high schools are:

  • Kaitlin Blatt, of Cincinnati, a graduate of St. Ursula Academy. Blatt was awarded the Mother Gertrude Creamer Award for Leadership and Service and co-founded and served as president of Catholic Social Teaching Action Team, a community service club focused on social justice issues. She was awarded senior honor medals in biology, English, and Spanish, as well as the Bulldog Star Award for community service and the Northwestern Book Award for academic achievement, and was a member of the National Honor and the Spanish Honor societies. She captained her school's Mock Trial team her junior and senior years and was named the Outstanding Lawyer in Ohio state competition. She served as a student ambassador and as a peer tutor and participated in the Peer Assisted Leadership Program. A 14-year member of the Forest Hills Swim Team, she also coached a middle school volleyball team. At IU, Blatt plans to major in human biology and international studies in preparation for a medical career in developing nations. Photo:
  • Adam Friedman, of Chesterfield, Mo., the first Wells Scholar from Parkway West High School in Ballwin, Mo. Friedman was recognized as one of the top 100 Scholars in Missouri based on academics, activities and test scores. His Junior Engineering Technical Society team placed first in the state in the last two years and seventh nationally in 2008 and 11th this year. A four-year member of his school's speech and debate team, he was named Outstanding Speaker in Student Congress for Eastern Missouri his junior year, and qualified for the National Forensic League's state and national tournaments his senior year. He served as president and junior vice president of the math honor society Mu Alpha Theta and was elected to the National Honor Society. A member of the science honor society Beta Chi Pi, he received awards in science at his school and the Greater St. Louis Science Fair. He has served as vice president and as secretary of the B'nai B'rith Youth Organization and received its Unsung Hero Award. A prize-winning poet, his work has been published in A Celebration of Young Poets: Heartland, Fall 2005. Named senior spirit king at Parkway West, he was a member of the track and field team. Friedman plans to major in business. Photo:
  • Kasey Greer, of Plymouth, Ind., a Hoosier Scholar and the first Wells Scholar from Plymouth High School, where she was inducted into the Academic Hall of Fame. A member of Business Professionals of America, she won the BPA state championship in fundamental accounting her junior year and placed third in the nation. In her senior year, she placed second in the nation in administrative support concepts and in the top 10 in payroll accounting. The founder and president of her school's chapter of Junior State of America, she sought to raise student awareness of national politics and elections and served as an Indiana State Democratic Convention delegate. A three-year contributor to her school's award-winning student newspaper, Pilgrim Perspective, she served as sports editor her junior year and editor-in-chief her senior year. She also was a three-year member of National Honor Society and of Key Club and served as secretary of 4-H Junior Leaders. Honored with the Girl Scout Silver Award and the Prudential Spirit of the Community Girl Scouts award, she was a delegate to the National Girl Scout Convention her senior year. She competed on the varsity swim team for three years and was captain her senior year. Greer plans to major in history and political science in preparation for law school. Photo:
  • Mackenzie Hammel, of Cincinnati, the first Wells Scholar from Lakota West High School in West Chester, Ohio. Hammel graduated as co-salutatorian and has received a Procter and Gamble Fund Scholarship. The principal harpist for the Ohio All-State Orchestra, the Cincinnati Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Lakota West Symphonic Winds, she has performed at the 10th World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and on National Public Radio's "From the Top" program. The winner of the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra's Young Artist Competition, she has twice won the CSYO concerto competition and was selected as a finalist in the American Harp Society's 2009 national competition. She served as secretary of the National Honor Society, secretary/treasurer of the math club and as an officer in the area Youth Arts Council. She has been a member of the national math honor society Mu Alpha Theta, the National Spanish Honor Society and the Spanish club. Co-captain of the varsity tennis team, she has won many athletic awards and was named to the All-Greater Miami Conference athletic and academic teams for three years. Hammel participated in the Kelley School of Business' Young Women's Institute and plans to study finance or operations management and harp. Photo:
  • D. Christian Hines, of Terre Haute, Ind., an IU junior completing majors in history and modern political thought and action, a certificate in the Liberal Arts and Management Program and a minor in English. After interning in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Richard G. Lugar and with the Senate Committee for Foreign Relations, Hines founded and now chairs the Student Foreign Policy Initiative at IU. He also served as an intern for the Indiana Humanities Council and the White Violet Center for Ecological Justice at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. At IU, Hines is a member of the Board of Aeons, which provides student perspectives to the president; an opinion columnist and member of the Editorial Board of the Indiana Daily Student; an associate justice of the IU Student Association Supreme Court; and a member of the Hutton Honors College Extracurricular Programming Committee. He also has served on the William T. Patten Foundation Lecture Committee, the Indiana Memorial Union Board lectures committee and the Collins Living-Learning Center executive board and in the IUSA Congress. A graduate from Terre Haute North Vigo High School, where he was named the Carl S. Riddle Scholar for his academic achievement and extracurricular leadership, Hines was awarded a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and several IU scholarships as an entering freshman. Photo:
  • Alexis Howard, of Bourbon, Ind., valedictorian of the Culver Academies in Culver, Ind. A National Merit Scholar, an AP Scholar with Honor and a Global Studies Institute Scholar, Howard was the recipient of a Batten merit scholarship. She was a member of the Cum Laude, Blue Key and Spanish honorary societies. She served as council chair, diversity council chair, a member of the senior advisory board to the dean of girls and of the student admissions organization, a representative on the disciplinary committee; international student liaison coordinator and a peer tutor. She was a founding member of BEAM, a youth organization that works with United Way to provide service grants, and a member of Greenlife, an environmental club, and of Amnesty International. Howard participated in Sol Education Abroad, teaching English to high school students in Costa Rica and working on ecological, biodiversity and other projects. She was a writer and editor for the school newspaper and a member of the concert band, earning gold medals in state solo and band competitions on saxophone. She was a four-year member of the military exhibition rifle drill team, serving as executive officer her junior year and commander her senior year and played on the varsity softball and basketball teams. Alexis plans to pursue studies in preparation for medical school. Photo:
  • Eric Jiang, of Kokomo, Ind., a graduate of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities in Muncie, Ind. A National Merit Scholar and a national AP Scholar with Distinction, Jiang was named an Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star. He competed on the academy's math team that was named Academic Super Bowl state champion his junior year, and that same year he placed second in state in experimental design at the Science Olympiad. He was the state champion in the Trig-Star math contest his sophomore year while attending Kokomo High School. Active in FIRST Robotics at both Kokomo and the academy, he was animation team leader for three years. He taught himself 3D animation and has founded and incorporated his own online company, Aztekera LLP, which deals with 3D graphics and Web design. At Kokomo, he was a member of the tennis team and competed in Junior Music Federation competitions on piano. He was on the staff of Red & Blue, the school newspaper, and founded and served as president of the KHS Computer Club. At the Indiana Academy, he founded and was president of the ping-pong club and served as an academy ambassador. He plans to major in computer science. Photo:
  • Andrew Johns, of Indianapolis, and valedictorian of Pike High School. A National Merit Scholar and National AP Scholar, Johns was a candidate for the International Baccalaureate Diploma at graduation. His honors also include the 2008 Central Indiana Better Business Bureau Student of Ethics Award for community and school leadership, personal integrity, and academic accomplishment and the Phi Beta Kappa Association of Indiana Outstanding Academic Achievement Award. He captained his school's speech team and twice qualified for the Indiana High School Forensics Association state finals. He also captained the varsity Brain Game team, which won the 2008 Central Indiana high school tournament. Active in Model United Nations, he was named best delegate at the 2008 Indianapolis conference. He studied in León, Spain, through the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages for High School Students, receiving the Award of Excellence, and was a member of Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica, and the National Honor and Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honorary societies. He co-founded QUEST, a student-led Christian group, and was active in his church. He plans to study chemistry, psychology and Romance languages. Photo:
  • Gabriel King, of South Bend, Ind., a graduate of Clay High School. King was awarded a South Bend Principal's Association Award, a South Bend Mayor's Association Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement and a South Bend School Corporation Distinguished Student Scholar Award. He also received a Scholastic Art Award for photography. A three-year member and senior captain of his school's Quiz Bowl team, he was a leader in the National Honor Society and the Clay High School peer mentoring program. King played varsity soccer for his school for three years and co-captained the team his senior year. He played club soccer with the Invaders FC, which finished second in the state in 2007 and 2008. He was named an All-Academic Player by the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association his junior and senior years, an Outstanding Player for Northern Indiana by the Michiana Soccer Referees Association his senior year, First Team 2008 All-District Player for Northwest Indiana his senior year, and his school's co-Most Valuable Player for boys' soccer his senior year. At IU, King plans to major in history. Photo:
  • Jarrod Lowery, of Batesville, Ind., the first Wells Scholar from Batesville High School. A National Merit Scholar and valedictorian, Lowery was a class vice president and student body vice president his senior year. Lowery served four years as vice president of the Mayor's Youth Council, leading efforts to ban smoking in public places, to educate youngsters about drug and alcohol abuse and to raise funds for community projects. CHOICES, an anti-drug task force he helped create, was recognized by the Indiana and the U.S. departments of education as a model for drug and alcohol education. He was a debate leader at Yale's Junior Statesmen of America Summer School and received an Award of Excellence for his studies in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, through the IU Honors Program in Foreign Languages for High School Students. He participated in Sen. Lugar's Symposium for Tomorrow's Leaders and served as an officer of the Kiwanis Student Leadership Academy. He was editor of his school newspaper and won the VFW Voice of Democracy Essay Contest. His Destination ImagiNation team reached the Indiana finals. He also was president of Students Against Destructive Decisions, an officer in the Spanish club and a member of National Honor Society. He ran varsity cross country and track for four years. Lowery plans to study economics. Photo:
  • Casey McGlasson, of Sullivan, Ind., the first Wells Scholar from Sullivan High School. An AP Scholar, McGlasson received the John and Eunice Organ Valedictorian Award and was named an Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star. A member of the honorary society Beta Club, she won first in state in its 2008 essay competition. Her other honors include the Principal's Leadership Award, the Indianapolis Star Community Service Award, the Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award, the U.S. Air Force Award for Math, the senior award for math, and the Virginia Gillman Award for English. She captained her school's Academic Super Bowl, Quiz Bowl and Knowledge Masters teams and was a member of the Science Olympiad team. She served as president of the Spanish club, was a member of the National Honor Society and was a designer for her school's newspaper. A four-year member and senior captain of the girls' varsity soccer team, she was named a U.S. Army Scholar Athlete and received the Indiana National Guard Award for Athletic and Academic Excellence. She also played varsity softball. McGlasson plans to study comparative literature at IU. Photo:
  • Mohsin Mukhtar, of Plainfield, Ind., valedictorian at Plainfield High School. An AP Scholar with Distinction, a Hoosier Scholar and an Indianapolis Star Academic All-Star, Mukhtar was the recipient of a Comcast Leaders & Achievers Scholarship and the U.S. Marine Corps Scholastic Excellence Award. He twice won the Optimist International Club Essay and Oratorical Contest and was also a Wendy's High School Heisman state finalist. He was a member of his school's Academic Super Bowl teams, including the science team that won the 2007 state championship, and of the team that won third in state in We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution competition. He served as president and as treasurer of his class and of DECA, a marketing students' association; president of the Muslim Students Association; vice president of National Honor Society; and an officer of Student Council and Octagon Club (associated with Optimist International). He has been a leader in Muslim Youth of North America and a volunteer in the Muslim community. He captained his school's varsity cross country and track teams, and was named Academic All-State and twice received the Mental Attitude Award in cross country. He plans to major in neuroscience and biotechnology and will participate in the Integrated Freshman Learning Experience and the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars mentored research programs. Photo:
  • Isak Osagyefo Nti Asare, of Laramie, Wyo., an IU junior completing majors in political science and linguistics, a certificate in African studies, and minors in African languages and Spanish. A McNair Scholar, he also received travel and research grants from the Hutton Honors College for his study of the relationship between traditional authority and democratic consolidation in Sub-Saharan Africa. He served as vice president of the IU African Students Association and has been elected president for the coming year. He served as a floor governor in Teter Quad Student Government and is a member of the Undergraduate Black Law Students Association, the IU Linguistics Club, the IU African Languages Club and IU Students for Barack Obama. A member of the Hutton Honors College and the Hudson and Holland Scholars Program, he was awarded the Herman C. Hudson Scholastic Excellence Award in 2008 and 2009. The first Wells Scholar from Laramie High School, where he was president of the student body and of the Spanish Honor Society, he was named an All-American Swimmer four times and Wyoming Aquatic Athlete of the Year and of the state meet in 2006. He was born in Sweden and has also lived in the United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Mexico and Azerbaijan. In 2005 he received the Ana Chen Memorial Award for promoting diversity and acceptance within the local community. Photo:
  • Jasmine Page, of Indianapolis, valedictorian and the first Wells Scholar from Arlington High School. Her honors include the Indianapolis Education Association Human Rights Award, the Alpha Kappa Debutante Cotillion Scholastic Achievement Award, the Phi Beta Kappa Outstanding Academic Achievement Award for High School Juniors and the Book Award from The Links, Inc., a national volunteer service organization. She has been named a Coca-Cola Circle City Classic High School Honor Student and the Most Outstanding Student in English and in Physics by the IUPUI Upward Bound Program. At Arlington, she was a two-year member of student council and served as secretary and as vice president of National Honor Society. She served for two years as chapter president of Best Buddies, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities; for three years as a mentor through the Academy for Girls sponsored by the Coalition of 100 Black Women; and as a youth leader at a Sister to Sister workshop for middle school girls. She has been active in the Executive Service Corps and Delta Gems mentoring programs, the Center for Leadership Development, the Rawls Scholars Medicine Initiative and Project SEED, a summer research program at the IU School of Medicine. She plans to major in biology at IU in preparation for a career in medicine. Photo:
  • Sonia Phadke, of Valparaiso, Ind., valedictorian and a graduate of Valparaiso High School with an International Baccalaureate Diploma. A National Merit Scholar, an AP Scholar and a Hoosier Scholar, Phadke was a four-year member of the Science Olympiad team, winning 14 state medals and the 2008 national Gold Medal in the Sounds of Music event. The team twice finished second in state and 11th in the nation. She twice won first place in Indiana in the National Spanish Exam and was a member of Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica. She also was a member of the Quiz Bowl team, which qualified for state competition three years, and the Spell Bowl team, which qualified for state two years. She served as president of the Valparaiso Model United Nations delegation, secretary of National Honor Society, vice president of the concert orchestra, and president of the chamber orchestra. A violist in various music ensembles in her school, she received a Gold Medal in state competition. She was a CASS (Creating a Safer School) mentor to middle school students and a tutor for English as a new language; and she co-founded, co-produced and co-hosted a weekly radio talk show, "In the Know Show," that focused on politics, music and other issues. Phadke plans to major in biology and political science and prepare for a career in medicine. Photo:
  • Sarah Siebertz, of Elkhart, Ind., the first Wells Scholar from Elkhart Memorial High School. Siebertz was among the students ranked first in her class. Co-captain of her school's speech team, she was a state finalist in the National Forensic League U.S. Extemporaneous division her sophomore year. That same year, her Academic Decathlon team won second in state competition; and she won a Silver Medal in the Honors Division for Language and Literature and a Bronze Medal in Honors for Speech. Her junior year, she and her team also reached the state finals, where she was awarded an Honors Division Silver Medal for Speech and a Bronze Medal for Interview. Also in her junior year, her Economics Challenge team won second in its division in state regional competition; and her senior year, she won a Best Witness Award in area competition as a member of the Mock Trial team. She was president of the National Honor Society, a member of student government, and language arts student of the year. A violinist, she was a member of her school's symphonic and pit orchestras and Jazz Strings. At IU, Siebertz plans to major in business economics and public policy. Photo:
  • Barrett Tenbarge, of Carmel, Ind., a graduate of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School with Class Honors. A National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Honor, Tenbarge was active in speech and debate and a seven-time qualifier for national competition. He was named a National Forensic League All-American and awarded the NFL Degree of Premier Distinction and the Hoosier Crossroads NFL District Student of the Year. He received the Indiana High School Forensics Association's James F. Hawker Mental Attitude Award and was a member of the 2008 state champion Federal Reserve Challenge team. The recipient of the George Eastman Young Leaders Award and the DAR Good Citizen Award, he was selected to attend the National Young Leaders and the Hugh O'Brian Youth leadership conferences. Tenbarge served as co-editor-in-chief of The Arrow, Brebeuf's student newspaper, and contributed columns to the Indianapolis Star. The two-year president of the Young Republicans' Club, he interned with the Indiana State Republican Party and with the Mitch Daniels for Governor Campaign and was named to the Indiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council. He was a member of the National Honor Society, lead delegate to the Indianapolis Model United Nations, lead ambassador for the Brebeuf admissions office, and a Special Olympics coach. At IU, he plans to major in public policy analysis and economics. Photo:
  • Henry Thomas, of Wilmette, Ill., a graduate of New Trier Township High School in Winnetka, Ill. A National Merit Scholar and a National AP Scholar, Thomas was a four-year member of the New Trier Science Olympiad team. He won numerous state and regional medals and, in his senior year, was first in the nation in Map It. The team won the Illinois state championship all four years and finished ninth in the country his senior year, 13th his sophomore and junior years, and 16th his freshman year. He also was a three-year member of New Trier's Scholastic Bowl team. Among his honors, Thomas received the New Trier Excellence Award for science and for social studies. Active in Boy Scouts, he has been a counselor and trading post manager at Ma-Ka-Ja-Wan Scout Reservation, where he received the Knot Award for continuing demonstration of the values embodied by the camp and Boy Scouts of America. He recently achieved Eagle rank after organizing a conservation project at a local lagoon. At IU, Thomas plans to major in economics and biology. Photo:
  • Grant Williams, of Munster, Ind., a graduate of Munster High School, where he received the Principal's Award for Excellence. A National Merit Scholar, Williams was a member of DECA, a marketing students' association, and he placed first in state competition his senior year and fourth his junior year. His DECA team won the state championship both his junior and senior years. A four-year member of student government at Munster, he was elected student body president his senior year and he worked with others to ameliorate the impact of the fall flood disaster that affected his community and school. He also was elected prom king and served as treasurer of Project X, a community service organization, and Students Against Destructive Decisions. He was named a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) role model for youngsters in elementary school. Named outstanding senior in science and AP economics, he was an officer in the Spanish club and a delegate to Hoosier Boys State, as well as a member of the varsity cross country and track teams. Williams plans to major in neuroscience in preparation for a career in medicine. Photo:
  • Jason Wong, of Bloomington, Ind., a graduate of Bloomington High School South. A National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction, Wong was a member of the Science Olympiad team. He medaled in state competition four years, winning nine medals, including a first in astronomy his junior year. His freshman year, he finished 11th in the nation in the Junkyard Challenge; his senior year, the South team finished 14th in the nation and his rankings included eighth in astronomy. He was a mechanic for the South Solar Bike Racing Team, which twice won the national championship, and a member of the Junior Engineering Technical Society team that finished eighth in the nation in 2007. He captained the Academic Super Bowl team, which placed second in state in Interdisciplinary, and the Japanese Academic Super Bowl team, which placed third in state, Level 2. He was a member of South's Indiana Math League team, which placed in the top 10 in state all four years, and the VEX Robotics team, which placed in the top 10 in 2008. He was a four-year member of student council, co-president of diversity club and a participant in a variety of community service activities, as well as a member of the varsity tennis team. Wong plans to major in biology and Chinese and will participate in the Integrated Freshman Learning Experience and the Science, Technology, and Research Scholars mentored research programs. Photo:

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