Twenty-six freshmen earn Medallion Scholarships
Oct. 1, 2001
KALAMAZOO -- Twenty-six students successfully competed against hundreds of top graduating seniors in the Class of 2001 to win prestigious Medallion Scholarships to begin their studies at Western Michigan University this fall.
The scholarships, each valued at $32,000 over four years, are the highest honor the University can bestow to an incoming freshman. Each award bears the name of the scholarship donor or the name of an individual in whose name the scholarship was established.
The 26 recipients were selected following a competition in which only this year's top applicants were invited to participate. The recipients, who have a collective grade point average of 4.19 and an average American College Test score of 31, competed against 720 talented high school seniors from 329 high schools in 13 states.
The Medallion recipients, their high schools, their intended programs of study and the names of their scholarships are listed below. Click on the recipient's name for more information.
Tara L. Becker of Rockford, Mich.; Greenville High School; accounting; Charles W. and Tucky M. Elliott Medallion
Allan E. Bickle of Kalamazoo; homeschooling and Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center; mechanical engineering; Dr. Merze Tate Endowed Medallion
Ryan A. Breisach of Kalamazoo; Kalamazoo Central High School; finance; Bernadine Carlson-Carmichael Medallion
Maria T. Candela of Cedar, Mich.; Traverse City West High School; University Curriculum; John and Ramona Bernhard Endowed Medallion
Jason C. Carrigan of Vermontville, Mich.; Maple Valley High School; computer science; Robert and Christine Hammond Medallion
Laura J. Courtade of Coopersville, Mich.; Coopersville High School; University Curriculum; Edward and Stephanie Fletcher Medallion
Greg M. Delgoffe of Menominee, Mich.; Menominee High School; University Curriculum; James and Cathy Brady Medallion
Joseph R. Dunn of Livonia, Mich.; Churchill High School; University Curriculum; Norman Peterson Medallion
Leslie R. Dzingle of Dearborn, Mich.; Divine Child High School; pre-architecture; Ronald and Nanette Elenbaas Medallion
Alison L. Frye of Bath, Mich.; Lansing Eastern High School; psychology; Aija Lubavs Medallion
Laura M. Ginn of Clarkston, Mich.; Clarkston High School; graphic design; Western Michigan University Foundation Endowed Medallion
Aaron J. Heinen of Battle Creek, Mich.; Battle Creek Central High School; music education; Howard F. Luckey Medallion
Scott A. Herlein of Twin Lake, Mich.; Reeths-Puffer High School; secondary education-Spanish; Dr. H. Nicholas Hamner Medallion
Eric D. Jennings of Canton, Mich.; Plymouth-Canton High School; computer science; Diether H. and Carol A. Haenicke Endowed Medallion
Carrie L. Johnson of Galien, Mich.; River Valley High School; business or communication; Charles and Lynn Zhang Medallion
Abigail R. Lee of Saginaw, Mich.; Heritage High School; paper engineering; Madame Tere Cerutti Medallion
Heather M. McAdam of Williamston, Mich.; DeWitt High School; dance; Dr. Paul and Rachel Horton Medallion
Philip J. Morey of Eastpointe, Mich.; De La Salle Collegiate High School; English education; John and Elaine Nelson Medallion
Russell A. Northrop of Clinton Township, Mich.; Dakota High School; theatre and music; Frederick W. Freund Medallion
Kathryn M. Rich of Saginaw, Mich.; Arthur Hill High School; University Curriculum; James and Sheila Ware Medallion
Bradley P. Schmidt of Onsted, Mich.; Onsted High School; secondary education; William McKinley and Cornelia Robinson Education Medallion
Tristin L. Thomas of Maryville, Tenn.; Maryville High School; aviation flight science; Kenneth and Julie Miller Medallion
Thanh Van Vo of Holland, Mich.; West Ottawa High School; University Curriculum; Harold and Beulah McKee Endowed Medallion
Jesse Wallenfang of Battle Creek, Mich.; Lakeview High School; University Curriculum; Roy and Beulah Kendall Endowed Medallion
Zachary J. Walsh of Harrison Township, Mich.; L'Anse Creuse High School; University Curriculum; George F. Ball Medallion
Amy L. Withers of Flint, Mich.; Kearsley High School; applied mathematics; Emeriti Endowed Medallion
The recipients were selected based on their participation in the 17th annual Medallion Scholarship Competition this past winter at WMU. It included essay writing and group problem solving for the students as well as information sessions for their parents.
To be invited to compete, students had to apply to WMU by Dec. 31 and have a grade point average in high school of at least 3.8 and an American College Test (ACT) Score of at least 25. This year's competition included 337 students with perfect 4.0 GPAs and 159 students who scored 30 or higher on the ACT.
Competition participants who do not win the top award of $32,000, are eligible to receive either a Board of Trustees Scholarship valued at $24,000 over four years or a WMU Academic Scholarship valued at $4,800 over four years.
Tara L. Becker of Rockford, Mich., is the daughter of Brian and Betsy Becker. A member and secretary of the National Honor Society and a "Who's Who" selection, she has received Outstanding Academic Achievement awards and participated in two leadership conferences. She also served one year on the student council and on the Principal's Advisory Council and played for two years in both the marching and junior varsity/concert bands. In addition, she participated in state and district solo and ensemble competitions and marched in two New Year's parades in Paris with her high school band. Becker was active in athletics for four years, playing on the basketball, soccer and volleyball teams. Her community service activities included serving as secretary of the Greenville Youth Advisory Council, as a peer ministry group leader for her church's youth group, as a coach for Little Lady Jacket Basketball and as a Habitat for Humanity volunteer.
Allan E. Bickle of Kalamazoo is the son of David and Carole Bickle. His junior and senior years, he was a member of the American Computer Science League, Junior Engineering Technical Society and American Chemical Society. He has performed well in a variety of national and state individual and team competitions in math, computer science, engineering and chemistry, including advancing to the second round of the American Math Competition in both 10th and 11th grade and participating on the Computer Science League intermediate division team that took third place in the nation in May 2000. In addition, Bickle played piano for three years and was a member of the American Youth Soccer Organization his freshman year and Teen Hoops (basketball) his sophomore year. He was active in his church and volunteered with housing-related service organizations.
Ryan A. Breisach of Kalamazoo is the son of Eric and Tobi Breisach. A member of the National Honor Society, he was a three-year mock trial participant, serving as captain his senior year and helping the team bring home a state championship and a fifth place national finish in 1999 as well as a state championship and a third place national finish in 2000. He played trumpet in the marching and symphonic bands for four years and in the orchestra for three years. Outside of class, Breisach has devoted much of his time to the Boy Scouts, achieving Eagle Scout status and serving as a patrol leader and in several other leadership positions. He also was active in his church's youth group, participating in a mission trip to a New York soup kitchen, and in the local community as a volunteer.
Maria T. Candela of Cedar, Mich., is the daughter of Dennis and Rosemary Candela. A member of the National Honor Society, she received numerous academic honors while serving three years as a member of the student council and two years as a member of the student senate, one year as an officer. Candela was active throughout high school in several vocal groups and traveled to France, Wales and England with the chorale to participate in an international music festival. Her community service activities included serving as Community Service Committee chairperson for the Grand Traverse Youth Advisory Council and delivering meals to the elderly during holidays for the Meals on Wheels program.
Jason C. Carrigan of Vermontville, Mich., is the son of Thomas and Kathy Carrigan. Selected for "Who's Who" in 1998, 1999 and 2000, he participated in the drama club for three years and was a member of the marching and concert bands as a freshman and the jazz band as a sophomore. In addition, Carrigan worked as a computer technician at his high school, setting up, trouble shooting and repairing computers. He also served on his church's youth group board for three years as well as played guitar for the group and for church services.
Laura J. Courtade of Coopersville, Mich., is the daughter of William and Beth Courtade. A member of the National Honor Society, she was a "Who's Who" and Girls State selection. She placed fourth on the Michigan Chapter (national) Spanish Exam in 2000 as well as fifth and sixth the previous two years. In addition, she was a four-year member of the student council, serving as president her senior year, and president of her ninth, 10th and 11th grade classes. Courtade also participated in school plays; served as a member, treasurer and secretary of Students Against Drunk Driving; was on the pom pon and cheerleading squads; and played softball and tennis. Her community service activities included work with her church's youth group, the Pals Program and Habitat for Humanity.
Greg M. Delgoffe of Menominee, Mich., is the son of Michael and Donna Delgoffe. A member of the National Honor Society and a commended National Merit Scholarship Competition student, he was named his school's outstanding math student in 1998 and 1999, outstanding science student in 1998, and outstanding biology student in 2000. He was a four-year member of his academic bowl team, serving as captain all four years, and played trombone in the marching band and the symphonic and jazz bands for four years. Delgoffe served as drum major for two years and captained the forensics team his senior year. He has performed well in several state and district solo and ensemble competitions and in forensics competitions. In addition, he was involved in school plays and the chorale and show choir. Outside of class, he has served as a lector and choir member for his church and been a member of his community's drum and bugle corps.
Joseph R. Dunn of Livonia, Mich., is the son of Richard and Lenore Dunn. A member of the National Honor Society, he has earned several local academic honors as well as Division I ratings in state and district solo and ensemble voice competitions. He was active in the fine arts throughout high school, serving as an officer and leading member of the choir and participating in plays and musicals, both in leading roles and in crew positions. Dunn served four years on the student council, one year each as president and treasurer and two years as vice president. He also was float building chairperson for three years and a member of the spirit committee for three years and the forensics club for two years. His community service activities included serving three years as captain of the Livonia Youth Soccer Club.
Leslie R. Dzingle of Dearborn, Mich., is the daughter of Christopher and Michele Dzingle. A member of the National Honor Society, she received the Wayne County Executive Academic Award in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001 and took fourth place in the Metropolitan Detroit Science Fair in 1999. She served for three years as secretary of both her class and the student council and one year as president of both groups. She also played saxophone in the symphonic band; was a member of the French club, the varsity club and Students Against Drunk Driving; and took dance classes throughout high school. In addition, Dzingle was a member of the basketball team for one year, the cross country team for three years, and the track and tennis teams for four years. She served stints as team captain in all but basketball. Her community service activities included leadership and service positions with her church as well as French tutoring and work with Habitat for Humanity, the Festival of Trees and the Hartland Retirement Center.
Alison L. Frye of Bath, Mich. is the daughter of Bill and Melody Frye. A National Honor Society member and "Who's Who" selection, she was cited her senior year by Mid-Michigan Theatre Arts for Outstanding Student Achievement. She participated in school plays for four years, school musicals for three years, and the marching and symphonic bands her freshman year. Frye also served two years on the student council, one year as vice president, and four years as a peer mediator. Her athletic activities included two years on the volleyball team, one year as co-captain, and three years on the softball and tennis teams. In addition, she was involved in her church's youth group and participated in numerous school-improvement projects as well as planned a variety of school functions.
Laura M. Ginn of Clarkston, Mich., is the daughter of Theodore and Michele Ginn. A member of the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society, she was recognized for her poetry in a Detroit Free Press writing contest. She was a member of the art club for three years and the drama and French clubs for two years. She also took visual art classes throughout high school and attended Michigan's Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp five times. Ginn served one year as a class officer, attended Girls State and co-founded the philosophy club. The recipient of a Youth Recognition Award from Clarkston Area Youth Assistance, she was active in her community, working with Focus Hope, coordinating an art show for WE UNITE, teaching art in an elementary school and doing face painting at church functions.
Aaron J. Heinen of Battle Creek, Mich., is the son of Joe and Susan Heinen. A member of the National Honor Society, he attended Boys State and was member of the swim team for four years, serving as captain his senior year. In addition, he was an orchestra section leader for four years as well as a member and section leader in the jazz and marching bands. Heinen has received first-place ratings in state and district solo and ensemble competitions as well as music awards at the Calhoun County Expo. A piano player for nine years, he also accompanies instrumentalists, vocalists and ensembles. He was active in his church's youth group, served as a eucharistic minister/alter server, and volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and the U.S. International Hot Air Balloon competition.
Scott A. Herlein of Twin Lake, Mich., is the son of Randy and Karen Herlein. A National Honor Society trustee and president, he won Presidential Awards in 1999 and 2000 and participated in Michigan Math League tests. He was responsible for varsity football statistics for two years and participated in the marching band. Herlein was active in his church's youth group and praise team throughout high school and volunteered his time to tutor and assist staff members and participants at Center Lake Bible Camp. He worked to establish a mathematics club at Muskegon Community College and was a member of the West Shore Youth Symphony for three years.
Eric D. Jennings of Canton, Mich., is the son of Raymond Jennings and Barbara Kackstetter. A "Who's Who" selection, he participated in Math Olympiad for four years, earning honors as school champion in 1998 and 2000, and placed among the top 100 in the 1999-2000 Michigan Math Prize competition. He regularly attended physics lectures at the University of Michigan throughout high school and dual-enrolled in several Japanese classes at Eastern Michigan University. Jennings also served as video cameraman for the basketball team his sophomore and junior years; founded the Japanese Animation Club, of which he served twice as president; and was a member of the Asian Pacific American Club. In addition, he has studied abroad in Europe and at Nagoya Gakuin University in Japan. His community service activities included volunteering as a tutor in an area middle school.
Carrie L. Johnson of Galien, Mich., is the daughter of Steve and Kim Johnson. A member and president of the National Honor Society and a National Merit Scholarship Competition semifinalist, she served four years on the student council, presiding over the organization her senior year, and served her class as president two years and vice president one year. She also participated in the German club, twice serving as president, and played trumpet for four years in the marching, symphonic and pep bands. In addition, Johnson was a three-year member of the basketball squad, serving a stint as team captain, and a two-year member of the volleyball team. A national Merit Scholarship Finalist in 2000, she received a Good Citizen award from the Daughters of the American Revolution and was first runner-up in the 2001 Miss Three Oaks/River Valley scholarship pageant. Her community service activities included children's and youth ministry through her church and middle school math tutoring.
Abigail R. Lee of Saginaw, Mich., is the daughter of Ronald and Kay Lee. A member of the National Honor Society, she was among the top scorers in the 2000 annual American Chemical Society state competition and placed highly in a local competition to design a logo for the Saginaw Valley Rail Trail. She served three years as president of her class, was a three-year member of the student council, and played four years on the softball and volleyball teams. Lee was named an All-American Scholar Athlete by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association in 2000 and twice served the volleyball team as captain. In addition, she organized, designed and painted three murals at her high school, was a four-year member of the Latin club, and participated in Heritage Youth Providing Enthusiasm as well as Students Against Drunk Driving. She was involved in numerous community service activities through her class council and was active in her church's youth group as well as a youth ministries volunteer.
Heather M. McAdam of Williamston, Mich., is the daughter of Gary and Rebecca McAdam. A member of the National Honor Society and a Girls State selection, she was a student council member and class officer for three years, serving both organizations for a year as treasurer. In addition to participating in the French and humanities clubs, she ran cross country for four years, serving as captain twice, and was a two-year member of the track team. She also co-founded the dance team and served as its co-captain and co-choreographer. McAdam participated in a variety of performance and visual art activities in high school, but focused her time on in-depth study of dance at a local studio. She was active in her church's youth group and in Christian camps and worked to develop a career in dance by teaching at a local dance studio and joining the Children's Ballet Company of Greater Lansing.
Philip J. Morey of Eastpointe, Mich., is the son of Timothy and Chris Morey. A member of the National Honor Society, he was a National Merit Scholarship Competition commended student and a four-year member of the concert and marching bands. He served as band council librarian for two years and participated in Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association competitions with the marching band. In addition, Morey was a member of the Jeopardy team, taking the title as a junior, and participated in theatre as an actor and member of the pit orchestra. He also was a four-year member of the tennis team and attended three Rainbow Catholic Youth conferences. His volunteer activities included tutoring as well as serving as eucharistic minister at school and in his parish.
Russell A. Northrop of Clinton Township, Mich., is the son of Thomas and Judy Northrop. A member of the National Honor Society, he participated in regional and national American Guild of Music competitions, winning numerous awards for his piano, keyboard, band and vocal skills. He studied senior cadet teaching with the guild in Toronto, earning a perfect score on his certification test, and was lead singer in a swing band he formed that took first place at a national guild competition. Northrup also placed well in state, district and local math and science competitions. He twice served as president of the drama club, which he founded, and participated extensively in plays, musicals, and the varsity and dance/show choirs. In addition, he was a member of the ski club for three years and served for a year on the student council and debate team. His volunteer activities included playing piano for school functions and working with community arts groups.
Kathryn M. Rich of Saginaw, Mich., is the daughter of Joseph and Joan Rich. A member of the National Honor Society, she was a National Merit Scholarship Competition semifinalist and placed among the top 100 students on the Michigan Mathematics Prize test. She also was a member of the Junior Engineering Technical Society group that won the district 2001 TEAMS competition. Rich was a four-year member of the marching and concert bands and a three-year member of the drama club. In addition, she was a soloist with the Youth LINK Choir, served three years as editor of ICONS Literary Magazine and took private voice lessons. Her community service activities included work with her church's youth group and Youth Encounter Saginaw.
Bradley P. Schmidt of Onsted, Mich. is the son of Charles and Deborah Schmidt. A member and treasurer of the National Honor Society, he was a "Who's Who" selection and participated in four leadership conferences. He was a four-year member of the marching and concert bands, serving as a section leader with both, and participated in school plays and on the academic bowl team. He was a member of the youth in government club and traveled to Spain with the Spanish club. Schmidt also was on the track team for four years; ran cross country for three years, serving as team captain his senior year; and played quarterback as a freshman. He was active in his church's youth group, the athletic boosters club, and a community cantata and county honors band.
Tristin L. Thomas of Maryville, Tenn., is the daughter of David and Erla Thomas. A member of the National Honor Society, she was a National Merit Scholarship Competition commended student and a "Who's Who" selection. She participated on math bowl teams for three years and was a member of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, serving as treasurer for one year. In addition, she was involved with her class's planning committee, the School Leadership Team, drama, the Trebelettes Choir and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Thomas also performed on the swimming team and was a member of a competitive community gymnastics team, winning numerous state and regional awards. Her volunteer activities included service to her church's youth group and youth choir, Youth Leadership Blount and the Adopt-A-Student program.
Thanh Van Vo of Holland, Mich., moved from Vietnam to the United States at age 9 and characterizes her eight years in America as "kind of a long-term study abroad experience." She maintained a high level of academic excellence despite enrolling in her high school's most rigorous advanced placement curriculum. Vo earned consistent praise for her well-researched, insightful writing projects, as well as her strong mathematical skills, and was part of a team that created Misc., a student-run independent school newspaper. Her community service activities included mentoring and tutoring an elementary student.
Jesse Wallenfang of Battle Creek, Mich., is the son of Thomas and Kathleen Wallenfang. He was applauded for his mathematical, writing and musical skills, and participated in the marching band for four years, serving as section leader his junior and senior years. In addition, he was a member of the wind ensemble for three years, serving as a section principal all three years. His community service activities included volunteering throughout his high school career with the Salvation Army.
Zachary J. Walsh of Harrison Township, Mich., is the son of John and Patricia Walsh. A member of the National Honor Society, he was a National Merit Scholarship Competition commended student and took classes at the Macomb Math Science Technology Center for three years. He was a four-year member of his high school quiz bowl team, serving twice as captain; a three-year member of the Spanish Club; and involved with the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society. In addition, Walsh participated in baseball and football for four years. He was a finalist for the Michigan High School Athletic Association football scholar-athlete award and was named to the All-District Academic Baseball Team, Macomb Area Conference All-Academic Team (football) and All-State Academic Football Team (honorable mention). His community service activities included coaching youth softball and sports camps for his church and serving as a senior buddy to freshmen at his high school.
Amy L. Withers of Flint, Mich., is the daughter of James and Lee Withers. A member of the National Honor Society for four years, she was a "Who's Who" selection and has performed well in state and national academic competitions. She was on the yearbook staff for two years, serving as editor her senior year, and participated in drama and the art club as well as studied dance outside of class. Withers was a member of the tennis team for three years and served as track team manager one year. She has completed more than 100 hours of community service, including organizing and coordinating her school's tutoring program and volunteering at a soup kitchen.
Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 616 387-8400, email@example.com