$32,000 Medallion Scholarship winners announced
Aug. 12, 2004
KALAMAZOO--Twenty-three freshmen have won coveted Medallion Scholarships to begin their studies at Western Michigan University this fall.
Medallion Scholarships are the highest honor WMU can bestow to an incoming freshman. Valued at $32,000 over four years, they constitute one of the largest merit-based awards in American higher education.
Each Medallion bears the name of its donor or the name of an individual in whose name the prize was established. Recipients are selected based on a daylong competition held at WMU every winter that includes essay writing and group problem solving for the students as well as informational sessions for their parents.
This year's recipients were named in June after competing with 695 seniors from 312 high schools in 11 states at the 20th annual Medallion Scholarship Program Competition this past February.
These latest Medallion Scholars have a collective grade point average of 4.08 and an average ACT score of 30. They will begin their studies at WMU in the fall and are scheduled to graduate during the 2007-08 academic year.
Only the cream of the crop of each year's high school graduating classes is invited to participate in the Medallion competition. To be invited, students had to apply to WMU by Dec. 31 and have a high school GPA of at least 3.80 and an American College Test score of at least 25.
The 2004 event included 330 students with perfect 4.00 GPAs and 160 students who scored 30 or higher on the ACT. Competition participants who did not win a Medallion Scholarship were awarded either a $24,000 Board of Trustees Scholarship or a $4,800 WMU Academic Scholarship.
2004 Medallion Scholarship recipients
Emily Alampi of Sterling Heights, Mich., received the John M. and Jeanette E. Fisher Medallion and plans to major in chemistry. She graduated from Warren Mott High School and is the daughter of Mary and David Alampi. A National Honor Society member, she was a National Merit Scholarship commended scholar and two-time Who's Who nominee. She attended the Macomb Math Science Tech Center and Macomb Community College. In addition, Alampi was a four-year member of her high school marching and jazz bands. Her community service includes work with the Zenith Brass Ensemble, work as a campaign volunteer for school board candidates, participating in groups of caroling musicians, performing and teaching trumpet at elementary schools, and helping an elderly neighbor with household chores.
Ervin "Josh" Armstrong of Kalamazoo received the Harold and Beulah McKee Endowed Medallion and plans to major in electrical engineering. He graduated from Kalamazoo Central High School and is the son of Marian and Ervin Armstrong. A National Honor Society member and two-time treasurer, he won several regional and state drafting awards, including two consecutive first-place awards in state competitions. Armstrong has taken classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and was employed throughout his high school career, with two years spent as an intern at the Miller-Davis Co., a Kalamazoo construction management firm. His community service included tutoring and four years work with his church's video ministry, some as technical director.
Matthew Byrem of Holt, Mich., received the Molly W. Williams Medallion and plans to major in mechanical engineering. He graduated from Holt High School and is the son of Theresa and Todd Byrem. A two-time Who's Who selection, he participated in state science Olympiads for three years, placing well in regional and state competitions. He also won a local math competition. Byrem briefly participated in high school drama and worked steadily since 2000 while in high school. His community service included volunteering with the Holt Community Library, coaching and playing baseball with the Delhi Parks and Recreation Center, and coaching roller hockey with the Lansing parks and recreation department.
Maximilian Clark of Kalamazoo received the J. Michael Kemp (Howard and Howard) Medallion and plans to major in English with an emphasis in creative writing. He graduated from Loy Norrix High School and is the son of Janis Clark. A National Honor Society member, he was a commended National Merit Scholar and a Who's Who selection. He has taken courses at WMU and earned several high school honors, including two first-place awards as a Model United Nations participant and a local excellence in education award. Clark was involved with his school paper, forensics and the Latin club as well as portrayed the school mascot for a year. In addition, he was in every production put on by the drama club during his high school career, served two years on the club's leadership council, and did a directing stint. His community service included environmental clean up work and helping kindergarteners learn to read as well as four years of tutoring in the Loy Norrix after-school program.
Daniel Ebenhoeh of Kalamazoo received the Richard G. and Ethelyn Haworth Medallion and plans to join WMU's Lee Honors College and major in business. He graduated from Loy Norrix High School and is the son of Dorothy and Guy Ebenhoeh. A National Honor Society member, he participated in the marching, jazz and concert bands all four years of high school, serving as president of all three his senior year. Ebenhoeh also was involved in forensics, both as a coach and a member; served as a member and president of the pep band; and spent a year on the soccer team and as a DJ for WKDS radio. He is accomplished on the trumpet and bass guitar, sings and writes his own songs. He has played and performed with several non-school groups, including a local rock band and a Christian praise band. His community service included extensive involvement with his church youth group, which he also served for a year as a peer minister, and as a music minister at church services.
Sarah Hercula of Warren, Mich., received the Merze Tate Endowed Medallion and plans to major in University Curriculum. She graduated from Warren Mott High School and is the daughter of Rebecca and Alan Hercula. A National Honor Society member, she attended Macomb Community College and placed highly in several state and district solo and ensemble as well as band competitions. She also participated in Michigan Math League competitions and state and local honors bands, plus taught private music lessons. Alampi was a four-year member of the jazz band as well as the pep and marching bands, both of which she served for two years as drum major. Her community service included work with the Sacred Heart Youth Group and as a musician and cantor for the church; participating in Walk America and an AIDS walk, and volunteering with the MCREST program and a warming center. In addition, she was a member of her high school Octagon Club, which was involved with fund-raising and service events.
Sarah Hurd of Saginaw, Mich., received the Emeriti Endowed Medallion and plans to major in elementary education. She graduated from Nouvel Catholic High School and is the daughter of Elizabeth and Anthony Hurd. Her mother and an aunt are WMU alumnae. A National Honor Society member, she was selected for Who's Who twice and participated in the National Youth Leaders and Women in Sports Leadership conferences. She served as vice president of her class all four years of high school, was editor and editor-in-chief of the school paper, and participated in Students Against Drunk Driving and the student ambassador club. Hurd also was a four-year member of the basketball team, serving as captain her senior year, a four-year member of the soccer team, and served two years as manager of the varsity boy's basketball team. Her community service included acting as a coordinator, lector and Eucharistic minister for her church; participating in mission work in Mexico; and volunteering with Special Olympics and the Henry Doeer Elementary School.
Natalie Kaftan of De Pere, Wis., received the Janet Stillwell Medallion and plans to major in music performance. She graduated from De Pere High School and is the daughter of Jodi and Charles Kaftan. She earned numerous music-related awards, including the Robert and Carol Bush Choral Music Award, and won top honors at numerous district and state solo and ensemble competitions. She was a member and vice president of Students Against Destructive Decisions and participated in Model United Nations., the show and school choirs, and several state choir and jazz ensembles. In addition, Kraftan was active in school and community theatre productions as an actor, singer and dancer and in 2003, toured Europe for three weeks with a U.S. youth choral ensemble. Her community service included volunteering at St. Mary's Hospital, the Odd Fellow Nursing Home, Heritage Hill, and the Artstreet and Bayfest festivals.
Kathryn "Quinn" Kelpin of Kalamazoo received the Gerrard W. and Edna Haworth Medallion and plans to major in biomedical sciences (pre-dentistry curriculum). She graduated from Loy Norrix High School and is the daughter of Laura Gagie-Kelpin and Virgil Kelpin, who are both WMU alumni. A National Honor Society member and secretary, she was a two-time Who's Who selection and a gold medalist and runner up in the National Latin Exam in 2001 and 2002, respectively. In addition, she attended the Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center for two years and is a 2003 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar. Kelpin was active in the fine arts, performing and serving as dance captain in musicals, acting in a drama club play, and participating in the school variety show and choir. She also was a staff member and editor for the yearbook, president and secretary of the Key Club, a member of the Latin Club, and participated in golf, soccer and swimming for a year. Her community service included serving as a tutor and directing her school's recycling project in 2004 and its blood drive in 2003 and 2004.
Colleen Mead of Clarkson, Mich., received the Ted and Karen Stone Medallion and plans to major in accountancy. She graduated from Clarkston High School and is the daughter of Eileen and Dennis Mead. Her father is a WMU alumnus. A National Honor Society member, she won presidential awards for physical fitness and twice placed among the top three in advanced accounting at the BPA Women in Business Workshop competition. She was a four-year member of the varsity track team, serving as captain for two years, and participated in soccer. Mead also was involved with the mock trial team and took part in theatre and visual arts activities. Her community service included tutoring, serving as an attorney in teen court, teaching middle school math classes and organizing activities at a senior center.
Abby Mercure of Midland, Mich., received the Western Michigan University Foundation Medallion and plans to major in psychology. She graduated from Midland High School and is the daughter of Bonnie and Peter Mercure. A National Honor Society member, she earned several state awards for her acting, sign language and musical talents. She was a staff member for the yearbook as well as the school paper, which she edited her senior year, and participated in diving and the drama club. Her community service included work as a Sunday school teacher, a student hospital volunteer and a lunchbox learners volunteer.
Ryan Minier of Reed City, Mich., received the Dwight B. Waldo Endowed Medallion and plans to major in University Curriculum. He graduated from Reed City High School and is the son of Sharon Minier. A National Honor Society member, he was selected for Who's Who and took classes at Ferris State University. He performed well at state solo and ensemble as well as band and orchestra competitions and was a four-year member of both the marching and concert bands. He also was involved in Michigan Youth in Government, serving as his school board's student council representative, and was on the golf team. In addition, Minier played with the pep band and three WWAC honors bands. He was employed throughout high school at Reed City Power Line Supply as an information technology support staff member and assistant to the IT manager. His community service included participating in Walk for Warmth, serving as president and a member of the Reed City United Methodist Senior High Youth Group, and performing with the church's adult hand bell choir. He has also served on his local teen court as a jury member and foreman.
Debashree "Reema" Nandy of Sterling Heights, Mich., received the H. Nicholas Hamner Medallion and plans to major in political science and English. She graduated from Adlai E. Stevenson High School and is the daughter of Maureen Sinha. A National Honor Society board member, she was selected for Who's Who and participated in the National Youth Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. She has won numerous honors, including a second-place writing award from the Detroit Free Press and a first-place writing award from the Michigan Food and Beverage Association. She served as editor of the school paper and yearbook, presided over the Red Cross club twice, and was a member and president of the Spanish club. In addition, Nandy participated in forensics, was a member and captain of the speech team, and was involved in swimming as well as other sports. She also was involved in plays and poetry recitations as part of Bichitsa, a local Indian organization. Her community service included volunteering with Project Healthy Living, the Red Cross, a soup kitchen and the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Society.
Briana Overmars of Plymouth, Mich., received the William and Fiona Denny Medallion and plans to major in music. She graduated from Plymouth-Salem High School in Canton and is the daughter of Evelyn and John Overmars. A National Honor Society member and Who's Who selection, she was a four-year member of both the high school choir and 4 Park Players. She also was active in her school's gay-straight alliance. Her community service included extensive involvement in her church's youth club and youth musicals as well as four years of participation in an Appalachian mission project.
Ashley Owen of Grand Rapids, Mich., received the Western Michigan University Foundation Medallion and plans to major in University Curriculum. She graduated from Creston High School and is the daughter of Lisa and James Owen. A National Honor Society member, she has earned several academic awards in science and Spanish. She was a four-year member of the varsity basketball team, serving twice as captain. She also was homecoming queen, a class officer, and involved in the school paper and yearbook as well as the Rotary and Polar Bear clubs. Her community service included coordinating two blood drives, mentoring freshman girls, refereeing at Gus Macker tournaments and volunteering as an activity assistant at a home for the blind.
Rebecah Pulsifer of Charlotte, Mich., received the Vern and Lyda Stillwell Medallion and plans to major in music education. She graduated from Clonlara High School in Ann Arbor and is the daughter of Debra Williamson Pulsifer and Robert Pulsifer. Although not able to participate in many typical student activities, she earned numerous academic honors and found time to attend Lansing Community College as well as participate in numerous community activities. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, a college-level honors organization and was named to the President's List at LCC three consecutive semesters. Pulsifer also participated in several high school organizations and teams, including Greater Lansing Youth for Peace and Justice, soccer, fencing, the Michigan Lion's All-State Band, the Michigan State University honors band and the Lansing Junior Symphony. She received an Interlochen arts camp scholarship as well as other scholarships through the Lansing and Mason junior symphonies. Her community service included volunteering with the Friends of the Charlotte Library, Old Courthouse Square Association, Eaton County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council, and Oneida School District.
Alexander Robinson of Middleville, Mich., received the Thomas L. and Sandra K. Reece Medallion and plans to major in music education. He graduated from Thornapple Kellogg High School and is the son of Patricia and Daniel Robinson. A National Honor Society member, he participated in the All-Ohio Honors Band at Bowling Green State University and America Sings in Washington, D.C. He was a member of and drum major for the marching band, a member of the symphonic and jazz bands, and a section leader for the honors choir. Robinson also acted in theatrical productions, was a captain and four-year member of the cross country team, and participated in swimming for two years. In addition, he attended National Catholic Youth conferences and in 2003 was one of the 400 out of 24,000 conference participants selected to participate in the Bishop Congress. A member of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians, he has attended the group's international conventions for nearly a decade, performing on the main stage each year. His community service includes religious work on the planning committee of Dymo Camp and with Young Neighbors in Action, clown ministry and vacation Bible school.
Katherine Rohwer of Kalamazoo received the Phillip and Marcella Faustman Medallion and plans to major in music education. She graduated from Portage Northern High School and is the daughter of Mary and Christopher Rohwer. A member and vice president of the National Honor Society, she earned several academic and music honors in addition to performing well in state forensics tournaments and qualifying for the National Forensics League conference and tournament. Rohwer was a four-year member of the forensics club, serving three years as coach, and participated in school vocal groups and regional, state and all-state honors choirs as well as vocal solo and ensemble competitions. She also was active in musicals and the drama club, a member of the marching band, and a member and student conductor of the wind ensemble. Her community service included music tutoring and work with her church youth group and Habitat for Humanity.
Anthony Salvador of Ortonville, Mich., received the Western Michigan University Foundation Medallion and plans to major in mechanical engineering. He graduated from Brandon High School and is the son of Kathleen and Paul Salvador. His brother Robert and sister-in-law Karen are WMU alumni. Valedictorian of his class, he was an academic letterman all four years of high school and was named to Who's Who in 2004. He was a member and president of the National Honor Society; a four-year member of the Spanish club, serving as secretary his senior year; and attended the Carnegie President's Forum twice. In addition, Salvador was a member and captain of both the soccer and baseball teams and earned numerous athletic honors, including being selected for the all-league team in soccer and for the all-district academic team in baseball. He received exemplary leadership awards in both soccer and baseball, and earned seven school and league scholar-athlete awards. He has worked at Pulsar Inc. as an engineer assistant and computer analyst and did volunteer lawn mowing throughout high school.
Stephanie Schley of Kalamazoo received the Dwight B. Waldo Endowed Medallion and plans to study premedicine. She graduated from Mattawan High School and is the daughter of Jacqueline and Terry Schley. A National Honor Society member, she was selected for Who's Who and took classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She was a cheerleader and track team member all four years of high school, earning several all-region and all-conference honors in cheerleading and an all-conference honor in track. Schley won a good citizenship award from the Daughters of the American Revolution; participated in Model United Nations; and was a member of Students Together Advocating Respectful Sportsmanship, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and several other school groups. She also served on the student council and was a two-time class president. Her community service activities included volunteering for several school projects as well as serving as a cheer clinic staff member and first-grade tutor.
Anna Ward of Bismarck, N.D., received the Robert L. Smith and Carol Payne Smith Medallion and plans to major in jazz studies and music performance. She graduated from St. Mary's Central High School and is the daughter of Elizabeth and Patrick Ward. A National Merit Scholarship commended scholar in 2003, she has attended the National High School Institute (for theatre arts) in Evanston, Ill., and the University of Mary in Bismarck. She was a four-year member of the National Honor Society, took second in her district on the National French exam, and placed well in state speech and one-act play competitions. Ward was active throughout high school in forensics, serving as coach her senior year; the marching band, twice serving as drum major; and the pep band, wind orchestra, and concert and jazz choirs. She also acted in school productions and was involved in Students Against Tobacco, soccer and the dance team. Her community service included youth work in theology and ministry and as a junior Rotarian as well as volunteering with Medcenter One's sub-acute unit and Baptist Home Inc.
Monica Washington of Holt, Mich., received the Fernando Fajardo Medallion and plans to major in Spanish as well as study premedicine. She graduated from Holt High School and is the daughter of Alberta and Joseph Washington. A National Honor Society member, she was selected for Who's Who three times. She participated in state piano festivals as well as solo and ensemble competitions and was a four-year member of the concert band. Washington served as vice president of her class and was a member of the Minority Student Union, Spanish Club and junior varsity track team. Her community service included working with her church as a member of the choir and as a member and director of ministry of motion. In addition, she was a member of the Youth Volunteer and Mentor Society and volunteered at a retirement home and daycare center.
Laura Williams of Canton, Mich., received the James W. and Lois Richmond Medallion and plans to major in theatre performance. She graduated from Plymouth-Canton High School and is the daughter of Sara and Dennis Williams. Her brother Jesse is a WMU alumnus. A two-time Who's Who nominee, she qualified for the National Merit Scholarship Competition and received highest honors at district and state choral and music festivals. Williams was extremely active in the fine arts, participating in photography activities, serving on the cast and crew of theatre productions, and performing with the Madrigals, her school's select girls chorale ensemble. She was employed throughout much of high school. Her community service included working on projects in Appalachia and Mexico; serving as a youth camp volunteer in Siberia, Russia; and volunteering at the Detroit Rescue Mission.
Media contact: Jeanne Baron, 269 387-8400, email@example.com