15 Incoming Freshmen Named as UT’s 2010 Class of Haslam Scholars

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KNOXVILLE — Fifteen students have been named as the 2010 class of Haslam Scholars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The new class of Haslam Scholars includes:

  • Ariel Buehler — From Farragut High School, Buehler plans to major in food science and pursue a doctorate in food microbiology. She is an alumna of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Sciences. She plays violin and viola and has attended Suzuki Summer Institutes.
  • Desta Bume — Raised near an Ethiopian village without electricity or running water, Bume supported his family while attending a school with 7,000 students in his homeland. He spent his junior year at Signal Mountain High School in Chattanooga and then returned to Ethiopia to finish high school. He plans to major in pre-med and pursue a career in medicine and public policy.
  • Kathleen Connelly — From Knoxville Catholic High School, Connelly plans to major in philosophy and pursue advanced degrees and be a writer. She is an alumna of the Governor’s School for International Relations. She plays piano, speaks French and was one of two Tennesseans chosen to participate in Girls Nation in Washington, D.C.
  • Marianela D’Aprile — A citizen of the U.S. and Argentina, D’Aprile is a graduate of Westview High School in Martin. She plans to major in architecture and work internationally. She speaks French, Italian and Spanish, plays soccer and is a tutor at her school.
  • Xin Huang — From Bartlett High School in Bartlett, Huang plans to major in biomedical engineering and pursue a career in medicine or pharmacy. He emigrated from China and entered White Station Middle School without any prior knowledge of English. He is an alumnus of the Tennessee Governor’s School of Engineering.
  • Lindsay Lee – From Oak Ridge High School, Lee plans to major in mathematics and Spanish and pursue advanced degrees in biomedical science. She speaks Spanish, serves as a tutor at her school and is involved in student government. She successfully lobbied the U.S. Park Service to improve wheelchair accessibility at Gettysburg National Military Park.
  • Melissa Lee — From Brentwood High School, Lee plans to major in pre-med and then study neurological or cognitive science. She plays piano and is a student at the Vanderbilt University Blair School of Music. She also speaks German, enjoys Girl Scouts and works as an intern at Vanderbilt University’s McDonald Lab. She is one of six authors of a paper under publication consideration for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Brady Miller — From Ooltewah High School, Miller plans to major in materials science and then pursue an advanced degree. He plays soccer and tennis and speaks Spanish. He is an alumnus of the U.S. Naval Academy’s Summer Seminar and has completed considerable coursework at two colleges.
  • Blake Palles — From Wilson High School in Florence, S.C., Palles plans to major in nuclear engineering and then pursue an advanced degree. He speaks Spanish and plays tennis. He was appointed to his city’s Mayoral Council of Youth Needs. He will graduate from his high school’s international baccalaureate program.
  • Brianna Rader — From Halls High School, Rader plans to major in biology and become a doctor. She plays saxophone and enjoys film and student government. She is an alumna of UT’s Medical Explorations Program and a member of the Knox County Youth Health Board.
  • Mark Remec Pavlin — From Oak Ridge High School, Pavlin plans to major in biology and then earn an advanced research degree. He enjoys chess, soccer, French and break dancing. He visits Slovenia, Italy and Croatia annually. He is already conducting genetics research at UT.

  • Katherine Rush — Rush attended Gatton Academy of Math and Science in Bowling Green, Ky., a specialized math/science high school at Western Kentucky University. She plans to study chemistry and vocal performance and pursue a doctorate in toxicology. She enjoys dance, theater and singing.
  • Noelle Sibley — From Providence Academy in Johnson City, Sibley plans to major in journalism. She enjoys violin, singing, theater and storytelling. She has been studying music at Milligan College.
  • Ashley Smith — From Gulfport High School in Gulfport, Miss., Smith plans to major in mechanical engineering and pursue a career in automobile safety engineering. She enjoys robotics and French. She has studied in Berlin as part of a technology exchange program.
  • Elizabeth Williams — From Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Williams plans to major in pre-med and vocal performance and pursue a doctorate or medical degree. She enjoys singing and theater and is an alumna of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.

Selection criteria included scholastic achievement, leadership potential, maturity and seriousness of purpose, and special talents.

Haslam Scholars are part of an intimate academic and leadership group mentored by top UT faculty. Haslam Scholars Program benefits include a $1,500 laptop computer and a study-abroad experience valued at $4,000, as well as up to $5,500 to support the student’s honors thesis research and travel to present his or her work. In addition, each Haslam Scholar will receive a scholarship package that totals $16,200.

The UT program was created with a $2.5 million gift from Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Jimmy Haslam is president and CEO of Pilot Travel Centers. Dee Haslam is CEO of RIVR Media and also chairs the UT Development Council. The Haslams chair the Campaign for Tennessee for the Knoxville campus.

Jim and Natalie Haslam contributed an additional $2.5 million to support the program. Jim Haslam is chairman of the board of Pilot Travel Centers LLC and chairman of the board and president of Pilot Corp.

“As you can see from their accomplishments and interests, this is an extremely talented group of students,” said Steven Dandaneau, associate provost and director of the Chancellor’s Honors and Haslam Scholars Programs. “We look forward to having them on campus and seeing how the Haslam Scholars Program helps them achieve their dreams.”

For more about the Haslam Scholars program, see http://honors.utk.edu/.

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C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, amy.blakely@tennessee.edu)

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