Fifteen High School Seniors Named as UT’s New Class of Haslam Scholars

KNOXVILLE—Fifteen high school seniors, including fourteen from Tennessee and one from Arkansas, have been named as the 2011-12 class of Haslam Scholars at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Haslam Scholar program is UT Knoxville’s premier four-year scholarship program. Each year, it admits a maximum of 15 first-year students from the university-wide Chancellor’s Honors Program and supports them with the university’s most prestigious and generous named scholarships.

“This is the fourth class—the final ‘founding’ class—of Haslam Scholars,” said Steve Dandaneau, associate provost and director of the Chancellor’s Honors and Haslam Scholars Programs. “These stellar undergraduate students are to be admired not only for their extraordinary academic achievement, but also for their commitment to sustained leadership and service responsibilities. Needless to say, we are thrilled by the opportunity to work with them over the course of their undergraduate careers.”

The Haslam Scholar selection process begins with high school seniors requesting or being invited to interview for the program as they complete the college admissions process. This year, more 250 students requested initial interviews. The applicants were narrowed down to a group of about 30 who were invited to campus for interviews in early March. Selection criteria include scholastic achievement, leadership potential, special talents, and maturity and seriousness of purpose.

Tyrel Prentiss, a senior at Webb School in Knoxville, said being accepted into the Haslam Scholar program persuaded him to choose UT over the other schools where he was accepted, including Yale and Harvard.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this group; this program is the entire reason I came to UT. Being close to my family was a big thing and this program made it possible,” said Prentiss, whose interests include history, art history, the classics, physics and theater.

Emma Hollmann, a senior at Cookeville High School, said being chosen as a Haslam Scholar “is truly the opportunity of a lifetime.”

“When I received the call from Mr. and Mrs. (Jim and Natalie) Haslam to inform me that I had been chosen to be a Haslam Scholar, it felt as if everything I had endured in high school—countless hours studying, sleep deprivation, a constantly full schedule—had suddenly become completely worthwhile.

“I most look forward to being in the company of fellow students who share my passion for learning and who genuinely want to change the world for the better,” Hollmann said.

Haslam Scholars will be part of an intimate academic and leadership group mentored by top 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 students’ honors thesis research and travel to present their work. In addition, each Haslam Scholar will receive a scholarship package that totals $17,300.

The program was created three years ago with $2.5 million from Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Jimmy Haslam is president and CEO of Pilot Flying J. 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 founder of Pilot Corp.

The first class of Haslam Scholars will graduate in 2012.

The new Haslam Scholars are:

  • William Barbour, a senior at Dobyns Bennett High School in Kingsport, attended the Governor’s School for Sciences and Engineering and plans to major in engineering.
  • John Burnum, a senior at Franklin High School in Franklin, attended the Governor’s School for Computational Physics and plans to major in physics.
  • Imani Chatman, a senior at Siegel High School in Murfreesboro, is a National Merit Commended Student who plans to major in pre-medicine.
  • Ryan Clark, a senior at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, attended the Governor’s School for the Arts and plans to major in mathematics and music.
  • Cayce Davis, a senior at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Ark., is active in theater and the student council and plans to major in architecture.
  • Phoebe Fogelman, a senior at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, is a National Merit Semi-finalist who plans to major in engineering.
  • Evan Ford, a senior at Brentwood Academy in Brentwood, is president of the National Honors Society and plans to major in physics and philosophy.
  • Shivani Goyal, a senior at Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, is a member of the freshman mentoring executive board who plans to major in psychology.
  • Emma Hollmann, a senior at Cookeville High School in Cookeville, is editor-in-chief of the school newspaper and plans to major in engineering.
  • Christopher Ludtka, a senior at Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, is a National Merit Semi-finalist who plans to major in engineering.
  • Tyrel Prentiss, a senior at Webb School in Knoxville, is a National Merit and a National Achievement finalist who is undecided about his major.
  • Kenna Rewcastle, a senior at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, is a National Merit Commended Student who plans to major in chemistry and environmental science.
  • Julia Ross, a senior at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville, attended the Governor’s School for International Studies and is undecided about her major.
  • Fadi Saleh, a senior at the Governor’s Academy of Mathematics and Science in Knoxville, co-founded his high school’s philosophy club and plans to major in microbiology.
  • R.J. Vogt, a senior at Centennial High School in Franklin, is a National Merit Semi-finalist who is undecided about his major.

For more information about the Haslam Scholars Program, see http://honors.utk.edu/haslam.html.

CONTACT:

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

 

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