Fifteen Incoming Freshmen Named as UT’s 2012 Class of Haslam Scholars

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KNOXVILLE—This fall, fifteen high school seniors will enter the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as the 2012 class of Haslam Scholars, the university’s premier, four-year scholarship program. The group includes the program’s first male scholar-athlete, swimmer Ben Miller, and Franco D’Aprile, the sibling of a current Haslam Scholar.

The program admits up to fifteen first-year students each year from the university-wide Chancellor’s Honors Program and supports them with the university’s most generous named scholarships.

“This year’s class of Haslam Scholars, like those who preceded them, are a high-powered group of scholar-leaders. Our expectations for them as a group is as high as the scholars’ expectations for themselves individually,” said Steven P. Dandaneau, associate provost and director of the Chancellor’s Honors and Haslam Scholars programs. “They have been a joy to recruit. We anticipate four years of achievement, innovation, and excitement from this group.”

The Haslam Scholars selection process begins with nominations of high school seniors. From the nominees, sixty are selected and offered interviews. Of those interviewed, thirty are invited to campus for an interview weekend in early March. Selection criteria include scholastic achievement, leadership potential, special talents, maturity, and seriousness of purpose.

Haslam Scholars will be part of an intimate academic and leadership group mentored by top faculty. 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 first class of Haslam Scholars is graduating next week.

The new Haslam Scholars are:

  • Summer Awad—From Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, Awad plans to major in languages and religious studies. Already learning Arabic, Latin, and Mandarin Chinese, she looks forward to studying comparative religion and imagines a career in international and intercultural affairs.
  • Chris Barnes—From Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, Barnes plans to major in biological sciences. In high school, he has enrolled in thirteen AP courses and is a swimmer. He is also an alumnus of the Governor’s School for the Sciences and Engineering. Barnes’s father is Craig Barnes, professor of inorganic chemistry at UT.
  • Benjamin Brock—From Jefferson County High School in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Brock plans to major in computer science. He currently serves as captain/co-captain of the Scholars’ Bowl and debate team and is a member the Math and Science Bowl teams and German National Honor Society.
  • Franco D’Aprile—Hailing from Martin, Tennessee, and Santiago, Chile, D’Aprile is a graduate of Westview High School. With plans to major in geology and environmental studies, he hopes to combine study of natural and social sciences and wants to pursue an international career, perhaps with the United Nations. His sister, Marianela D’Aprile, is a member of the 2010 class of Haslam Scholars and is in UT’s architecture program.
  • Sharvari Desai—From White Station High School in Germantown, Tennessee, Desai plans to major in computer science. She is involved in dance, literature, mathematics competitions, piano, Model United Nations, student council, and a badminton club.
  • Sarah Hagaman—From Franklin High School, Hagaman plans to major in classics. She is the founder of a National Honor Society chapter at her school, president of the National English Honors Society, captains the varsity basketball team, and contributes to the Franklin High Literary Arts Magazine.
  • Macy Harrison—From Centennial High School in Frisco, Texas, Harrison plans to major in sociology or social work. She is interested in human society and problem solving, and she wants to pursue a career in global public policy.
  • Craig Jones—From Franklin High School, Jones plans to major in global studies. He is involved as student body vice president and editor-in-chief of his school newspaper. He envisions a career in international development.
  • Ben Miller—From Middle Creek High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, Miller has yet to decide upon a major but is a member of the UT Vols swimming and diving team. His interests range from culture to natural science and Spanish.
  • Grayson Mynatt—From Christian Academy of Knoxville, Mynatt plans to major in biological sciences. In addition to his pre-medical studies, he will study French. He regularly plays violin at Hillcrest Nursing Home.
  • Andrea Richardson—From White Station High School in Memphis, Richardson plans to major in biomedical engineering. She participated in the 2010 and 2011 Carnegie Mellon University Summer Academy for Math and Science. She is also a vocalist and enjoys learning Spanish.
  • Katie Lou Rogers—From Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tennessee, Rogers plans to major in biomedical engineering. She would like to earn a doctorate, pursue research, and someday found her own school.
  • Sahba Seddighi—From Farragut High School, Seddighi plans to study biological sciences and pursue a career in neuroscience or neurology. She has studied nuclear science at Michigan State University and is currently a research intern in virology/immunology at UT. Seddighi’s father is Reza Seddighi, assistant professor of anesthesiology at UT.
  • Elizabeth Stanfield—From South Side High School in Jackson, Tennessee, Stanfield is undecided about her major. She is a pianist, track team captain, Beta Club president, and former student body president. She has worked with Habitat for Humanity for three years.
  • Tor Voorhees—From Bearden High School, Voorhees plans to major in engineering but is undecided about which specialty. He has served as a research intern in UT’s Department of Animal Science.

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. The Haslams were co-chairs 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. Jim and Natalie Haslam were two of the chairpersons for the systemwide Campaign for Tennessee.

For more information about the Haslam Scholars Program, visit the website.

NOTE: Student photos available upon request.

C O N T A C T :

Stephanie Dixon (865-974-2125, sdixon7@utk.edu)

Amy Blakely (865-771-9127, ablakely@utk.edu)

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