MSU names 2017 Presidential Scholars

Posted on 07 June 2017

Montana State University 2017 presidential scholars

20 gifted students receive MSU's highest scholarship

Andrew Kirby, a freshman student and presidential scholar at Montana State University, photographed on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Bozeman, Mont. MSU Photo by Kelly Gorham

Andrew Kirby, a freshman student and presidential scholar at Montana State University, photographed on Wednesday, March 8, 2017, in Bozeman, Mont. MSU Photo by Kelly Gorham

Twenty gifted high school seniors from across the nation, including eight from Montana, were selected as recipients of the 2017 Montana State University Presidential Scholarship, MSU’s most prestigious scholarship.
 
“MSU continues to attract top academically ranked high school scholars and this year is no exception,” said Ilse-Mari Lee, dean of MSU’s Honors College. “We look forward to welcoming an inspirational cohort of incoming presidential scholars this fall.”
 
The MSU Presidential Scholarship awards are based on scholastic achievement, demonstrated leadership and exemplary public service. Recipients receive an annual stipend plus a tuition waiver. The scholarship is for four years if the students maintain a superior academic standing at MSU.
 
“These students will undoubtedly impact our community, state and nation in meaningful ways,” Lee said. “They have demonstrated their desire to lead and serve. We are delighted that they chose to attend Montana State University.”
 
Lee said that the 20 scholars were selected from 701 applications.
 
“To attract the quality of presidential scholar recipients that we have says a lot about the dedicated and inspirational faculty at Montana State and the opportunities we offer our undergraduates,” said Ronda Russell, MSU’s admissions director. “The fact that so many choose MSU is indicative of the quality of our programs.”
 
The 2017 MSU Presidential Scholarship recipients are:
 
Montana
 
Belgrade:
 
Lauren Adams graduated as salutatorian from Belgrade High School and intends to major in English teaching. She was named a Montana University System Honor Scholar and participated in writing tutoring, varsity tennis and theater. Adams is the daughter of Kellie Adams.
 
Bozeman:
 
Allison Reinhardt attended Bozeman High School and intends to major in cell biology and neuroscience. She served as the district president for the Montana Association of Student Councils and was one of two delegates selected to represent Montana as part of the United States Senate Youth Program. Reinhardt also took sixth place in the nation for her Voice of Democracy speech, a program sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and received a Worthy Student award from the Bozeman school district. She is the daughter of Tanya Casey-Reinhardt and Brenton Reinhardt.
 
Max Yates attended Bozeman High School and intends to major in biochemistry and Hispanic studies. An AP Scholar with distinction, he served as president of the Spanish and astronomy clubs while also participating in National Honor Society, Project X2+, a student-led empowerment group, and Academic Worldquest. Yates is a volunteer with Eagle Mount, Special Olympics, Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and the Montana Wilderness Association. He was the goalkeeper for the high school varsity soccer team, which won a state championship and two third-place titles. He was also named to the All-Conference and Academic All-State teams. Yates received a Worthy Student award from the Bozeman school district, as well as a Montana University System Honor scholarship. He is the son of Lynn Cardey-Yates and Mark Yates.
 
Butte:
 
Caitlin Carmody graduated as valedictorian from Butte High School and is a National Merit Scholar Finalist, as well as a Montana University System Honor Scholar. She intends to major in engineering and minor in German. Carmody participated in speech and debate and Health Occupations Students of America. She spent three weeks in Germany as part of an exchange program. Carmody is the daughter of Amy and John Carmody.
 
Conrad:
 
Sheridan Johnson graduated as valedictorian from Conrad High School and intends to major in biotechnology. She was recently named the state president of the Montana Future Farmers of America Association. She has also served as state president for Family Career and Community Leaders of America. Johnson is the recipient of a Montana University System Honor scholarship. She is the daughter of Cyndi and Ken Johnson.
 
Dillon:
 
Tessa Sawyer graduated as valedictorian from Beaverhead County High School and intends to major in cellular biology. She is a National Merit Scholar, as well as a Montana University System Honor Scholar. Sawyer participated in varsity tennis, Key Club, HOSA, the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council and National Honor Society. She also served as a Department of State Student Ambassador to Thailand through the American Youth Leadership Program. Sawyer is the daughter of Sharon and Tracy Sawyer.
 
Kalispell:
 
Isabelle Cuthbertson attended Flathead High School and completed a full International Baccalaureate Diploma. She intends to major in biological engineering. Cuthbertson was a distinguished delegate for Montana Model United Nations, participated in choir, speech and debate and a year-long exchange to Switzerland. She was a candidate for the U.S. Presidential Scholar award and was named a Montana University System Honors Scholar. Cuthbertson is the daughter of Carmen and Jon Cuthbertson.
 
Logan Thurston graduated as valedictorian from Flathead High School and intends to major in cell biology and neuroscience. He is an International Baccalaureate Merit Distinction candidate and served as student body president. Thurston participated in varsity football, choir and theater and is a published poet. He is the son of Misti and Thomas Thurston.
 
OUT OF STATE
 
Alaska
 
Gustavus:
 
Emily Vandenberg attended The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She intends to major in chemistry and environmental studies. Vandenberg received a Welles Award to launch a T-ball program for children in Gustavus and participated in whale research in Glacier Bay National Parks. She is the daughter of Kelly and Thomas Vandenberg.
 
Colorado
 
Arvada:
 
Bryan Suchey graduated as valedictorian from Arvada West High School. He intends to major in wildlife management and statistics. Suchey, an AP Scholar with honors, participated in conservation efforts in Colorado and southern Africa. He has also served as a peer mentor in his school. Suchey is the son of Kelly and Doug Suchey.
 
Eagle:
 
Marika Feduschak graduated as valedictorian from Eagle Valley High School. She is a National Merit Commended Scholar and co-president of National Honor Society, as well as an avid skier, hiker, backpacker and kayaker. Feduschak is the daughter of Sue Nikolai and Markian Feduschak.
 
Greenwood Village:
 
John Padilla attended Cherry Creek High School and intends to major in cell biology and neuroscience. Padilla is a National Hispanic Recognition Scholar and served on the Principal’s Advisory Council. He co-founded a ski club at his school and is an award-winning photographer. Padilla is the son of Jeanine and Rick Padilla.
 
Florida
 
Tallahassee:
 
Will Rogers graduated as valedictorian from Leon High School and intends to major in conservation biology and ecology. He is an AP Scholar with distinction and was selected as a member in the Science and English National Honor Societies, as well as the Pierian National Honor Society, the national NHS affiliate chapter at Leon High School. Rogers served as vice-president of the Youth Advisory Council to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and performed with the Tallahassee Youth Symphony and Florida All-State Orchestra as a cellist. He was named the Tallahassee Best and Brightest Science and Health Winner 2017. Rogers also interned with the Tall Timbers Research Station Upland Game Bird Lab. He is the son of Sherry Southerland and Benjamin Rogers.
 
Idaho
 
Boise:
 
Kathryn Hilburn attended Boise High School and intends to major in chemical and biological engineering. She is a National Merit Scholar, an Elks Most Valuable Student for the state of Idaho, an Elks Legacy Scholar and a Southwest Idaho Society of Women Engineers scholarship recipient. Hilburn has been a member of National Honor Society, president of the school’s writing assistance center, and an active member of various music ensembles and with the school newspaper. She serves on the board of directors for the non-profit One Stone, located in Boise. Hilburn is the daughter of Rhonda and Eric Hilburn.
 
Minnesota
 
Woodbury:
 
Kelsey Moorhouse graduated from Woodbury high school and intends to major in mechanical engineering. She is a National Merit Scholar finalist and an AP Scholar with distinction. Moorhouse participated in National Honor Society, speech, student council, varsity sports and music. She is the daughter of Karrie and Judd Moorhouse.
 
Oregon
 
Portland:
 
Timothy Gentry graduated as salutatorian from Riverdale High School and intends to major in mechanical engineering. He is a National Merit Commended Scholar, and he participated in varsity cross country, track, science bowl and the Science Olympiad. Gentry was the president of the Outdoor Education Program and a member of the steering committee of Post 58, a Portland-based mountaineering organization for Portland youth. He is the son of Carrie and Jeffrey Gentry.
 
Washington
 
Bainbridge Island:
 
Jonathan Owen attended Bainbridge High School and intends to major in microbiology and biochemistry. He is a National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with distinction. Owen participated in music ensembles and played high school and club soccer. He is the son of Katherine and James Owen.
 
Mukilteo:
 
Mikayla Wood attended Kamiak High School and intends to major in mathematics. She participated in student government and soccer, lived in Thailand for two years and traveled to Antigua, Guatemala, as part of a cultural immersion and service learning experience. Wood was recently awarded Rotary Student of the Month. She is the daughter of Kristy and Gary Wood.
 
North Bend:
 
Andrew Kirby attended Mount Si High School and intends to major in computer engineering and computer science. He is a commended National Merit Scholar and an AP Scholar with honor. Kirby launched the Internet Technology and Cyber Defense clubs at his high school, as well as helped found the Ping Pong and Political Science Clubs. He is the son of Kathleen and Daniel Kirby.
 
Spokane Valley:
 
Cameron Blegen graduated as a co-valedictorian from University High School and intends to major in computer engineering. He is an Eagle Scout, AP Honor Scholar, National Honor Society president and senior class treasurer. Blegen participated in Future Business Leaders of America and FIRST Robotics. He is also actively involved in youth ministries. Blegen has found success on YouTube and currently works testing drones for an Amazon company. He was awarded the BBB Students of Integrity award, a Chase Youth award for cultural awareness, and is a Spokane Scholar in English. Blegen is the son of Stacey and Robert Blegen.
 
For more information about the Presidential Scholarship program, visit http://www.montana.edu/honors/ or contact Lee at (406) 994-4689 or ilselee@montana.edu.
  
 



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