LAWRENCE — Twenty University of Kansas sophomores have been selected for the 33rd class of the University Scholars Program.
Administrated by the University Honors Program, this competitive opportunity is for students selected on the basis of academic credentials, commitment to their education, intellectual promise, and evaluations by instructors, advisers and other faculty members. Students in their second year at KU with a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average are invited to apply.
The 20 sophomores receive a modest scholarship and are each assigned a faculty mentor. The program also features an interdisciplinary seminar taught by a faculty member noted for a distinguished teaching record.
The 2014 University Scholars are enrolled in a seminar on the topic Rhetoric, Reason, and American Democracy, taught by Robert Rowland, professor of communication studies. The interdisciplinary course will explore three themes: the key role played by rhetoric and reason in the construction of the American democratic system; how rhetoric functions in a representative democracy; and reason and emotion in the human brain.
The scholars and mentors celebrated the beginning of the semester with a banquet Jan. 26 featuring keynote speaker Ruth Anne French-Hodson, a 2002 University Scholar and 2005 KU graduate. After earning MPhil and DPhil degrees at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, she went on to complete a law degree at Yale University. She is currently a law clerk for Judge Jon Newman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The University Scholars Program was founded in the spring of 1982 by Judge Deanell Tacha, then vice chancellor for academic affairs, and the late Professor Francis Heller. The program now counts nearly 700 alumni who have gone on to success in a variety of professions.
Funds for the University Scholars Program are managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university. Additional support is provided by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Provost.
University Scholars are listed below by hometown, major, parents’ names (if available), high school and faculty mentor.
- Anh Le: Hana, Vietnam; a sophomore in finance with a minor in international studies; Long Le and Trang Dinh; Bishop Watterson High School; mentored by Christopher Anderson in finance.
- Caleb Bobo: St. Louis; a sophomore in political science with a minor in African-American studies; Luke and Rita Holmes-Bobo; Marquette High School; mentored by James Pottorff in the Office of the General Counsel.
- Josh Schroeder: Wichita; a sophomore in chemical engineering and pre-medicine; Jay and Lynn Schroeder; Maize High School; mentored by David Volkin in the Macromolecule and Vaccine Stabilization Center.
- Joe Lilek: Bethesda, Md., a sophomore in atmospheric science; Michael Lilek and Rosann Wisman; mentored by Rex Buchanan of the Kansas Geological Survey.
- Evan Traylor: Edmond, Okla., a sophomore in political science and Jewish studies; Eddie Traylor and Ann Baumgarten; mentored by Charles Jones in the School of Public Affairs and Administration.
- Gabrielle Murnan: Pittsburg; a sophomore in environmental studies and political science; Robert and Monica Murnan; Pittsburg High School; mentored by Jennifer Roberts in geology.
- Jenny Stern: Lawrence; a sophomore in ecology and evolutionary biology; Joan and George Stern; Free State High School; mentored by Kirsten Jensen in ecology and evolutionary biology.
- Kelly McGurren: Leawood; a sophomore in chemistry; Pam and Steve McGurren; Notre Dame de Sion High School; mentored by Misha Barybin in chemistry.
- Molly Bernard: Overland Park; a sophomore in atmospheric science; Richard and Julie Bernard; St. Thomas Aquinas High School; mentored by Jerry Crawford II in journalism.
- Rachel Lietz: Aurora, Ill.; a sophomore in biochemistry; Rita and Peter Lietz; Clear Creek High School; mentored by Mario Rivera in chemistry.
- Bahar Barani: Overland Park; a sophomore in biochemistry; Fakhri Ghaden and Abbos Barani; Shawnee Mission East High School; mentored by Adrianne Kunkel in communication studies.
- Emily Donovan: Westwood; a sophomore in English; Peggy and Jim Donovan; Shawnee Mission East High School; mentored by Pamela Fine, Knight Chair in News, Leadership, and Community.
- Annie Matheis: Overland Park; a sophomore in strategic communication and applied behavioral science; Nancy and Ric Matheis; Blue Valley High School; mentored by Florence DiGennaro Reed in applied behavioral science.
- Terri Harvey: Overland Park; a sophomore in journalism news and information; Donna and Terry Harvey; Shawnee Mission West High School; mentored by Robert Antonio in sociology.
- Teale Muir: Tulsa, Okla.; a sophomore in pre-pharmacy; Jim and Mary Muir; Jenks High School; mentored by Robert Walzel, Dean of the School of Music.
- Adelle Loney: Lawrence; a sophomore in microbiology; Paul and Catrina Loney; Free State High School; mentored by Ebenezer Obadare in sociology.
- Jordan Hildenbrand: Blue Springs, Mo., a sophomore in chemical engineering; Wendy and Wade Hildenbrand; Blue Springs High School; mentored by Kristin Bowman-James, University Distinguished Professor in Chemistry.
- Jessica van Loben Sels: Albuquerque; a sophomore in microbiology; James and Minique van Loben Sels; St. Pius X High School; mentored by Mary Anne Jordan, chair of the Department of Visual Art.
- Jonathan Crookham: Katy, Texas; a sophomore in architecture; Pam and James Crookham; Cinco Rancho High School; mentored by Dale Dorsey in philosophy.
- Dave Dimachkie, Overland Park: sophomore in biology; Mary Dimachkie and Mazen Dimachkie; Blue Valley West High School; mentored by Emily Rauscher in sociology.