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University Relations

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Aug. 23, 2006
Contact: Lisa Pinamonti Kress, Office of Admissions and Scholarships, (785) 864-5421.

Two KU freshmen with perfect ACT, SAT scores win four-year scholarships

LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas freshmen with perfect scores on their college entrance exams have received Perfect Achievement Scholarships valued at $52,000 for four years of undergraduate study.

Nameer Rahman Baker, an anthropology major from Manhattan, had a perfect ACT score. Richard Zachary “Zach” Robinson, an engineering physics major from Garnett, earned a perfect SAT score. KU’s Perfect Achievement Scholarship recognizes Kansans who achieve the top scores on college entrance exams — 36 composite on the ACT or 1,600 on the SAT.

Baker is the son of Talat Rahman and Lyman Baker and is a Manhattan High School graduate. Robinson is the son of Richard and Jerry Robinson of Garnett and is an Anderson County High School graduate.

Perfect Achievement Scholarships are part of KU’s mission to recruit the top students in Kansas and encourage them to stay in Kansas, said Lisa Pinamonti Kress, director of admissions and scholarships. The scholarship is available to students only if they choose KU right after high school graduation and remain enrolled at KU.

The renewable scholarship provides tuition and fees for four years, housing in a traditional residence hall with a full meal package and an allowance for books.

KU established the scholarship in 2004 and first offered it in 2005. Recipients must maintain a 3.25 grade-point average and may also qualify for other KU scholarships and awards.

Baker and Robinson are also among KU’s new National Merit Scholars and are University Honors Program students. Beyond academic excellence, their common interests include playing music — Baker plays guitar and Robinson plays trombone and piano. Both are entrepreneurs and have lawn and yard service businesses in their hometowns.

Baker also received a Harold Otto Merit Scholarship and a Chancellors Club Scholarship. Baker chose KU in large part because “it seemed like the faculty was really focused on undergraduates.” Baker plans a second major in biology to complement a degree in anthropology. His mother teaches physics and his father teaches English, both at Kansas State University.

“My parents have always encouraged me to seek degrees in both the sciences and humanities. Anthropology and biology are two things I like studying,” he said.

Before enrolling at KU, Baker met with Sandra Gray, associate professor of anthropology specializing in human biology, and with J. Gregory Burg, assistant director of the biological sciences division to discuss his interests. Following those meetings, Baker decided on two majors. While a student at Manhattan High School, Baker worked as a lab assistant in the departments of physics, chemistry and biochemistry at Kansas State. Beyond academics, Baker enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee.

Robinson earned a National Merit Scholarship and a Dean of Engineering Scholarship. KU first attracted Robinson when he traveled to Lawrence with his parents as an eighth-grader to visit his older brother, Jeffrey, who graduated in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in piano performance.

“I liked the campus and Lawrence, especially the culture and music,” he said.

As a high school senior, Robinson said he found “KU has a good engineering program.” Robinson chose engineering physics as a major because it will provide him flexibility to pursue either a graduate degree or work professionally with a bachelor’s degree. His career plans remain open, though aerospace and teaching are among his interests. His father is a supervisor in maintenance with Wolf Creek Generating Station, Kansas’ nuclear power plant near Burlington, and his mother works part-time for a veterinarian in Garnett. When Robinson isn’t studying or playing music, he likes to hang out with friends, watch movies or read — Hemingway and Steinbeck are among authors he especially enjoys. He has played trombone for his high school’s bands and often performs as a pianist at church and other community groups.


The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus. | (785) 864-3256 | 1314 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045