KU News Release


May 30, 2012
Contact: Anne Dotter, University Honors Program, 785-864-3539

Twenty KU students chosen for University Scholars program

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LAWRENCE — Twenty University of Kansas sophomores from a variety of disciplines were selected earlier this spring to become the next generation of University Scholars.

Each student receives a $250 scholarship per semester for five semesters, a faculty mentor and enrolls in an interdisciplinary seminar taught by a faculty member noted for a distinguished teaching record.

University Scholars are 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 3.8 cumulative grade-point average are invited to apply.

The topic of this year’s seminar was 50 Years of American Non-Fiction by Mickey Imber, professor of educational leadership and policy studies. The seminar encouraged students to explore topics outside of their area of academic expertise to remain open to new ideas and welcome ongoing dialogue.

The University Scholars Program was founded in the spring of 1982 by Judge Deanell Tacha, then vice chancellor for academic affairs, and Professor Francis Heller. The program now counts more than 600 alumni who have all gone on to great careers in varied fields.
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.

University Scholars are listed below by hometown, major, parents’ names (if available), high school and faculty mentor.

Jacklyn Baillergeon, Lansing, a sophomore in political science and journalism, Frederick and Dung Baillergeon, graduate of Lansing High School, mentored by Kala Stroup with the Honors Program.

Cole Bittel, Bonner Springs, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, Douglas Bittel and Lisa Stehno-Bittel, graduate of Basehor-Linwood High School, mentored by Lorin Maletsky, mechanical engineering.

Joyce Bohling, Lawrence, a sophomore in English, Geoffrey and Gwen Bohling, a graduate of Lawrence High School and mentored by Carol Holstead, journalism.

Gregory Burg, Lawrence, a sophomore in engineering physics, J. Gregory and Mary Burg, a graduate of Lawrence High School and mentored by Scott Jenkins, philosophy.

Tasha Cerny, Salina, a sophomore in English, Daniel and Mary Cerny, a graduate of Salina High School South and mentored by Darren Canady, English.

Qi Chen, Overland Park, a sophomore in chemical engineering, Guozho Chen and Rongying Wu, a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School and mentored by Aaron Scurto, chemical and petroleum engineering.

Theodore Christensen, Topeka, a sophomore in biochemistry, Theodore and Kelly Christensen, a graduate of Washburn Rural High School and mentored by Victoria Corbin in molecular biosciences.

William Dale, Topeka, a sophomore in English, Milfred and Diane Dale, a graduate of Topeka High School and mentored by David Smith, sociology.

Brooke Gunter, Claremore, Okla., a sophomore in biology, George and Janice Gunter, a graduate of Claremore High School and mentored by Doug Denney, psychology.

Alexis Knutsen, Overland Park, a sophomore in classical languages and literature, Berhard and Christina Knutsen, home-schooled, mentored by Naima Boussofara, African and African-American studies.

Matt Miller, Norton, a sophomore in biochemistry and French, Allan and Connie Miller, a graduate of Norton High School and mentored by John Staniunas in theatre.

Evan Reznicek, Goff, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, Edward Reznicek and Mary Fund, a graduate of Wetmore High School and mentored by Shannon Criss, architecture, design and planning.

Maria Rocha, Bolivia, a sophomore in chemical engineering, Lily Arandia, mentored by Don Worster and Greg Cushman, history.

Kathryn Scherich, Emporia, a sophomore in chemical engineering, Maria Scherirch, a graduate of Emporia Senior High School and mentored by Liz Kowalchuk, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Natalie Scott, Topeka, a sophomore in pre-nursing, Lynn and Ann Scott, a graduate of Seaman High School and mentored by Kathleen McCluskey-Fawcett, psychology and Honors Program.

Ryan Smith, Overland Park, a sophomore in English, Kevin and Elizabeth Smith, Blue Valley North High School, mentored by Chuck Berg, film and media studies.

Jill Wenderott, Alma, a sophomore in physics and geology, William and Christine Wenderott, graduate of Wabaunsee Senior High School and mentored by Steven Hawley, physics and astronomy.

James Wilson, Osage City, a sophomore in political science, James and Lynda Wilson, a graduate of Osage City High School and mentored by Laura Hines, School of Law.

Alex Wolfrum, St. Louis, a sophomore in architecture, Robert Wolfrum and Marcia Koenig, a graduate of John Burroughs School and mentored by Stacey White in architecture, design and planning.

Ryan Ziao, Lenexa, a sophomore in biology, Tian Xiao and Jean Chen, a graduate of Rockhurst High School, mentored by Jeff Aubé in medicinal chemistry.



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.

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