University Communications

USI welcomes 2013-2014 Merit Scholars

September 25, 2013 | Danielle Norris
Danielle Norris
Web Content Specialist Web Services 812-464-1908

The University of Southern Indiana’s Office of Admission welcomes the class of 2017’s top merit scholarship recipients to campus this fall. Twenty-six incoming freshmen receive Presidential Scholarships, Baccalaureate/Doctor of Medicine Scholarships, and Deans Scholarships.

“These students are at the top of what is academically the strongest freshman class in the history of the institution,” said Mark Rusk, associate director of Admission. Most of the scholarship recipients graduated as valedictorians of their senior classes.

Presidential Scholars

Presidential Scholarships are awarded annually to 10 Indiana valedictorians and salutatorians of senior high school classes, who are chosen after a competitive interview process. Applicants must attend a state-commissioned high school in Indiana and earn an SAT score of 1200 (without writing component) or 1800 (with writing component), or an ACT composite score of 27. The program began in 1988 as an initiative to bring outstanding Indiana students to USI. The full-tuition scholarships are funded by private donors to the USI Foundation.

Laura Chamness of Evansville received the Harold W. Ashley Endowed Presidential Scholarship. A graduate of Francis Joseph Reitz High School, she is the daughter of Vic and Sandy Chamness. She plans to major in biochemistry.

Edward Hilt, a graduate of Faith Christian High School, received the Fred C. Newman Family Endowed Presidential Scholarship. He is the son of Dirk and Tina Hilt of Lafayette, Indiana. He plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Kassidy Kinner, a Central High School graduate, received the Henry J. and Hazel D. Bennighof Presidential Scholarship. The daughter of Dan and Tracy Kinner of Evansville, Kinner plans to major in political science.

Kaleb Kramer of Greensburg, Indiana, received the Stanley B. and Ruth C. Atkinson Endowed Presidential Scholarship. A graduate of North Decatur High School, he is the son of Don and Karla Kramer. He plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Elizabeth Miller of Ramsey, Indiana, received the Homer L. and Olive Carruthers Clifft Endowed Presidential Scholarship. A graduate of North Harrison High School, she is the daughter of Karen Stewart. She plans to major in nursing.

Jessica Richards received the Marian Baker Boelson Endowed Presidential Scholarship. A graduate of North Harrison High School, she is the daughter of Lance and Melissa Richards of Palmyra, Indiana. She plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Jarise Ross, a graduate of North Posey Senior High School, received the Marian Baker Boelson Endowed Presidential Scholarship. She is the daughter of Jeff and Wendy Flowers of Evansville and plans to major in nursing.

Jenna Spiller, a graduate of the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, & Humanities, received the Olive Carruthers Clifft Endowed Presidential Scholarship. She is the daughter of Doug and JoAnne Spiller of Madison, Indiana. She plans to major in nursing.

Logan Welp of Huntingburg, Indiana, received the Richard A. and Susie Gumberts Endowed Presidential Scholarship. A graduate of Forest Park Junior/Senior High School, he is the son of Tony and Patricia Welp. He plans to major in accounting.

Danielle Wire of Boonville, Indiana, received the Rebecca Nunn Couch Endowed Presidential Scholarship. A graduate of Boonville High School, she is the daughter of Ronald and JoAnn Wire. She plans to major in computer information systems.

Baccalaureate/Doctor of Medicine Scholars

Baccalaureate/Doctor of Medicine (B/MD) Scholarships are awarded to six exceptional Indiana high school students annually, who meet similar academic requirements to those of Presidential Scholars. The B/MD Scholarship program, which offers a provisional seat in the Indiana University School of Medicine to each recipient, is sponsored jointly by USI and the Evansville Center for Medical Education, Indiana University School of Medicine. The full-tuition scholarships are funded by private donors to the USI Foundation.

Matthew Becker, the son of Tony and Chris Becker, received the Henry J. & Hazel D. Bennighof B/MD Scholarship to study biology/pre-medicine. An Evansville native, he is a graduate of Mater Dei High School.

Jacob Mischler, a graduate of Mater Dei High School, received the Thomas E. Topper Endowed B/MD Scholarship. The son of Jeff and Elaine Mischler of Evansville, he plans to study biochemistry/pre-medicine.

Coty Ritter of Bringhurst, Indiana, received the Ethel Reed Endowed B/MD Scholarship. A graduate of Carroll High School, he is the son of Gary and Judy McCracken and Dan Ritter. He plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Blake Simon of Greensburg, Indiana, received the Ethel Reed Endowed B/MD Scholarship. A graduate of Greensburg Community High School, he is the son of Kathy Simon. He plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Evan Stieler received the Victor V. Schriefer Jr. Endowed B/MD Scholarship. A graduate of Evansville Day School, he is the son of Mark and Amy Stieler of Newburgh, Indiana. He plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Ramya Yeleti of Carmel, Indiana, received the Edward F. Harrison B/MD Scholarship. A graduate of Park-Tudor School, she is the daughter of Ramu and Indira Yeleti. She plans to major in biology/pre-medicine.

Deans Scholars

Deans Scholarships are awarded annually to 10 exceptional students from across the country who rank at or near the top of their high school classes. Applicants meet similar academic requirements to those of B/MD scholars. Deans Scholarships provide an award of $2,000 each year, funded by private donors to the USI Foundation. Most Deans Scholars receive additional scholarship funding through their academic departments.

Drew Brown, of Carmi, Illinois, received the William E. & Rebecca N. Couch Deans Scholarship. A graduate of Carmi-White County High School, he is the son of Kevin and Gina Brown. He plans to major in exercise science.

Alison Curtner received the Z. Olen & Inez G. Pumphrey Endowed Deans Scholarship. She is the daughter of Brian and Julie Curtner. A native of Fairfield, Illinois, she plans to major in social work.

Natalie Geiger, a graduate of Norwood High School, received the Jennings D. & Josephine K. Carter Deans Scholarship. The daughter of Chuck and Sally Geiger of Norwood, Ohio, she is still considering majors.

Alexandra Gott of New Salisbury, Indiana, received the Edward F. Harrison Deans Scholarship. A graduate of North Harrison High School, she is the daughter of John and Terri Gott. She plans to major in nursing.

Samantha Jenney, a graduate of Mercy Academy, received the Edward F. Harrison Deans Scholarship. She is the daughter of Amy Pickerill of Louisville, Kentucky. She plans to major in nursing.

Katherine Jones received the Margery F. Kahn Memorial Deans Scholarship. A graduate of Warren Central High School, she is the daughter of James and Susan Jones of Indianapolis, Indiana. She plans to major in theatre.

Kaelin Martlock, a graduate of Valley Lutheran High School, received the Henry W. & Betty Jane Ruston Endowed Deans Scholarship. She is the daughter of Troy and Kimberly Martlock of Bay City, Michigan. She plans to major in mathematics.

Trey Reese received the Z. Olen & Inez G. Pumphrey Endowed  Deans Scholarship. A graduate of Southridge High School in Huntingburg, Indiana, he is the son of Dave and Mary Reese. He plans to major in engineering.

Kali Smith of Fairfield, Illinois, received the Margery F. Kahn Memorial Deans Scholarship. She is the daughter of Dewayne and Ruth Kissner and Marti Smith. She plans to major in social work.

Lauren Ward, of Owensboro, Kentucky, received the William E. & Rebecca N. Couch Deans Scholarship. A graduate of Daviess County High School, she is the daughter of Cliff and Bobbie Ward. She is still considering majors.

Merit Scholars must maintain full-time continuous enrollment in each regular semester, with a minimum of 30 semester hours successfully completed each academic year.

Students who want to apply for 2014-2015 USI Merit Scholarships should submit an application, along with related admission materials and most recent high school transcript, by January 15, 2014.   

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Evansville, Indiana 47712 Phone 812/464-8600
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