Montana State University

MSU names 2015 Presidential Scholars

May 29, 2015

Nickolas Avila has been named a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Avila is the valedictorian of Richland High School. He was named a Washington Scholar, the highest meritorious academic honor conferred by the State of Washington. He intends to major in chemical engineering. His parents are Kevin and Laurel Avila from RichlanJoshua Bartkoske is a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Bartkoske will graduate from Tien Shan International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He was born in Boston and has lived in Almaty for more than 12 years. He is a National Merit Finalist and intends to major in physics. He was an all-star member of the Central Asian Volleyball and Basketball Classic Champions teams and served as the student body president. His parents are Craig and Michelle Bartkoske of Arlington.Romy Beigel has been selected as a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Beigel is a graduate of San Dieguito High School Academy in Encinitas and intends to major in electrical engineering and liberal studies. She is a National Merit Commended Student and was the all team president of the FIRST Robotics Team at San Dieguito Academy. She received the Le Grand Concours Certificate de Merit in French, participated in varsity track and field and in the National Association of Teachers of Singing vocal competitions. Her mother is Gloria Xefos of Encinitas.Ben Carroll has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Danielle Daley has been selected  a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Daley is a graduate of Bozeman High School and intends to major in nutrition and exercise science or in education. She is a Montana University System Honor Scholar and was captain of the speech and debate and softball teams. Her parents are Robert and Marna Daley of Bozeman.Keegan Grady has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar.  Grady is a graduate of Belgrade High School and is a Montana University System Honor Scholar who intends to major in film. Grady was the state champion in original oratory in 2014 and received the Premio de Oro award in the National Spanish Exam. He participated in Academic Olympics and in district and state music festivals, and he was recognized as the outstanding male lead by the Belgrade High School theater department. His parents are Thomas Grady and Carol Johnson of Belgrade.Kathryn Howe has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Howe will graduate from Albuquerque Academy and intends to major in mechanical engineering. She is a National Merit Scholar and was part of a team that won the State Science Olympiad competition in 2013 and 2015. Her parents are Kerry and Elaine Howe from Albuquerque.Rudy Hummel has been selected as a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Hummel plans to major in paleontology. He participated in Knowledge Bowl, speech, drama and band. An Eagle Scout, Hummel completed his ââ¬ÅSnore Outdoorsââ¬Â challenge, sleeping outside for 365 consecutive nights, raising more than $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity and the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. His parents are Mark Hummel and Gail Johnejck of Hermantown.Dylan Ladd has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Ladd  is the valedictorian of Skyview High school in Billings and a Montana University System Honor Scholar who intends to major in chemical engineering. He is a National Merit Scholar finalist, a member of the National Honors Society, an Eagle Scout and captain of the debate team. Ladd has participated in the state music festivals as a member of choral ensembles and as a violinist. His parents are John and Maureen Ladd of Billings.Ryan Mason has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Mason is the valedictorian of Sentinel High School and a Montana University System Honor Scholar who intends to major in chemical engineering. He was president of Key Club and participated in the Sentinel Selway Sojourn Environmental Rehabilitation Project. Mason is a member of the National Honor Society and is an AP Scholar with Honors. He was the captain of the Sentinel High School swim team and also the captain and board member of the Missoula Aquatic Club. His parents are Dave and Jodie Mason of Missoula.Rowan Sharman has been selected as a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Sharman is the valedictorian at Gustavus High School and intends to major in either electrical or mechanical engineering. He competed in the Alaska State Championship cross-country running meet and was named an Outstanding Online Student by the Alaska Learning Network. Rowan was a finalist in in the National Science Foundationââ¬â¢s Joint Science Education Project Greenland and received the Alaska Performance Scholarship. His parents are Lewis and Ellie Sharman of Gustavus.Veronika Shchepetkina has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Shchepetkina  is a graduate of Bozeman High School and intends to major in cell biology and neuroscience. She participated in All-State Band and Orchestra as well as in the All Northwest Band. She served as the editor of Scribblings and was among the top 10 Montana scorers on the National French Exam. She is an AP Scholar with Honors and participated in the Aktru International Summer School for Ecology in Altai, Russia, and is presently working as lab aide in in the MSU Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences. Her parents are Lilya Kirpotina and Igor Shchepetkin of Bozeman.Derek Snyder has been selected as a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Snyder is a graduate of Valley Christian High School in San Jose. He intends to pursue a degree in engineering. He is an AP scholar and a published poet. His parents are William and Kristen Snyder of San Jose.Jay Stancliff has been selected as a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Stancliff will graduate as salutatorian from Tehachapi High School. He intends to major in political science with a minor in English. He is an AP Scholar and served as the varsity swim captain, National Honor Society officer, and he was co-vice president of Future Business Leaders of America. His parents are Byron and Jennifer Stancliff of Tehachpai.Daniel Tanascu has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Tanascu is a graduate of Belgrade High School and intends to major in mechanical engineering. He is a Montana University System Honor Scholar, an AP scholar with Honors, and was named Academic All State in basketball, track and cross-country. His team earned first place in the State FFA Farm Business Management competition. His parents are Robert and Theresa Tanascu of Belgrade.Hannah Telling has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Telling is the valedictorian of Beaverhead County High School. She is a Montana University System Honor Scholar and intends to major in secondary education English and minor in art education. She participated in the American Youth Leadership Program to Cambodia and her work has been published in the National Honor Society newspaper. Her parents are Michael and Rebecca Telling of Dillon.Anna Verhaeghe has been selected as a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Verhaeghe is salutatorian of the Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy in Post Falls. She intends to major in mechanical engineering and minor in aerospace. She was the team captain in volleyball, basketball and track, and the principal cellist of the Coeur Dââ¬â¢Alene Youth Orchestra. She was named a North Idaho Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (NISTAR) Student and an Idaho Top Scholar. Her parents are Eric and Amy Verhaeghe of Post Falls.Matthew Yaeger has been selected as a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Yaeger is a graduate from Natick High School in Massachusetts and intends to major in geology. He is an Eagle Scout, received a Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award and founded the Natick Mountaineering Club. His parents are Peter and Theresa Yaeger of Natick.Meredith Wilson  has been selected as a 2015 MSU Presidential Scholar. Wilson is the valedictorian of Flathead High School and intends to major in chemical engineering. She completed the full International Baccalaureate Diploma and was president of National Honor Society, captain of the speech and debate team, served on student council and participated in varsity soccer and track for four years. She is a bassoonist and intends to continue her involvement in music. Her parents are Gregory and Mary Kay Wilson of Kalispell.

Nickolas Avila has been named a 2015 Montana State University Presidential Scholar. Avila is the valedictorian of Richland High School. He was named a Washington Scholar, the highest meritorious academic honor conferred by the State of Washington. He intends to major in chemical engineering. His parents are Kevin and Laurel Avila from Richlan

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Nineteen gifted high school seniors from across the nation, including 10 from Montana, were selected as recipients of the 2015 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 a generous 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 scholars were selected from 570 applications.

“Many of these scholars have gained admittance and scholarships to other prestigious institutions and have chosen to attend MSU because of the quality of our programs and the opportunities available to our students,” she said.

“To attract the quality of presidential scholar recipients that we have says a lot about our dedicated and inspirational faculty and the opportunities we offer our undergraduates,” said Ronda Russell, MSU’s admissions director. “The fact that so many choose Montana State is indicative of the quality of our programs.”

The 2015 MSU Presidential Scholarship recipients are:

Montana

Belgrade

Keegan Grady is a graduate of Belgrade High School and is a Montana University System Honor Scholar who intends to major in film. Grady was the state champion in original oratory in 2014 and received the Premio de Oro award in the National Spanish Exam. He participated in Academic Olympics and in district and state music festivals, and he was recognized as the outstanding male lead by the Belgrade High School theater department. His parents are Thomas Grady and Carol Johnson of Belgrade.

Daniel Tanascu is a graduate of Belgrade High School and intends to major in mechanical engineering. He is a Montana University System Honor Scholar, an AP scholar with Honors, and was named Academic All State in basketball, track and cross-country. His team earned first place in the State FFA Farm Business Management competition. His parents are Robert and Theresa Tanascu of Belgrade.

Billings

Benjamin Carroll is the valedictorian of Billings West High School and a Montana University System Honor Scholar who intends to dual major in mechanical engineering and physics. An accomplished pianist and percussionist, Carroll has earned received superior ratings at district and state music festivals; lettered for four years in tennis and received the Air Force Recruiting Service Mathematics and Science Award. His parents are Jeffrey and Abigail Carroll of Billings.

Dylan Ladd is the valedictorian of Skyview High school in Billings and a Montana University System Honor Scholar who intends to major in chemical engineering. He is a National Merit Scholar finalist, a member of the National Honors Society, an Eagle Scout and captain of the debate team. Ladd has participated in the state music festivals as a member of choral ensembles and as a violinist. His parents are John and Maureen Ladd of Billings.

Bozeman

Danielle Daley is a graduate of Bozeman High School and intends to major in nutrition and exercise science or in education. She is a Montana University System Honor Scholar and was captain of the speech and debate and softball teams. Her parents are Robert and Marna Daley of Bozeman.

Veronika Shchepetkina is a graduate of Bozeman High School and intends to major in cell biology and neuroscience. She participated in All-State Band and Orchestra as well as in the All Northwest Band. She served as the editor of Scribblings and was among the top 10 Montana scorers on the National French Exam. She is an AP Scholar with Honors and participated in the Aktru International Summer School for Ecology in Altai, Russia, and is presently working as lab aide in in the MSU Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences. Her parents are Lilya Kirpotina and Igor Shchepetkin of Bozeman.

Dillon

Hannah Telling is the valedictorian of Beaverhead County High School. She is a Montana University System Honor Scholar and intends to major in secondary education English and minor in art education. She participated in the American Youth Leadership Program to Cambodia and her work has been published in the National Honor Society newspaper. Her parents are Michael and Rebecca Telling of Dillon.

Kalispell

Meredith Wilson is the valedictorian of Flathead High School and intends to major in chemical engineering. She completed the full International Baccalaureate Diploma and was president of National Honor Society, captain of the speech and debate team, served on student council and participated in varsity soccer and track for four years. She is a bassoonist and intends to continue her involvement in music. Her parents are Gregory and Mary Kay Wilson of Kalispell.

Missoula

Ryan Mason is the valedictorian of Sentinel High School and a Montana University System Honor Scholar who intends to major in chemical engineering. He was president of Key Club and participated in the Sentinel Selway Sojourn Environmental Rehabilitation Project. Mason is a member of the National Honor Society and is an AP Scholar with Honors. He was the captain of the Sentinel High School swim team and also the captain and board member of the Missoula Aquatic Club. His parents are Dave and Jodie Mason of Missoula.

OUT OF STATE

Alaska

Rowan Sharman is the valedictorian at Gustavus High School and intends to major in either electrical or mechanical engineering. He competed in the Alaska State Championship cross-country running meet and was named an Outstanding Online Student by the Alaska Learning Network. Rowan was a finalist in in the National Science Foundation’s Joint Science Education Project Greenland and received the Alaska Performance Scholarship. His parents are Lewis and Ellie Sharman of Gustavus.

California

Romy Beigel is a graduate of San Dieguito High School Academy in Encinitas and intends to major in electrical engineering and liberal studies. She is a National Merit Commended Student and was the all team president of the FIRST Robotics Team at San Dieguito Academy. She received the Le Grand Concours Certificate de Merit in French, participated in varsity track and field and in the National Association of Teachers of Singing vocal competitions. Her mother is Gloria Xefos of Encinitas.

Derek Snyder is a graduate of Valley Christian High School in San Jose. He intends to pursue a degree in engineering. He is an AP scholar and a published poet. His parents are William and Kristen Snyder of San Jose.

Tehachpai

Jay Stancliff will graduate as salutatorian from Tehachapi High School. He intends to major in political science with a minor in English. He is an AP Scholar and served as the varsity swim captain, National Honor Society officer, and he was co-vice president of Future Business Leaders of America. His parents are Byron and Jennifer Stancliff of Tehachpai.

Idaho

Anna Verhaeghe is salutatorian of the Coeur d'Alene Charter Academy in Post Falls. She intends to major in mechanical engineering and minor in aerospace. She was the team captain in volleyball, basketball and track, and the principal cellist of the Coeur D’Alene Youth Orchestra. She was named a North Idaho Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (NISTAR) Student and an Idaho Top Scholar. Her parents are Eric and Amy Verhaeghe of Post Falls.

Massachusetts

Joshua Bartkoske will graduate from Tien Shan International School in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He was born in Boston and has lived in Almaty for more than 12 years. He is a National Merit Finalist and intends to major in physics. He was an all-star member of the Central Asian Volleyball and Basketball Classic Champions teams and served as the student body president. His parents are Craig and Michelle Bartkoske of Arlington.

Matthew Yaeger is a graduate from Natick High School in Massachusetts and intends to major in geology. He is an Eagle Scout, received a Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award and founded the Natick Mountaineering Club. His parents are Peter and Theresa Yaeger of Natick.

Minnesota

Rudolph (Rudy) Hummel of Hermantown intends to major in paleontology. He participated in Knowledge Bowl, speech, drama and band. An Eagle Scout, Hummel completed his “Snore Outdoors” challenge, sleeping outside for 365 consecutive nights, raising more than $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity and the Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory. His parents are Mark Hummel and Gail Johnejck of Hermantown.

New Mexico

Kathryn Howe will graduate from Albuquerque Academy and intends to major in mechanical engineering. She is a National Merit Scholar and was part of a team that won the State Science Olympiad competition in 2013 and 2015. Her parents are Kerry and Elaine Howe from Albuquerque.

Washington

Nickolas Avila is the valedictorian of Richland High School. He was named a Washington Scholar, the highest meritorious academic honor conferred by the State of Washington. He intends to major in chemical engineering. His parents are Kevin and Laurel Avila from Richland.

Ilse-Mari Lee (406) 994-4689, ilselee@montana.edu