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Two SPAA Students Selected as University Scholars

Friday, December 07, 2018

LAWRENCE — The University Honors Program has announced 30 University of Kansas sophomores have been named University Scholars.

The University Scholars Program was founded by Deanell Tacha, a vice chancellor for academic affairs who would go on to become a U.S. District Court judge, and the late Francis Heller, who was the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science, in 1982. The program now counts more than 750 alumni.

The University Scholars Program is designed to recognize and encourage KU's most academically talented and motivated sophomores who have demonstrated intellectual achievement and curiosity. Students are selected in a competitive process. Through interdisciplinary coursework, mentorship and student networks, the program provides a cohort of students with opportunities to develop their intellectual capabilities and interests to the fullest and better prepare them for careers, further study and leadership roles in today’s complex society. 

The 2018-19 University Scholars are listed below alphabetically with their hometown, major, and faculty mentor.

Naomi Becerra: Valley Center; majoring in political science and public administration; mentored by Shannon Portillo, associate professor of public affairs & administration.

Jaya Chakka: Collinsville, Oklahoma; majoring in behavioral neuroscience and molecular, cellular & developmental biology; mentored by Michael Kirkendoll, associate professor of music.

Jennifer Chen: Overland Park; chemical engineering; mentored by Diana Carlin, professor of communication studies.

Saron Demeke: Lenexa; majoring in behavioral neuroscience, minoring in education and French; mentored by Stephen Ilardi, associate professor of psychology.

Linda Deng: Shawnee; majoring in engineering physics and digital electronic systems, minoring in Mandarin Chinese; mentored by Phil Baringer, professor of physics & astronomy.

Jackson Dinsmore: La Crosse; majoring in biology, minoring in psychology; mentored by Drew Vartia, assistant professor of chemistry.

Colin Floyd: Overland Park; majoring in computer science, astronomy and philosophy, minoring in political science; mentored by Brian McClendon, professor of electrical engineering & computer science. 

Samuel Galapo: Leawood; majoring in accounting and finance; mentored by Greg Cushman, associate professor of history.

Arman Hadjian: Overland Park; majoring in biochemistry and Spanish; mentored by Cindy Berrie, associate professor of chemistry.

Nicholas Hinman: Olathe; majoring in philosophy and political science, minoring in economics and global & international studies; mentored by Jen Harrison, lecturer of business.

Lauren Jennings: Dardenne Prairie, Missouri; majoring in molecular, cellular & developmental biology, minoring in psychology and chemistry; mentored by David Tell, professor of communication studies.

John Johnston: Overland Park; majoring in physics and mathematics, minoring in economics; mentored by Matt Otto, assistant professor of music.

Aroog Khaliq: Overland Park; majoring in English and psychology; mentored by Megan Kaminski, associate professor of English.

Natalie Kidwell: Prairie Village; majoring in history; mentored by Marie Brown, associate professor of history.

Zachary Kulphongpatana: Overland Park; majoring in computer science and mathematics; mentored by Perry Alexander, AT&T Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science.

Kyra Larson: Lawrence; majoring in political science and history, minoring in education studies; mentored by David Farber, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Modern America.

Wanheng Li: Meishan Sichuan, China; majoring in behavioral neuroscience and East Asian languages & cultures (with a concentration in Japanese language and literature); mentored by Joan Sereno, professor of linguistics.

Paula Lopez: Andover; majoring in history, minoring in Spanish; mentored by Lumen Mulligan, professor of law.

Nathan Martin: Leavenworth; majoring in chemical engineering; mentored by Mark Shiflett, Foundation Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering.

Alexis McGhee-Dinvaut: Olathe; majoring in psychology; mentored by Nyla Branscombe, professor of psychology.

Amanda Nguyen: Overland Park; majoring in biochemistry, minoring in women, gender & sexuality studies and chemistry; mentored by Lisa Sharpe Elles, assistant professor of chemistry.

Caitlin Riffer: Overland Park; majoring in political science, minoring in women, gender & sexuality studies; mentored by Beth Innocenti, professor of communication studies.

Kelsey Rolofson: Grover, Missouri; majoring in English and political science; mentored by Paul Outka, associate professor of English.

Karishma Shah: Overland Park; majoring in finance, pre-medical track; mentored by Matt Stein, lecturer in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Meredith Shaheed: Lawrence; majoring in political science, history and environmental studies; mentored by Tony (Anton) Rosenthal, associate professor of history.

Dania Shoaib: Overland Park; majoring in molecular, cellular & developmental biology, minoring in public policy; mentored by Heather Getha-Taylor, associate professor of public affairs & administration.

Morgan States: Florissant, Missouri; majoring in business administration; mentored by Shawn Alexander, professor of African & African-American studies.

Hannah Steinert: Wichita; majoring in supply chain management and environmental studies, minoring in music; mentored by Steve Leisring, professor of music.

Logan Stuart: Coralville, Iowa; majoring in economics and chemistry, minoring in Chinese; mentored by David Slusky, assistant professor of economics.

Anna Trofimoff: Overland Park; majoring in chemical engineering; mentored by Tim Jackson, professor of chemistry.



Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration
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