Turlock City News

Turlock City News

28 Top High School Graduates Selected as President’s, Provost Scholars

Named as Presidential Scholars are Jason Barnett of Central Valley Christian High School (Visalia), Marissa Dunaway of Leigh High School (Gilroy), Kathryn Eng of Modesto High School, Danielle Fletcher of Cajon High School (San Bernardino), Richard Gilbert of Waterford High School, Amanda Haynam of Pitman High School (Turlock), Danielle Jesperson of Ripon High School, Meaghan Kingsley-Teem of Big Valley Christian High School (Modesto), Kristin Lee of Pitman High School (Turlock), Melissa Levy of Lodi High School, Kittric Lovel of Valhalla High School (El Cajon), Cortney Megee of Johansen High School (Modesto), Mikael Amarseen of Turlock High School, Kenneth Sarisky of Tokay High School (Lodi), Robert Searway of Riverbank High School, and Erynn Wiggins of Whitmore Charter High School (Oakdale).
Provost Scholarship recipients are Heather Allison of Turlock Christian High School, Christopher Azevedo of Central Valley High School (Ceres), Logan Coats of Johansen High School (Modesto), Erica Clark of Kaiser High School (Fontana), Heather Crume of Tokay High School (Lodi), Jacob Elstad of Modesto High School, Kristina Magness of Cordova High School (Rancho Cordova), Rebekah Nelson of Mariposa County High School, Tracy Selfridge of Pitman High School (Turlock), Dawson Vorderbruegge of Kaiser High School (Honolulu), Emily Wyn of Denair High School, and Nikki Young of Heritage Christian High School (Modesto).
“The scholarship program this year drew strong interest from an outstanding group of students who have demonstrated that the highest levels of academic achievement at their respective high schools, “President Hamid Shirvani said. “California State University, Stanislaus is pleased to provide them with the opportunity to pursue their college degree dreams. These are very bright and hard working scholars who are going to distinguish themselves academically and professionally in the coming years.”
The scholars, straight-A high school students, will be majoring in English, Mathematics, Business Administration, Computer Science, Biology, History, Liberal Arts/Teaching, Psychology, Art, Music, Physical Education, and Criminal Justice. They have career plans ranging from teaching and law enforcement to ecology and medicine. Three of them are planning to take Pre-Med classes to prepare them for entry into medical school after graduation.
Amanda Haynam, who comes to CSU Stanislaus from nearby Pitman High School in Turlock where she excelled academically and was active as a scholar and athlete, said being selected as a President’s Scholar is personally rewarding and will help her cover the cost of earning a degree and teaching credential. She was eager to follow in the footsteps of her older brother, Dan, who earned a full college scholarship three years ago.
“This scholarship means that all of the hard work really does pay off,” she said. “A lot of my friends will be going to CSU Stanislaus and the four-year teaching program is just what I was looking for. It’s a good school, a beautiful campus, and I’m looking forward to all of the learning opportunities it will provide me.”


California State University Stanislaus
2008 President’s /Provost’s Scholar Bios
President’s Scholars:
Jason Barnett,a graduate of Central Valley Christian High School in Visalia, is a Mathematics major seeking a career in teaching. He directs study groups with his peers in order to gain more insight into the teaching profession. Barnett also has an avid interest in music and volunteers to play in a church music group.
Marissa Dunaway is a graduate of Leigh High School in Gilroy and plans to major in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She will play soccer and ultimately seek a career with sports companies.
Kathryn Eng is a Modesto High School graduate and is majoring in Biology. Eng is an International Baccalaureate graduate and will play tennis. Her goal is to attend medical school and become a doctor so that she can help develop medical advances in the cardiovascular field.
Danielle Fletcher, a graduateofCajon High School in San Bernardino, is double majoring in English and Business. Her varied activities include: participation in the International Baccalaureate program, the National Honor Society, serving as treasurer for her chapter of the California Scholarship Federation, and competitive swimming. Her current goal is to own a bookstore, combining her love of literature and business acumen.
Richard Gilbert graduated from Waterford High School and plans to major in Biology with a concentration in Ecology and Field Biology. He graduated as Valedictorian and was awarded a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholar Organization. He participated in the Great Valley Annual Conference and was a member of his school’s Academic Decathlon Team for four years. Gilbert plans to enroll in the Honors Program and pursue a career as an environmental surveyor or ecological consultant.
Amanda Haynam, agraduate of Pitman High School in Turlock, is majoring in Liberal Studies with a concentration in English and plans to enroll in the Honors Program. Haynam is an AP Scholar, participated in cross country and track to earn Academic All Conference Team honors, and is a member of the California Scholarship Federation. She wants to positively impact children’s lives by pursing a career as an elementary school teacher.
Danielle Jesperson graduated from Ripon High School with a 4.5 GPA, and plans to major in Computer Science. She was ranked first in her class and is excited about pursuing a career in graphic design. Jesperson will be the first person in her family to attain a college degree and has set her educational and career goals at a high level.
Meaghan Kingsley-Teem, agraduate of Big Valley Christian High School in Modesto, is seeking a career where her passion for helping others can be fully utilized. Kingsley-Teem is currently interested in the fields of Medicine, Education and Counseling and feels that her experiences with overcoming personal adversity involving her health and other issues have given her an added insight into these fields.
Kristin Lee graduated from Pitman High School in Turlock and plans to major in History. She strives to continue learning and challenging herself throughout her academic career and hopes that her dedication will be a valuable asset in her future endeavors. Lee aspires to work as a museum or library historian in a large institution, doing what she loves and continuing to learn everyday.
Melissa Levy is a Lodi High School graduate with a 4.34 GPA and is considering majoring in English. Levy has participated in the San Joaquin Academic Decathlon and was among a select group of student competitors selected to have dinner with Governor Schwarzenegger. Her work with junior high school students in the Lodi Public Library Teen Advisory Council has fueled her dream of making an impact on young lives through teaching or a related vocation.
Kittric Lovel graduated from Valhalla High School in El Cajon and is majoring in Biology. Her education has always been a high priority and she plans to participate in the Honors Program to nurture that focus and seek a science-related career. She partially attributes an interest in the medical field to a veterinarian acquaintance who served as an inspirational mentor and influenced her from a young age. Lovel would like to be a pediatrician or a scientist.
Cortney Megee, who graduated in the top two percent of her class at Johansen High School in Modesto, plans to major in English. Megee mentored younger students through Johansen’s Link Crew program. She credits much of her academic success to her love of literature and aspires to work in the writing or publishing field. Currently, Megee is a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation, and a first generation college student.
Amarseen Mikael is a Turlock High School graduate who plans to major in Biology. He has overcome a number of obstacles, including emigrating from Iraq with his family and learning English at an early age. He dreams of achieving academic success and attaining a career that will enable him to help others. Amarseen’sultimate goal is to become a doctor, and he plans to take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) after completing his undergraduate degree.
Kenneth Sarisky graduated from Tokay High School in Lodi and plans to major in Criminal Justice. His dream of becoming a crime scene investigator was partially inspired by watching various crime investigation shows on television. He is also interested in languages and plans to become fluent in Spanish, German, or American Sign Language. As the first person in his family with the opportunity to attend college full-time, he is dedicated to achieving career success.
Robert Searway is a Riverbank High School graduate and an English major who transferred from Westmont College. He competes on the Cross Country and Track teams. Searway is an aspiring novelist who is determined to publish one of his completed works. He is also interested in teaching English at the college level and in pursuing a Ph.D.
Erynn Wiggins, a graduate of Whitmore Charter High School in Oakdale, plans to major in English. Wiggins says her experience as a home-schooled student and her interaction with powerful mentors has refined her personal talents and inspired her to nurture the talents of others. She believes that writing is one of the most powerful tools of expression, and her interest in teaching stems from a wish to impart the value of language to others.
Provost’s Scholars:
Heather Allison is a Turlock Christian High School graduate and plans to major in Criminal Justice. Her various activities include lifetime membership in the California Scholarship Federation, active membership in the Samaritan Club, participation on her school’s Science Olympiad team, and building houses for needy families in Mexico. She wants to complete the Forensics program and seek a career in the Criminal Justice field.
Christopher Azevedo graduated from Central Valley High School in Ceres with a cumulative GPA of 4.1. He is excited about being the first person in his family to attend a four-year university, a goal he has been working toward for most of his academic career. Azevedo enjoys building computers and is considering a major in Business Administration, but also has an interest in a medical career.
Logan Coats is a graduate of Johansen High School in Modesto and plans to major in music. His goal is to transfer to Berklee College of Music in Boston and gain the necessary skills to become a professional musician. He gives music lessons and believes that educated members of society should use their skills to enrich the community.
Erica Clark is a graduate of Henry J. Kaiser High School in Fontana and is considering careers in Criminal Justice, Psychology, or Sociology. She also dreams of traveling the world and learning the languages of varied cultures. As a first-generation college student, she is eager to participate in the broadened life experiences that higher education can provide.
Heather Crume, a graduate of Tokay High School in Lodi, is majoring in Liberal Studies. Crume was a member of Child Careers and Occupational Opportunities for three years and is currently a teacher’s assistant in a second-grade classroom. She plans to earn a Master’s Degree in Education and believes that passionate teachers can make a lasting impact on the lives of today’s youth.
Jacob Elstad is a Modesto High School graduate majoring in Biology. He has volunteered for Heifer Project International, the Relay for Life, and is a member of the California Scholarship Federation. Elstad’s goal after graduation is to be accepted into the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine on the way to a career as a veterinarian.
Kristina Magness, a graduate of Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova, is the first person in her family to attend a four-year university. She plans to earn a degree in the College of Human and Health Sciences and would like to work in a career that enables her to help families. She has triumphed over personal adversity, with the death of her father and separation from her mother at an early age, and looks forward to helping others overcome challenges. As a high school student, she successfully juggled a part-time job, responsibility for supporting herself, and playing recreational soccer.
Rebekah Nelson graduated from Mariposa County High School and is planning to major in Studio Art or Art History. Her goals are to attain a Master’s Degree in Art and a Single-Subject Teaching Credential so she can teach students in her specialty. She wants to eventually teach at the college level.
Tracy Selfridge is a Pitman High School of Turlock graduate who plans to major in Biology. She participated in Key Club, Science Club, Science Olympiad, and Mock Trials at Pitman. She is passionate about her desire to attend medical school and become a pediatrician so that she can help families.
Dawson Vorderbruegge is a graduate of Kaiser High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, and plans to major in Liberal Studies. He plans to become a high school English teacher and appreciates his parents’ early encouragement for him to focus on education. Vorderbruegge is passionate about writing and wants to fine tune his craft in order to better teach students. He remains optimistic about his aspirations to positively shape students into successful members of society.
Emily Wynn, a graduate of Denair High School, plans to major in Business Administration. Wynn’s experience in directing several community theater productions has propelled her toward a career in movie and theater production. She believes that education is the key to success in all aspects of life and wants to impart the value of education to her future family.
Nikki Young is a graduate of Heritage Christian High School in Modesto and is majoring in Psychology. Her prime ambition is to alleviate suffering in others, and she feels that achieving her degree would be an essential step toward that goal. Young would like to eventually attend a seminary and become a youth minister.

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