At the close of the 2015-2016 academic year, LAUNCH offers congratulations to the many students in our programs who have been recognized for outstanding achievements in academics, leadership, and other areas!
ASPIRE (Aggie Scholars Promoting Incentive, Resources, and Encouragement) Presented by LAUNCH: Learning Communities Hannah Gerken, Mentor of the Year
Abraham Hinojosa, Mentee of the Year
King Thrills, Small Community of the Year
Brown Foundation-Earl Rudder Outstanding Student Award Presented by Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studies
Andy Baxter, College of Science
Buck Weirus Spirit Award Presented by Department of Student Activities Isabelle “Izzy” Antes
W. Hayden Lander
Class Stars Award Presented by Department of Student Activities
Andy Baxter, Class of 2016 – Academics
Luke Oaks, Class of 2019 – Leadership
Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Junior
Ali Jalal, College of Science
Women’s Progress Award Presented by Department of Multicultural Services Emily Parrish
Thank you to the Departments of Student Activities and Multicultural Services, the Association of Former Students, the Associate Provost of Undergraduate Studies, and our learning communities for supporting students across the university and for encouraging service, academic excellence, and high achievement!
LAUNCH: National Fellowships congratulates our five 2015 nominees for the Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell Scholarships for post-graduate study!
Each of these applicants has devoted time to self-reflection and goal development as they revised their essays, requested letters of recommendation, and poured over detailed application instructions. We are equally proud of their perseverance in the fellowship process and of their outstanding accomplishments throughout their college careers.
Mariah Bastin ’14, who double-majored in German and international studies – politics and diplomacy, has been nominated for the Marshall Scholarship and hopes to obtain a PhD in International Relations. She graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2013 with Honors Fellows and Undergraduate Research Scholars distinctions, as well as National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi Eta Sigma National Society, Phi Beta Kappa and Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi honors cords. In 2015, Mariah graduated from the George Bush School of Government & Public Service with a Master of International Affairs. She received the Dean’s Certificate in Leadership. She also served as the President of the German Club and was elected as an International Affairs Representative for the Class of 2015. Fluent in German and French, Mariah has previously worked on the Military Staff Committee of the US Mission to the United Nations and as a German instructor for the Bush School. She is currently employed as an editorial fellow by GovLoop in Washington DC.
Andy Baxter ’16, a Physics and mathematics double major with a business administration minor, has been nominated for the Rhodes, Marshall, and Mitchell Scholarships. He hopes to combine a business education with studies in aerospace physics and engineering in preparation for a management career in aerospace innovation. Additionally, if selected for a scholarship at the University of Oxford, Andy plans to join the Oxford Center for Christian Apologetics to apply his studies in physics and business to his Christian faith. Andy’s primary involvement at Texas A&M has been through Freshmen Leaders in Christ, in which he served as a director. He has also been a Muster Host for the past two years, founded a discussion group for Christian physicists, served as an Impact counselor, assisted with a “Five for Yell” campaign, played in many intramural sports, and is currently serving as treasurer for the Society of Physics Students. During his summers as a college student, Andy has participated in research on superconducting magnets at the Texas A&M Accelerator Research Laboratory, studied abroad through the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program, and interned at the IT Alliance for Public Sector in Washington DC through the Texas A&M Public Policy Internship Program.
Hunter Hampton ’16, seeking degrees in economics and international studies, with a minor in German, has been nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship with the goal of studying international relations at Oxford University. Hunter is a University Scholar, an Undergraduate Research Scholar, and a member of the Cornerstone Liberal Arts Honors Program, University Honors, and Phi Beta Kappa. As a junior, Hunter wrote his undergraduate thesis on entrepreneurship and conflict resolution in Palestine, and now as a senior, he works in the A&M Economics Research Laboratory on a project about the effects of mandated volunteering on total volunteering. Along with his academic pursuits, Hunter interned at the Institut für Europäische Politik in Berlin, Germany, and spent three years as a member of the Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA), rising to Chief of Staff in his final year. Outside of academics, Hunter enjoys biking, playing the erhu poorly, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Molly Huff ’16, a Chemistry major with a minor in mathematics, has been nominated for the Marshall Scholarship to pursue a Masters of Philosophy in chemistry at a UK university. She is an active undergraduate researcher, working in the Polymer Nanocomposites Laboratory for two years and presenting her two publications at an American Chemical Society national conference. Currently, Molly is writing an Undergraduate Research Scholar thesis in physical organic chemistry, studying heavy-atom tunneling both experimentally and computationally. This summer, she completed an internship at OXEA in Bay City where she worked on research and development of a new homogeneous catalyst for the plant. She has also been actively involved in Aggie Sisters for Christ and as a tutor for all levels of chemistry courses. Molly has traveled around the world and hopes to one day live in a foreign country to enhance global chemistry research.
Annie Melton ‘16, an anthropology and classics double major with a minor in geoinformatics, has been nominated for the Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships. Annie, a University Scholar and Undergraduate Research Ambassador, has been heavily involved in archaeological research, beginning her freshman year in the research lab of Dr. Mike Waters. Several of these projects, including her senior honors thesis under the direction of Dr. Kelly Graf, were presented at national and regional conferences. Annie has taken part in archaeological projects in Alaska, Israel, and Portugal, while also analyzing stone tool assemblages from sites in Kentucky and Tennessee, all of which date to differing time periods in the archaeological record. Following graduate school, where she will pursue a PhD in archaeology and focus on the emergence of early modern humans, she hopes to pursue a career in which she can juggle her research passions while teaching the next generation of archaeologists.
The Rhodes Scholarship is for graduate study at Oxford University, the Marshall Scholarship is for graduate study at any UK university, and the George J. Mitchell Scholarship is for graduate study at any university in Ireland. Nominees will soon be notified whether they have been chosen to advance to the interview round of selection. We wish them the best of luck!
LAUNCH: National Fellowships is grateful to the Association of Former Students for their generous support, which applicants benefit from through our programs as well as support for travel to interviews.
College Station, TX – The Texas A&M chapter of Phi Kappa Phi inducted 328 new members. Students were selected from the top 7.5% of junior undergraduate students, the top 10% of senior undergraduate students and top 10% graduate and professional students in each college. Austin Hahn, 2015 Outstanding Junior for the Dwight Look College of Engineering was honored as University Outstanding Junior. Hahn will receive a $1000 scholarship and plaque commemorating his selection. Ten additional students were honored as Outstanding Junior for their respective colleges, and were each presented with plaques and $500 scholarship.
2015 Outstanding Juniors (left to right): Kallie Fuchs, Collin Kohlmeyer, Andy Habib, Julia Deleeuw, Taylor Herrmann, Eleni Mijalis, Amanda Sterne. Not pictured: Emma Epps, Austin Hahn, Salwan Abou Salem.
The 2015 PKP Outstanding Juniors are Kallie Fuchs, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; Taylor Hermann, College of Architecture; Julia Deleeuw, Mays Business School…
The end of the spring semester and the approach of graduation comes with a number of award announcements. This is an exciting and busy time of year as we recognize and bid farewell to our 2015 Honors and Undergraduate Research graduates.
In addition to the successes in nationally-competitive awards such as the Goldwater and Fulbright competitions, our students have been recognized for their outstanding achievement in and out of the classroom with campus awards.
The Director’s Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Programs was created in 2010 to recognize significant contribution to and support of the efforts of the University Honors Program on campus.
The 2015 recipient of the Director’s Award is Dr. Donald J. Curtis, Jr.
Honors and Undergraduate Research thanks Dr. Curtis for his unending support of University Honors and Honors education at Texas A&M in general. His dedication to and high standards for the Cornerstone Honors Program in the Liberal Arts as well as his willingness to give of his time and energy to mentor colleagues across campus in the art of Honors is greatly appreciated. Dr. Curtis also provided critical insights and suggestions as we revised University Honors and developed the Common Honors Information page and Common Honors Application. His close personal attention to the College of Liberal Arts Honors Program enabled many students to have enriching educational and personal experiences while at Texas A&M.
Dr. Don Curtis currently serves as the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Public Health Studies in the Texas A&M Health Science Center, a position he has held since March 2015.
Dr. Curtis has been at Texas A&M since 1993 and previously served as Honors Programs Coordinator in what was then the Office of Honors Programs and Academic Scholarships, Director of Undergraduate Student Services for the College of Liberal Arts, and Assistant Dean for High Impact Programs in Liberal Arts.
He has undergraduate degrees in biological science and history from the University of Nebraska and an MA in military history from NU as well.
Dr. Curtis received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 2000 with a specialty in American Military and Diplomatic History. He is the author of Hard Times Come Again No More: General William S. Graves and the American Military Intervention in Siberia 1918-1920. Dr. Curtis has authored several articles in military history and the applications of honors programs and learning communities in higher education.
Dr. Curtis was named the Wells Fargo Faculty Mentor of the Year in 2014 and was a 2013 Fish Camp Namesake. He is a past President of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Texas A&M and has served as a University Scholars Faulty Mentor.
Dr. Curtis has been married to his wife Kari for sixteen years. They have a nine year old son, Ben, a lab/hound mix and an antisocial cat.
Our warm congratulations and well-deserved thanks go to Dr. Curtis for his strong support of Honors. We will be presenting the Director’s Award to Dr. Curtis at the HUR Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2015. For a list of previous recipients, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.
College Station, TX-Each year, the deans in each college select the most outstanding student from among all the juniors in their respective colleges. One of the hardest–and most rewarding–aspects of serving on the Phi Kappa Phi board is selecting just one of these amazing students as the TAMU Outstanding Junior.
This year, Amélie Berger ’15 was the student selected.
TAMU Outstanding Junior Amélie Berger ’15 (center) with College of Geosciences faculty Dr. Steven Quiring (left) and Dr. Oliver Frauenfeld (right)
Berger will graduate in May, 2015 with a bachelors in environmental geosciences, a minor in oceanography and a minor in meteorology. Berger is a member of the American Association of Geographers and has volunteered at the Oceanography Institute of Paris. She has completed research with Dr. Debbie Thomas in oceanography on South Pacific Deep Water circulation and with Dr. Oliver Frauenfeld in geosciences on land-atmosphere heat exchange in the Arctic.
College Station, TX-Kindall Stephens ’14, senior environmental design major is Texas A&M’s nomination for the Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship. This competition, open to society members entering their first year of graduate or professional study, awards six $15K and 51 $5K fellowships to outstanding applicants. Local chapters are allowed to nominate just one candidate from among local applicants. Stephens also received a $500 scholarship from the local chapter.
Dr. P.J. Miller, PKP President, congratulates Stephens at the 2014 Induction Ceremony.
As part of her application, Stephens detailed her scholarly and community involvement. She has been active with the American Institute of Architecture Students throughout her college career, including serving as president this year. Locally, Stephens has been involved with Aggie Habitat for Humanity, Fish Camp, and Texas A&M Women’s Club Volleyball (2010-11 National Champions). Her impressive resume was reinforced by detailed letters of recommendation that comment on…