MSU announces 2016-17 Provost Scholars class

President Mark E. Keenum (back row, center) and Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner (back row, fourth from right) welcome the newest class of MSU Provost Scholars. From left to right, they include (front row) Sarah Frey, Amye McDonald, James Grant, Will Jarrell and Latonia Parker (back row) Seth Barger, Wellesley Dittmar, Harrison Hunter, Sarah Claxton, Keenum, Bonner, Lucie Henein, Matthew Shine and Jacob Easley. Not pictured are Tyler Etheridge and Jennifer Sublett. (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Fourteen incoming first-year students and transfers from Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland and Tennessee are this year’s selections for prestigious undergraduate scholarships at Mississippi State University.

The annual award includes an academic scholarship, as well as additional scholarships for study abroad. Grants for research and an optional travel grant to attend a conference also are part of the award.

To qualify, applicants must have a minimum 30 ACT and 3.75 grade-point average (based on a 4.0 scale) or a minimum 3.75 high school grade-point average and minimum 28 ACT with at least a 34 ACT sub score in the area indicated as a research area. For more, visit

Selected from more than 700 qualified applicants, the 2016-17 group joins 20 already participating in the program, which is part of MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College.

Second-year program mentor Seth F. Oppenheimer said Provost Scholars have the opportunity to serve as research leaders at Mississippi State and share their passion for understanding, exploration and truth with fellow students.

“Whether it is designing a better way to deliver lifesaving drugs using new classes of nanoparticles, uplifting a soul with new poetry, finding ways to feed the multitude of the world’s hungry with new agricultural techniques, or nourishing the hearts of people with new music, Provost Scholars follow the passion of their curiosity with hard work, diligence and creativity,” said Oppenheimer, the honors college undergraduate research program director.

Oppenheimer also is professor and director of the university’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

The 2016-17 Provost Scholars class includes (by hometown):

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana—Wellesley J. Dittmar, a freshman biological engineering major.

BELDEN—James A. Grant, a freshman mechanical engineering major.

BRANDON—Tyler J. Etheridge, a freshman computer engineering major.

COLUMBUS—Latonia D. Parker, a freshman chemical engineering major.

GERMANTOWN, Maryland—Lucie M. Henein, a sophomore animal and dairy science major.

HERMANVILLE—Harrison Hunter, a senior computer engineering major.

JACKSON—Sarah L. Frey, a freshman political science major.

MADISON—Amye F. McDonald, a freshman microbiology major.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee—Sarah E. Claxton, a freshman biochemistry major.

MERIDIAN—Matthew H. Shine, a freshman aerospace engineering major.

OXFORD—Will H. Jarrell, a freshman engineering major.

PENSACOLA, Florida—Jennifer M. Sublett, a sophomore wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major.

RIDGELAND—Seth A. Barger, a freshman computer engineering major.

STARKVILLE—Jacob N. Easley, a sophomore mechanical engineering and physics double-major.

Learn more about MSU’s Shackouls Honors College at

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