Eleven MSU students join prestigious Presidential Scholars group

MSU President Mark E. Keenum (front row, center) visited with the university’s newest Presidential Scholars during a recent dinner at The Mill at MSU in Starkville. Pictured are (front row, l-r) Aryonna Johnson of Macon, Reese Dunne of Starkville, (Keenum), Maeve Rigney of Madison, Marcus Jordan of Texarkana, Texas; (middle row, l-r) Tyler Dickerson of Starkville, Kayla Powe of Meridian, Anne Elizabeth Harrington of Madison; (back row, l-r) Flora Dedeaux of Gulfport, Graham Roberson of Jackson, Christopher Robinson of Brookhaven and Ryan Jarratt of Vicksburg. (Photo by Beth Wynn)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Eleven freshmen are beginning their academic careers at Mississippi State with the university’s Presidential Scholar designation.

Considered MSU’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships, the annual awards cover the current cost of university tuition, fees, books, and room and board, as well as research and study-abroad expenses.

To qualify, applicants must have a minimum 30 ACT/1330 SAT score, as well as have graduated with a minimum core or overall 3.75 high school GPA (based on a 4.0 scale).

Selected from more than 800 qualified applicants, the new scholars join 42 current scholars in the program, which is part of MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College. Recipients are expected to maintain an overall 3.4 GPA while in their respective academic majors.

Presidential Scholars have opportunities to interact with members of the land-grant institution’s extensive research faculty and be part of the college’s Oxford University summer-study program in England, among other enhanced learning experiences.

MSU Presidential Scholars Mentor Donald M. Shaffer Jr. said the program recognizes academic achievement and presents recipients with “a challenge to make a lasting impact on MSU and the world beyond it.”

“We are a community of scholars who value the pursuit of knowledge, but what makes our scholarship program special is the emphasis we place on effecting positive social change through research and social engagement,” said Shaffer, associate professor of English and interim director of the African American Studies program. “We don’t just hope that our Presidential Scholars will change the world; we expect it.”

Over the years, a number of scholars have received additional recognitions as national Goldwater, Marshall, Mitchell, Rhodes, Truman and Udall scholars, and many have been selected for a variety of professional internships. For more, visit www.honors.msstate.edu/scholars.

Representing Mississippi and Texas, the 2018-19 Presidential Scholars class includes (by hometown):

BROOKHAVEN—Christopher B. Robinson, a biological engineering major and Brookhaven High School graduate receiving a Lila and Hunter Henry Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

GULFPORT—Flora J. Dedeaux, a communication/broadcasting major and Gulfport High School graduate receiving a G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

JACKSON—Graham Roberson, a biomedical engineering major and Jackson Preparatory School graduate receiving a Berenice and Lamar A. Conerly Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

MACON—Aryonna L. Johnson, a computer engineering major and Grace Christian School graduate receiving an Ottilie Schillig Leadership Scholarship.

MADISON—Anne Elizabeth Harrington, an undeclared major and Madison-Ridgeland Academy graduate receiving a Thomas C. and Shirley M. Dawkins Presidential Endowed Scholarship; and Maeve C. Rigney, an English major and Madison Central High School graduate receiving a John and Renée Grisham Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

MERIDIAN—Kayla R. Powe, a biomedical engineering major and Northeast Lauderdale High School graduate receiving a Charles and Pat Lee Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

STARKVILLE—Tyler Dickerson, a civil engineering major and Starkville High School graduate receiving a Charles and Pat Lee Presidential Endowed Scholarship; and Reese A. Dunne, a mechanical engineering major and Starkville High School graduate receiving a G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

TEXARKANA, Texas—Marcus T. Jordan, a mechanical engineering major and Bowling Green High School graduate receiving a Louis A. Hurst Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

VICKSBURG—Ryan E. Jarratt, a biomedical engineering major and Vicksburg Catholic School graduate receiving a Hal and Linda Parker Presidential Endowed Scholarship.

Learn more about the Shackouls Honors College at www.honors.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 9:53 am