Honors College Welcomes 17 Freshman Scholars

Recipients awarded prestigious scholarships from numerous sources

Douglass Sullivan-González (right), dean of the UM Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, welcomes the 2019 cohort of freshmen scholars, including (front row, from left) Tristan Tran, Jilkiah Bryant, Anastasia Jones-Burdick, Gracie Bush, Vivienne McCracken, Ethan Lambert and Addison Pratt and (back row) Julianna French, Maren McSparin, Eva Kiparizoska, Peter Nguyen and Luke Davis. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Seventeen freshmen in the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi have been awarded a total of $130,750 from four of the university’s most distinguished scholarship programs.

Five of the freshmen earned McDonnell Barksdale Scholarships, six were recipients of Doris Raymond Honors Scholarships, three were awarded Harold Parker Memorial Scholarships and three were honored with Annexstad Family Foundation Leaders for Tomorrow Scholarships.

“Each year, a new group of high-performing students distinguish themselves to join the ranks of our SMBHC scholarship holders,” said Douglass Sullivan-González, Honors College dean.

“We are extremely proud of this year’s freshman group who already understand the demands of what it means to be ‘citizen’ and ‘scholar’ in a challenging environment. We anticipate four great years of their involvement in our university community.”

Those students receiving McDonnell Barksdale Scholarships are:

  • Jilkiah La’Destinee Bryant, of Macon
  • Gracie Bush, of Long Beach
  • Eva Kiparizoska, of Laurel
  • Indu Priya Nandula, of Cleveland
  • Kaylee Nicole Sims, of Madison

Bryant is a graduate of the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science, where she was a Golden Triangle Area Scholar, MSMS Ambassador, 4-H Ambassador and Northeast Mississippi Student Leadership Conference Scholar. She is majoring in biochemistry.

A graduate of Long Beach Senior High School, Bush had the highest averages in AP physics, sociology, calculus, chemistry and Honors English. She was active in student council, Beta Club, Civitan, French Honor Society, Key Club and National Honor Society. Bush is majoring in international studies.

Kiparizoska is a graduate of West Jones Junior-Senior High School. She won the AP Biology Award, first place in advertising design at the State Beta Convention, Spanish III Award and Algebra III Certificate. She is majoring in biochemistry.

Nandula, a graduate of MSMS, won the Ephemera Prize in the Eudora Welty Writing Contest. Other honors include superior ratings at the Mississippi Music Teachers Association competitions and Bach festivals, Best of Fair at the District Science Fair and finalist at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. Nandula’s major is accountancy.

Sims was a STAR Student, National Merit semifinalist and National Honor Society member at the Education Center. Her activities included Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Madison County Toastmasters and organizing voter registration drives, and she served as governor of the Mississippi Youth Legislature. Sims is majoring in biology.

Doris Raymond Honors Scholarship recipients are:

  • Amy Anastasia Jones-Burdick, of Huntington, West Virginia
  • Deshauna Shanice Lee Vaughn, of Mc Calla, Alabama
  • Vivienne Grace McCracken, of Austin, Texas
  • Maren Emily McSparin, of Edwardsville, Illinois
  • Molly Elizabeth Medling, of Newbern, Tennessee
  • Tristan Danh Tran, of Pass Christian

Jones-Burdick is a graduate of Huntington High School, where she was in the National Honor Society, International Thespian Society, Distinguished Honors Society and Latin Honorary/French Honorary. She is majoring in psychology.

Lee Vaughn graduated from Jefferson County International Baccalaureate School. Her honors include the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society and National Beta Club. She also was involved in Junior Achievement and the Shades Valley Multicultural Festival. Lee Vaughn is majoring in political science.

McCracken founded and served as president of the Songwriting Club, was president of the SHARE Service Club and was a Top 10 finalist in the Old Settler’s Festival while a student at Veritas Academy. She is majoring in art.

An Edwardsville Senior High School graduate, McSparin was an Illinois State Scholar and varsity field hockey captain, and was named to the High Honor Roll. She is majoring in chemical engineering.

Medling is a graduate of Dyer County High School, where she was in the Top 10 Percent, a DAR Good Citizen Award recipient and member of the National Honor Society. She is majoring in accountancy.

A Pass Christian High School graduate, Tran was an honor roll student. His activities included soccer, track and field, Red Cross volunteer and being an LAD Project tutor for children. Tran is majoring in pharmaceutical sciences.

Those receiving Harold Parker Memorial Scholarships are:

  • Luke Alexander Davis, of Lakeside, California
  • Julianna Grace French, of Malden, Missouri
  • Addison Paige Pratt, of Corinth

Davis graduated from Granite Hills High School, where he was an AP Scholar and Code Keeper and published material in Reflections Literary Magazine. He is majoring in journalism.

French graduated from Malden High School, where she was on the Principal’s Honor Roll, Who’s Who and Academic All-State in volleyball. French is majoring in chemistry.

Pratt is a graduate of Corinth High School, where she was in the Hall of Fame and a Fellowship of Christian Athletes champion. Her service activities included Country Cares for St. Jude, Adventure Camp recreation leader, Adult Bible Study worship leader and Vacation Bible School music leader. Pratt is majoring in integrated marketing communications.

Recipients of the Annexstad Family Foundation Leaders for Tomorrow Scholarship are:

  • Hannah Elise Harris, of New Albany
  • Ethan Chase Lambert, of Corinth
  • Peter Duy Nguyen, of D’Iberville

Harris is a graduate of New Albany High School, where she won the Girl Scout Award, was a STAR Student and on the Honor Roll. Harris had a perfect score on the state U.S. History Test and highest grade-point averages in anatomy and physiology, world history, Spanish II, Algebra III and Gifted English III. She is majoring in biomedical engineering.

Lambert is a graduate of Kossuth High School. On the All A Honor Roll, he was active in the football camp, mentoring program and community health fair. Lambert is majoring in chemical engineering.

A graduate of MSMS, Nguyen was a Questbridge National Match finalist and won honorable mention in the Eudora Welty Creative Writing Contest. He is majoring in international studies.

For more information about the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, visit http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/.