University of Arkansas Honors College Selects 2017 Class of Fellows

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas Honors College has selected 85 exceptional high school students to be the 2017 class of Honors College Fellows. More than 80 percent of them are recent graduates of Arkansas high schools, and nearly 20 percent are the first in their family to attend college.

“This year’s group of new fellows boasts an average grade point average of 4.19 and an average composite ACT score of 34.06,” said Noah Pittman, assistant dean of the Honors College. “Such high-performing students are recruited by top universities all across the country, and awards such as the Honors College Fellowship help us compete with these schools to keep Arkansas students of this caliber in state. Given their intellectual prowess and passion for service we are confident they will excel both on campus and in the wider community.”

The members of this distinguished class are pursuing a wide range of academic interests, from physics and audio engineering to music, political science and architecture. Six of the fellows were named to the Arkansas Times All-Stars Team: Avery Elliott and Jared Gilliam from Cabot; Carson Molder from Mabelvale;  Megan Olsen from Fayetteville; Grant Robinson from Searcy; and Preston Stone from Benton. Many of the fellows have already made strides in the world of higher academics. Olsen, for example, is the co-author of a paper on fractal self-assembly, which was published in the proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on DNA Computing and Molecular Programming. 

The Honors College fellowship of $70,000 largely covers tuition, registration, books, and room and board over four years, granting these students the freedom to pursue original research, study abroad, service learning and other academic interests. The fellowship funds can also be combined with other scholarships and grants, such as the more than $1 million in study abroad and research grants that the Honors College awards to students each year.

The Honors College Fellowships were made possible by a portion of the Walton Family Charitable Support Foundation’s $300 million gift to the university in 2002. The fellowship application process is rigorous. Students must score at least a 32 on the ACT and have a minimum 3.8 grade point average to apply, and Honors College administrators and faculty review each student application for evidence of intellectual curiosity, leadership potential and community involvement. The selection process also involves a writing test and campus interview for finalists in early March.

Including the 2017 recipients, a total of 1,180 students have benefited from the Honors College Fellowship program. Recent fellows include Truman Scholars, Goldwater Scholars and an Olympic pole vaulter. Many alumni are pursuing higher degrees at top schools such as the California Institute of Technology and Tufts University School of Medicine.

The University of Arkansas Honors College Fellows Class of 2021, with their high school and hometown:

  • Michael Achterberg, County Line High School, Cecil
  • Jessi Amason, Arkansas School for Math and Science, Benton
  • Nathan Barker, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Stephanie Beitle, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Shiloh Bemis, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • William Blasingame, Liberty High School, Plano, Texas
  • Gianna Busch, Bishop Kelley High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Caroline Campbell, Bryant High School, Benton
  • Davis Campbell, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Lynae Carlson, Olathe South High School, Olathe, Kansas
  • Winson Chee, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • James Chesshir, Little Rock Christian Academy, Little Rock
  • Adam Coffman, Olathe North High School, Overland Park, Kansas
  • Cara Coffman, George Ranch High School, Sugar Land, Texas
  • Brant Collins, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Ethan Collins, Har Ber High School, Springdale
  • Jeremy Collins, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Caroline Crawford, Stratford High School, Houston, Texas
  • Sydney Darling, Bentonville High School, Centerton
  • Robert Davidson, Little Rock Central, Roland
  • Denver Eagar, Greenwood High School, Booneville
  • Amy Eggers, Maumelle High School, Maumelle
  • Avery Elliott, Cabot High School, Cabot
  • Karleigh Ferrell, Concord High School, Concord
  • Michael Fredricks, Cabot High School, Cabot
  • Tyler Gerth, Bartlesville High School, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
  • Jared Gilliam, Cabot High School, Cabot
  • Heather Glenn, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Jackson Gregory, Arkansas School for Math & Science, Hot Springs
  • Josephine Hall, Huntingtown High School, Prince Frederick, Maryland
  • Andrew He, Little Rock Central, Little Rock
  • Amy Hendricks, Glen Rose High School, Malvern
  • Kayla Ho, Van Buren High School, Van Buren
  • William Hoisington, Bentonville High School, Rogers
  • Hannah Hulbert, Haas Hall Academy, Siloam Springs
  • Jacob Huneycutt, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Rachael Koehler, Saxony Lutheran High School, Jackson, Missouri
  • Sarah Komar, Park Hill South High School, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Abigail Kotar, Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas
  • Lillian Larson, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Grayson Lee, Rogers High School, Rogers
  • Ryan Leggitt, Greenbrier High School, Greenbrier
  • John Magness, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Huy Mai, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Kara Maurer, Bryant High School, Bryant
  • Malachi Maurice, Elkins High School, Fayetteville
  • Rachel McCann, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Jett McCullough, Salem High School, Salem
  • Timothy McMullen, Union High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Katherine McTigrit, Star City High School, Star City
  • Jack Meullenet, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Justin Mitchell, Haas Hall Academy, Rogers
  • Carson Molder, Bryant High School, Mabelvale
  • Jesse Morrison, Little Rock Central, Roland
  • Taylor Mosley, Arkansas School for Math & Science, Conway
  • Christopher Nosari, Mountain Home High School, Mountain Home
  • Sylvia Nupp, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Meagan Olsen, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Olivia Overton, Pulaski Academy, Alexander
  • Gustavo Perez, Horatio High School, De Queen
  • Lawson Porter, Edward Marcus High School, Flower Mound, Texas
  • Jacob Purifoy, Ashdown High School, Ashdown
  • Samuel Raney, Catholic High School, Little Rock
  • Madeline Richards, Bentonville High School, Rogers
  • Emily Richey, Paris High School, Paris
  • Grant Robinson, Searcy High School, Searcy
  • Megan Rodgers, Siloam Springs High School, Siloam Springs
  • Clay Schuler, Episcopal Collegiate School, Little Rock
  • Shiva Shanmuganathan, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • John Shelnutt, Episcopal Collegiate School, Little Rock
  • Logan Siems, Little Rock Central, Scott
  • Landon Skouras, Brinkley High School, Brinkley
  • Aidan Smith, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Tyler Stamps, Rogers High School, Rogers
  • Carl Stevens, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Preston Stone, Benton High School, Benton
  • Sara Swank, Plano Senior High School, Plano, Texas
  • Brittany Tian, Little Rock Central, Little Rock
  • Hayden Townsend, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Brandon Tran, Nettleton High School, Jonesboro
  • John Vogler, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Daniel Voss, Rockwood Summit High School, Fenton, Missouri
  • Brandon Ward, Bentonville High School, Centerton
  • Logan Watts, Arkansas School for Math & Science, Little Rock
  • Ayman Yousef, Little Rock Central, Little Rock

About the Honors College: The University of Arkansas Honors College was established in 2002 and unites the university’s top undergraduate students and professors in a learning environment characterized by discovery, creativity and service. Each year the Honors College awards up to 90 freshman fellowships that provide $70,000 over four years, and more than $1 million in undergraduate research and study abroad grants. The Honors College is nationally recognized for the high caliber of students it admits and graduates. Honors students enjoy small, in-depth classes, and programs are offered in all disciplines, tailored to students’ academic interests, with interdisciplinary collaborations encouraged. Fifty percent of Honors College graduates have studied abroad – three times the national average – and one hundred percent of Honors College graduates have engaged in mentored research.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Noah Pittman, assistant dean of recruitment and retention
Honors College

Samantha Kirby, editor
Honor College


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