University of Arkansas Honors College Selects 2018 Class of Fellows

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas Honors College has selected 88 exceptional high school students, 79 of them Arkansans, to receive prestigious Honors College Fellowships. The group boasts an average grade point average of 4.19 and an average composite ACT score of 33.83, making them one of the most competitive groups of Honors College Fellows to date.

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 members of this distinguished class plan to pursue a diverse range of subjects, from chemistry and biomedical engineering to global marketing, social work and architecture.

These new fellows have already accrued a variety of honors during their early years. Benjamin Allen of Bella Vista, for instance, was named to the Arkansas Times All-Stars Team for his extensive work in computer science and coding. Additionally, 25 members of the entering class of fellows were named National Merit Finalists.

Many of the Honors College fellows have also contributed to their local communities. Sara Ottinger of Texarkana wrote a doctor-approved book on nutrition and eating disorders in order to educate her peers. Many of the fellows have led clubs and participated in student government in their respective high schools, and several have held leadership positions at Boys State, Girls State and Arkansas Governor’s School. 

“Thirty percent of these recipients are the first in their family to attend college, and the cohort spans students from all corners of Arkansas” said Noah Pittman, assistant dean of the Honors College. “These students are recruited by top colleges and universities throughout the country, and awards such as the Honors College Fellowship allow us to attract Arkansas students of this caliber and keep them in state. Based on their academic accomplishments and their commitment to service, we are confident they will excel as leaders both on campus and throughout the community.”

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 2018 recipients, a total of 1,268 students have benefited from the Honors College Fellowship program. Recent fellows include Truman Scholars, Goldwater Scholars, a Schwarzman Scholar and an Olympic pole vaulter. Many alumni are pursuing higher degrees at top schools such as Harvard Law School, Johns Hopkins, Cambridge University, the California Institute of Technology and Tufts University School of Medicine.

The following are the members of the University of Arkansas Honors College Fellows Class of 2022, with their high schools and hometowns:

  • Leen Abochale, Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock
  • Ashtyn Adams, Van Buren High School, Van Buren
  • Benjamin Allen, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Bella Vista
  • Teia Anderson, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Hannah Baker, Marshall High School, Marshall
  • Tayden Barretto, Life Way Christian School, Centerton
  • Walker Bartels, Valley View High School, Jonesboro
  • Braden Bateman, County Line High School, Ratcliff
  • Kyle Burks, Har-Ber High School, Springdale
  • Savannah Busch, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Meghana Chithirala, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Benjamin Cloud, Grove High School, Jay, Oklahoma
  • Sienna Contreras, Haas Hall Academy, Fayetteville
  • Elizabeth Dominguez, Har-Ber High School, Springdale
  • James Donlon, White Station High School, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Andrew Elkins, Rogers High School, Lowell
  • Duru Erkan, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Regan Freeman, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • Mary Fuhrman, Cabot High School, Cabot
  • Michael Fuhrman, Bryant High School, Benton
  • Kristen Gates, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Gage Gattis, County Line High School, Charleston
  • Ellen Gray, Greenwood High School, Greenwood
  • Nikki Gross, Salem High School, Salem
  • William Hadley, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Ryan Harra, Olathe North High School, Olathe, Kansas
  • Jarrett Hoover, Conway High School, Conway
  • Richard Hopwood, Haas Hall Academy, Springdale
  • Madison Huckaby, C.E. Byrd High School, Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Jacob Jackson, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Benton
  • Salem Jackson, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Noah James, Booker T. Washington High School, Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Logan Jennings, Little Rock Central High School, Little Rock
  • Lindsey Jetton, Russellville High School, Russellville
  • William Jones, Veritas Press Scholars Academy, Sherwood
  • Mandeep Kaur, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Anthony Kopek, Springdale High School, Fayetteville
  • Avery Lang, Siloam Springs High School, Siloam Springs
  • Baylie Lanier, Prairie Grove High School, Prairie Grove
  • Zachary Lewandowski, Har-Ber High School, Springdale
  • Seo Yun Lim, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Katie Loethen, Haas Hall Academy, Springdale
  • Luke Long, Lakeside High School, Hot Springs
  • Spencer Loper, Shiloh Christian High School, Springdale
  • Carolyn Loudermilk, Eureka Springs High School, Eureka Springs
  • Ricardo Martinez, Northside High School, Fort Smith
  • Davin Means, Wynne High School, Wynne
  • Bilal Momand, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Jack Murphy, McGehee High School, McGehee
  • Stephanie Nguyen, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Sydney Nichols, Saint Mary’s Episcopal School, Marion
  • Dawson Oakley, Bryant High School, Benton
  • Sara Ottinger, Texas High School, Texarkana
  • Trevor Paulsen, Harrisburg High School, Harrisburg
  • Aubin Payne, Haas Hall Academy, Fayetteville
  • Dania Rahal, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Siddhant Ramesh, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • John Christopher Rothwell, Fayetteville High School, Fayetteville
  • Tanner Ruth, Conway High School, Conway
  • Kyle Sadler, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Little Rock
  • Amy Schexnayder, Little Rock Central, Little Rock
  • Wesley Schwartz, Southside High School, Fort Smith
  • Devin Sha, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, Stuttgart
  • Danielle Shaver, Houston High School, Collierville, Tennessee
  • Sailesh Sirigineedi, Haas Hall Academy, Rogers
  • Swetha Sirigineedi, Haas Hall Academy, Rogers
  • Jordan Smith, Monticello High School, Monticello
  • Michala Smith, Lake Hamilton High School, Hot Springs
  • Emily Snyder, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Karli Spann, Edmond North High School, Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Emily Spatz, Farmington High School, Farmington
  • Hawkin Starke, Bryant High School, Alexander
  • Preston Starkey, Greenbrier High School, Greenbrier
  • Virginia Stayton, Joplin High School, Joplin, Missouri
  • Cory Stephenson, Bentonville High School, Cave Springs
  • Anindhitha Sudhakaran, Frances Howell High School, O’Fallon, Missouri
  • Tanvi Sunkireddy, Bentonville High School, Bentonville
  • Brian Tarno, Tuckerman High School, Tuckerman
  • Mason Thomas, Centerpoint High School, Glenwood
  • Nicolaus Vail, Valley Springs High School, Western Grove
  • Christina Varghese, Life Way Christian School, Bentonville
  • Jarrod Varnell, Paris High School, Paris
  • Gabrielle Vatthanatham, Van Buren High School, Van Buren
  • Luke Welch, Bryant High School, Alexander
  • David Whelan, Springdale High School, Springdale
  • Breanna Williams, Alma High School, Rudy
  • Lucinda Williams, Haas Hall Academy, Springdale
  • Abby Wrzesinski, Hamburg High School, Lake Village

Noah Pittman, assistant dean of recruitment and retention
Honors College

Katie Wilson, associate director for student success
Honors College

Kendall Curlee, director of communications
Honors College


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