ASC Porter Scholars excel across the board

(09-25-2008)

Adams State College 2008 Porter Scholars -- From left: Janice Gautreaux, Kerry Sheader, Sandra Montoya, Chris Ivers, Jessica Adams, Amber Harlan, Paul Kobe (not pictured: Anna Dean, Jennifer Ives, Marie Newby, Jason Nottingham)

Adams State College 2008 Porter Scholars -- From left: Janice Gautreaux, Kerry Sheader, Sandra Montoya, Chris Ivers, Jessica Adams, Amber Harlan, Paul Kobe (not pictured: Anna Dean, Jennifer Ives, Marie Newby, Jason Nottingham)

If your image of a brainy science student is an introverted book worm with a pocket protector, Adam State College's Porter Scholars will shatter that stereotype. The 2008 Porter Scholars are confident, outgoing, and excel in pursuits ranging from music to athletics. Nearly all of them have at least two majors, and seven of the eleven are women.

"These students all have a good idea of what they want to do and are fully engaged in the college experience," said Adam State President, Dr. David Svaldi. The 2008 Porter Scholars and members of the selection committee were honored at a barbeque at the president's home, Sept. 22.

The Porter Scholars program was created in 2007 by the largest gift in the college's history: 250,000 shares in E*TRADE Financial Corporation worth $5.8 million. William and Joan Porter made the donation specifically to help mathematics and science majors "on the basis of their need and their ongoing academic achievement." Mr. Porter earned a degree in mathematics from Adams State in 1951. He is chairman emeritus and founder of E*TRADE and founder of the International Securities Exchange.

The program awarded a total of $30,000 toward students' college expenses this year, according to Dr. Brent Ybarrondo, chair of the Biology/Earth Sciences department.

The first class of Adams State Porter Scholars includes five freshmen: Anna Dean, biology; Amber Harlan, cellular & molecular biology; Marie Newby, biology; Jason Nottingham, pre-engineering; and Kerry Sheader, who has three majors: geology, art, and interdisciplinary studies - philosophy/history.

Sophomore Paul Kobe also has three majors: organismal biology, music composition, and music performance. Juniors are Jessica Adams, cellular & molecular biology; and Chris Ivers, organismal biology & biochemistry. The senior scholars are Janice Gautreaux, geology and geography; Jennifer Ives, geology with a biology minor; and Sandra Montoya, oganismal biology with a chemistry minor.

"Porter Scholars is essentially an honors program that will help us recognize academic performance, regardless of need," Ybarrondo said.

All Porter Scholars will have special academic opportunities, including focused academic programs off campus, independent study, and research on advanced topics. Plus, Porter Scholarships are awarded to students with unmet financial need, as calculated through the financial aid process. The amount of aid awarded each year will vary, depending on the number of qualified applicants and the endowment's earnings in the previous year. Upperclasssmen must achieve a GPA of 3.0 in math and science courses, and 3.0 overall, while new students are selected based on a combination of grades and ACT/SAT scores.

"The focused topic component is part and parcel of private liberal arts colleges; what sets them apart. The Porter Scholars program gives students an extraordinary opportunity to come to a place as inexpensive as Adams State and have the same experiences," Ybarrondo said.

Dr. Matt Nehring, professor of physics and chair of Chemistry, Computer Science and Mathematics, added: "There is no way in the world Adams State could offer this program without a private donation. The Porters' gift will give our students opportunities they wouldn't have otherwise."

Porter Scholars Program

By Julie Waechter