ASC recognizes Porter Scholars for 2009

(12-09-2009)

Twelve exceptional science and mathematics students were named Adams State College's Porter Scholars for 2009. Adams State President David Svaldi honored the new scholars and their professors at a dinner in the college's Luther Bean Museum Oct. 28.

"This is one of the most enjoyable activities I host," Svaldi said. "These students are simply outstanding people. Bill and Joan Porter's generous donation makes this all possible."

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 Adams State science and mathematics faculty designed a program to achieve the Porters' goals and expand students' educational opportunities. Dr. Matt Nehring, professor of physics and chair of the Department of Chemistry, Computer Science & Mathematics, said: "The faculty on the Porter Scholars Committee have been meeting this fall to develop a strategy to attract and recruit incoming freshmen to the Porter Scholars Program. We hope to significantly increase the number of Porter Scholars next year, yet maintain our high academic standards for the program."

Adams State College's 2009 Porter Scholars

Adams State College's 2009 Porter Scholars include (from left, first row): Daniel Ramirez, Amber Harlan, Emily Sanchez, Jessica Adams, Jeremy Shaffer; (back row) Lorraine Glidewell, Paul Kobe, Kerry Sheader, Kayla Lanoue, Jenny Ives, Hil Lassek. Not pictured: Benjamin Naas.

The 2009 group includes five students who were also included in the program's inaugural selection in 2008: Jessica Adams, a senior majoring in cellular & molecular biology from Cimarron, N. M.; Amber Harlan a freshman majoring in cellular & molecular biology major from Monte Vista, Colo,; Jenny Ives, a senior geology major from Colorado Springs, Colo.; Paul Kobe, a junior with a triple major in organismal biology, music performance, and music composition from Columbia Station, Ohio.; and Kerry Sheader, a sophomore majoring in geology and art from Grand Junction, Colo.

Also chosen as 2009 Porter Scholars were Lorraine Glidewell, a sophomore majoring in wildlife biology and English from Pismo Beach, Calif., Kayla Lanoue, a junior geology major from Pueblo, Colo., Hil Lassek, a junior majoring in math, computer science, and business from Lincoln, Neb.; Benjamin Naas; Emily Sanchez, a junior molecular biology major from El Paso, Texas; Jeremy Shaffer, a junior majoring in biochemistry and biology from El Paso, Texas; and Daniel Ramirez, a freshman biochemistry major from Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Most of this year's Porter Scholars have their sights set on an advanced degree. They are also involved in a variety of college clubs, tutoring, volunteering, athletics, music, dance, and outdoor pursuits.

Academic Opportunities

All Porter Scholars have special academic opportunities, including focused academic programs off campus, independent study, and research on advanced topics. The program's initial First-year Experience Trip, last May, offered biology or geology credit for Natural History of the National Parks. A group of ten Porter Scholars explored Mesa Verde National Park, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Kerry Sheader and Emily Sanchez gave a joint presentation on the experience as part of a recent Lunchtime Talk in Science and Mathematics.

Two Porter Scholars also received assistance for summer 2009 academic experiences. Jenny Ives attended Fort Lewis College's summer geology field camp, and Jessica Adams participated in a two-week focused academic program at the Karolinska Institute and Novum Research Center in Sweden.

In addition, the program awards Porter Scholarships to students with unmet financial need, as calculated through the financial aid process. The amount of aid awarded each year varies, depending on the number of qualified applicants and the endowment's earnings in the previous year. Upperclassmen 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.

Porter Scholars Program

By Julie Waechter