2019-2020 Emerging Scholars

Published: May 9, 2019

The Emerging Scholars Committee is pleased to announce College of Western Idaho’s 2019-2020 Emerging Scholars. Recognized during the Connections Project awards ceremony on April 25, students were nominated by faculty for their commitment to learning, demonstration of excellence in their discipline or program, and creative approaches to assignments. Selection is based on perseverance, innovative thinking, and professionalism both in and outside the classroom – not primarily on academic status. Each of this year’s 15 Emerging Scholars will receive a $600 scholarship to be applied toward their tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Myckol Rodriguez
English, Spanish
(nominated by Abby Wolford, Assistant Professor of English, and Janel Holt, Assistant Professor of Spanish)
“Myckol consistently brought a unique perspective to English Literature. Some of the stories were dense for native English speakers, and he always worked through them and brought his joy for learning to class.”

Krymsun Schaefer
(nominated by Liza Long, Instructor of English)
“One of Krymsun’s academic strengths is her empathy. Because of her own life challenges, she accepts others regardless of their views with truly extraordinary equanimity and compassion. She has also demonstrated this kind of resilience through significant life challenges that will benefit her not only in her schooling but in her future career.”

Erin Lemp
Public Health
(nominated by Liza Long, Instructor of English)
"Erin's passion and perseverance are truly exceptional. When she started at CWI, she planned to earn a B.S. in Nutrition, but as she conducted outside research about careers that fit her academic strengths and personality, she changed her goals to pursuing a medical degree as a doctor of osteopathy. Her commitment to extracurricular research is truly extraordinary.”

Ashton Syed
(nominated by Karl von der Ehe, Instructor of English)
“Ashton has expanded upon knowledge learned in English 202 and has begun to implement it outside the classroom. He has embraced many facets of technical communication to assist him in building the foundation for his start-up business.”

Jeff Cullers
(nominated by Johnny Rowing, Associate Professor of Communication)
“Jeff is a remarkable person and student. I certainly hope that is above and beyond effort in his courses will be honored. He is the epitome of an Emerging Scholar.”

Jared Fairbanks
Liberal Arts
(nominated by Kevin Rensink, Instructor of Business)
“Jared is very helpful and professional in class and out side of the classroom - he is dedicated to whatever job he is taking on, helpful in many situation and very professional in his mannerisms, conversations with other students and helpful to anyone in need.”

Morgan Overton
Drafting Technology
(nominated by Jo Greer, Instructor of Drafting Technology)
“Morgan is the most committed student in our class. She completes her work and asks for additional assignments in order to generate a stronger skill set. As a first year student, Morgan is one of the few students that have obtained employment as a student drafting intern. She exceeds all expectations and tackles every task with a focused drive that motivates other students.”

Nathan Kipping
Heavy Duty Truck Technician
(nominated by Alex Beal, Department Chair of Diesel Technology, and Rocky Church, Instructor of Heavy Duty Truck Technician)
“Nathan is a non-traditional student changing careers and has faced significant challenges taking time off to complete the truck technician course. He has been untiring in asking questions and really wanting to understand the material and complete projects.”

Samuel Stone
(nominated by Danielle Alba, Instructor of Biology)
“Sam's commitment, kindness, and talent drives me to be a better instructor. Mentorship is one of my most fulfilling experiences in my profession and students such as Sam inspires me to push my professional development and innovation in the classroom each week.”

Zahra Rahmani
Computer Science
(nominated by Janel Holt, Assistant Professor of Spanish, and Gary Thomas, Instructor of Math)
“Zahra understands the vital necessity of education for her success and it is immediately apparent that she will do whatever it takes to realize her dreams. I have no doubt that she will complete her studies with excellent scholarship and help those around her as she does so.”

Nickola Chin
Biology-MMBS, Biology-Healthcare
(nominated by Jana McCurdy, Instructor of Psychology)
”Nickola is professional, thoughtful, and willing to share unpopular or unique viewpoints. She is brave in speaking up even when her perspective is in the minority.”

Sara Knowlton
Biology-Human Biology,
(nominated by Kate Orduno, Instructor of Math, and John Shaskus, Instructor of Chemistry)
“Sarah is an enthusiastic and engaged student. She comes to class prepared and is happy to come early or stay late if there's something she wants to clarify further. I am impressed by Sarah's work ethic and her interest in learning, not just passing the class. She has a great attitude and willingness to help others.”

Erin Gee
(nominated by Heather Schoenherr, Associate Professor of Psychology)
Erin is mature, professional, sensitive, and a leader. She can confront her teammates without isolating them. She can delegate tasks while simultaneously promoting cohesion. She can advocate for her team’s needs without complaining. Her attitude about learning is contagious to all around her. She exemplifies what it means to be a student.”

Annahi Cantu
Liberal Arts
(nominated by Liza Long, Instructor of English)
“The challenges that Annahi has already overcome as a student would never be evident to the casual observer… (“It was like a switch had been turned on and I could finally see what was possible if I worked hard enough,” she told me.) …they contribute to her extraordinary abilities as a student – she is that motivated, positive, and bright.”

Christopher Valenzuela
(nominated by Ed Pack, Instructor of Business)
“Chris is a single father and working two jobs while trying to make a better life for his son. By knowing that an education is the right path to making that happen, Chris is also currently delaying his opportunities for additional current income by working hard in his current classes. Chris's efforts both within and outside the classroom are among the best that I have recently witnessed.”

Read more about these outstanding students by visiting the Emerging Scholars webpage.

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