2023-2024 Emerging Scholars

Published: May 11, 2023

The Emerging Scholars Committee is pleased to announce College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) 2023-2024 Emerging Scholars. Nominated by faculty, students were selected based on their commitment to learning, perseverance, innovative thinking, leadership, and professionalism in and outside of the classroom.

2023-2024 Emerging Scholars

  • Alyssa Banga

“I am honored to receive this emerging scholar award. Thank you for the support that is provided for us students at CWI.”

  • Jennyfer Berg

“This award means proves to me that anything is possible! I am 38 years old, work full time, and have always feared Math. Being recognized by both my Math teachers is a big accomplishment and a reminder that anything is possible with patience and perseverance. I am grateful to both Diane Reinhart and Cathy Carson for their knowledge, support, and encouragement.”

  • Kaila Boeck

“I feel so blessed to be awarded as an Emerging Scholar. This scholarship enables me to continue pursuing a phenomenal career in Occupational Therapy so that I can give back to others. I am continually thankful for CWI's Occupational Therapy Assistant program, and the lengths our professors take to train us for career readiness.”

  • Griffin Dance

“News of receiving this scholarship came at the perfect time for me; I pour so much of myself into everything I do and the Associate of Science Nursing Program at CWI is no exception. This school year has been full of many personal and educational challenges for me, so it is extremely validating to know my dedication and hard work has been recognized. This scholarship will help me pursue my passion for nursing with all the more perseverance and grit. Thank you to those who have been rooting for me; you make all the difference.” 

  • Kristin Friesen

“Receiving this scholarship means to me that I am on the right career path and that dreams do come true. I look forward to giving back to the Treasure Valley as a registered nurse. Thank you so much!”

  • Breanna Fink

“As a first-generation high school graduate, and college student, this award means a lot to me. I don’t come from money, and my family didn’t have a college savings, so I am supporting my academic career entirely. This award encourages me to keep advancing in my education and is also a weight off of my shoulder in financials for the next year.”

  • Cassie Gaylord

“When I found out I was nominated for this scholarship I was so excited and proud of myself, but to be a recipient — it’s an amazing feeling. Honestly, I am at a loss for words; I feel proud of myself knowing that what I am doing here is being noticed and further proves to myself that I can achieve what I set my mind to.”

  • Megan Gibb

“Being selected and receiving the Emerging Scholar award is a significant milestone for me, and I feel incredibly honored and grateful for this recognition. This award serves as a powerful validation of not just my hard work and dedication, but also represents a crucial steppingstone in my academic journey, affirming my commitment to my field of study. The honor of receiving this award has given me a renewed sense of purpose and motivation to continue my academic pursuits with even greater enthusiasm and determination.”

  • Elliot Johnson

“This award means the world to me; it tells me that I’m doing well and this amazing school that I’ve been having the time of my life at is the right choice. Thank you all for an amazing year.” 

  • Rye Johnson

“When given the opportunity to further pursue education, I immediately never look back and now upon self-reflection, I never once regretted ever my decision. Receiving this scholarship has both revealed to me the vastness of my potential of mind and intellect along with opening the doors to multiple pathways towards brighter futures ahead for me.”

  • Jared Kipping

"Before I started at CWI, I had very little self-confidence that I would be successful at college and convinced myself that I would fail. This award means so much to me because it tells me that I was wrong, it tells me that I can do it and anyone else that puts their mind to it will be able to as well."

  • Jennifer Lowry

“Starting school later in life, I try not to take it for granted. I know that getting an education is a privilege and I am grateful for this great opportunity. I have had amazing instructors at CWI who truly care about their students' success. I specifically want to thank Jana McCurdy for nominating me for this award.”

  • Maxwell Moxley

“Being nominated for this award meant so much to me as an adult returning to college after having graduated high school nearly six years ago. I am incredibly grateful and honored for all the support in my college journey through CWI.”

  • Kmwee Paw
  • Sabrina Payne

“I was so excited. I had no idea I was even put in for it. What a blessing!”

  • Alex Pless

“Just getting nominated for this award meant a lot to me because I’ve been out of school for 10 years and having someone recognize my hard work was a huge confidence boost and it helps me strive to keep going!”

  • Derek Prano
  • Heidi Schaeffer

"As a first-time college student and an older adult, being recognized for my effort and dedication is an honor. I will use this experience to show my children that it is never too late to follow your dreams, and hard work pays off."

  • Stephanie Shinafelt

“Becoming an Emerging Scholar is very empowering, being noticed by your professors and your school is an amazing feeling. This award means so much to me because it just shows that I can do this — chase my dreams. It tells me that am where I am supposed to be, and I am being noticed for it! This is also a huge relief for my college expenses and tuition. I am beyond grateful for this and CWI!”

  • Jessica Tisch

“I’m honored to have been recognized and selected for the Emerging Scholars award. As a non-traditional student, it means so much to me to have the opportunity to come back to college and perform well.” 

  • Bennet White

“This award means so much to me as it was the first time I was nominated for something like this. It makes me feel proud to know that the hard work I put in is recognized by others.”

  • Michelle Wooton

"School has been hard for me this year, but receiving this gives me the motivation to keep going and becoming the best version of myself. This award means so much to me. I had no idea I was even nominated, and I was so overjoyed when I received the email that I was an Emerging Scholar at CWI. Thank you to my Professor, Mel Henderson, for believing in me and nominating me." 

  • Elijah Vorse

“Getting the award is an honor, and the responsibility that comes with it is encouraging.”

Each Emerging Scholar was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to use for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Congratulations to all those who were selected!

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