Two Bluefield College students have been recognized nationally for their excellence in the study of science and math. Lindsey Burris and Kelsee Smith have been named Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Scholars for 2011-’12 by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Appalachian College Association (ACA).
Through a generous grant from the NSF, the ACA presents STEM Scholar awards each year to students, preferably native to the Appalachian region, studying science, technology, engineering or math at one of the ACA-member colleges. The award, which features a $ 6,000 STEM Scholarship, includes study opportunities with other STEM Scholars and a requirement to present a STEM project at the annual ACA Student Summit in October 2011.
“The Selection Committee was favorably impressed by (their) application(s) and looks forward to (their) future in the STEM field,” said the ACA’s Dr. Irene Burgess about the two BC winners. “(Their) work reflects well on (their) institution and the Appalachian College Association.”
Burris, the daughter of Angie and Gary Burris of Grayson County, Virginia, is a rising senior at BC majoring in math with teacher licensure. She is also a member of the Lady Rams varsity softball team.
“It’s really an honor to receive a scholarship like this,” said Burris, “and it couldn’t have come at a better time.”
As part of the application process, the students had to submit an essay describing their career aspirations, the steps they have taken to achieve their career goals, and the potential benefits to Appalachia because their degree and career choice. They also had to demonstrate financial need and a dedication to living, working and serving in the Appalachian region. In addition, the students had to have two letters of recommendation and a grade point average of at least 3.0.
“I am so grateful for this award,” Smith said. “Not only is it a huge honor, but it also has tremendous value. Six thousand dollars is an unreal amount of money to be awarded, and all I can say is ‘thank you’ to the selection committee and to my Heavenly Father for richly blessing my life.”
Smith, from Saltville, Virginia, is the daughter of Tammy and Garland Hogston and Shannon Smith. She is a rising junior majoring in biology at BC. She also is a 2010 BC Spire Scholarship recipient, a biology tutor, and a frequent member of the President’s List for maintaining an outstanding academic grade point average. In addition, Smith is Bluefield College’s first student to be on track for acceptance into the new Appalachian School of Pharmacy.