Fifteen students, including fourteen from Tennessee and one from North Carolina, have been named to the 2016 cohort of Haslam Scholars.
The Haslam Scholars Program is UT’s premier four-year scholarship program. Each year, the program admits fifteen first-year students and supports them with the university’s most prestigious and generous named scholarships.
Program benefits include generous financial support for research and a common study abroad experience. In addition, each Haslam Scholar receives a scholarship package that includes the cost of in-state tuition and fees and the average cost of on-campus housing.
The Haslam Scholars selection process includes an application with multiple essays and recommendations. Sixty students are selected and offered interviews. Of those interviewed, thirty students are invited to campus in early March for Selection Weekend, which includes interviews and other activities.
The 2016 cohort:
Aubrey Bader – From Myers Park High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, Bader is a self-taught guitarist and also played varsity tennis and lacrosse. She plans to major in engineering.
Thomas Clarity – At Christ School, Piney Flats, Tennessee, native Clarity served as a senior leader on the Judiciary Council and president of the TedEd Club. Clarity has conducted a sleep deprivation study, which he hopes to continue as he majors in neuroscience.
Justin Cross – From L&N STEM Academy in Knoxville, Cross served as the student body president and state president of Tennessee 4-H. Cross plans to major in public administration.
Ben Cruz – A Chattanooga native and a graduate of Ooltewah High School, Cruz is the founder of the Interfaith Society. He also participated in Model United Nations and the Robotics Club. Cruz plans to major in biosystems engineering.
Sophia Cui – At Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, Cui was the top player and captain of the tennis team. For two years, Cui has done microbiological research on vaccines against antibiotic-resistant infections. She is passionate about public health issues and will major in biological sciences.
Braden Lype – An Ooltewah, Tennessee, native and a graduate of Ooltewah High School, Lype has excelled in music, achieving superior ratings in festivals and competitions for his skills in playing the piano. He was also involved in Model United Nations and Math Club, played for his school’s tennis team, and volunteers at the Chattanooga Special Olympics. Lype plans to major in nursing.
Autumn Ragland – From Bolton High School, in Lakeland, Tennessee, Ragland spends a lot of her free time giving back to her community in various organizations like Habitat for Humanity and H20 for Life. Ragland plans to major in architecture.
Andrea Ramirez – At Cookeville High School in Cookeville, Tennessee, Ramirez is a member of the National Honor Society, National Spanish Honors Society, Student Government, and Interact Club. She hopes to become a pediatrician and will be a pre-medicine major.
Kaylie Richard – From Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Tennessee, Richard spends her free time teaching students with special needs how to swim. Richard has also organized a race to raise awareness about endometriosis. She hopes to continue medical research as she majors in biomedical engineering.
Chad Smith – From Tennessee High School in Bristol, Tennessee, Smith works with nonprofit organizations including Believe in Bristol and the Birthplace of Country Music Inc. Smith plans to major in education, health, and human sciences.
Oumar Souleymane Diallo – At Oak Ridge High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Souleymane Diallo was the vice president of the Mu Alpha Theta math club. He hopes to one day find different ways to improve life through the implementation of technology in various industries, including agriculture and medicine. He will be a computer science major.
Cole Tipton – At David Crockett High School in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Tipton led the marching band as drum major. He also maintains his own landscaping business during the summer. His love of gardening is why he plans to major in plant sciences.
Kellie Veltri – From Summit High School in Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, Veltri has logged more than 100 service hours. She was a National Merit Commended Scholar. Veltri plans to major in psychology and hopes to one day become a professor.
Taylor Washington – From Arlington High School in Arlington, Tennessee, Washington is an intern with Bridge Builders. She has created and facilitated workshops on sexual harassment and also tutors and supports Soles for Souls, an organization that provides shoes for the needy. She plans on majoring in political science.
Courtney Wombles – At Loudon High School in Loudon, Tennessee, Wombles was chosen as a Girls State delegate, Loudon County Board of Education student representative, and class valedictorian. She also served as president of the Health Occupations Students of America, which sparked her passion for medicine. She will major in biological sciences.
The program was created eight years ago with $2.5 million from Jimmy and Dee Haslam. Jimmy Haslam is president and CEO of Pilot Flying J. Dee Haslam is CEO of RIVR Media.
Jim and Natalie Haslam contributed an additional $2.5 million to support the program. Jim Haslam is the founder of Pilot Corporation.
Find more information about the Haslam Scholars Program here or visit the program’s Facebook page.
Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, email@example.com)
Sylvia D. Turner, Haslam Scholars Program, (865-974-2479, firstname.lastname@example.org)