The fall 2022 incoming Haslam Scholars have plans to change the world through health care, business administration, political science, engineering, and the nonprofit sector. Each year, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s premier undergraduate honors program undertakes a rigorous process to select its 15 incoming students, and this spring is no exception. Twelve are from Tennessee, and the remaining three are from Kentucky, Ohio, and Texas.
Founded in 2008, the Haslam Scholars Program was created with a generous gift from Jimmy and Dee Haslam and Jim and Natalie Haslam.
“The Haslam Scholars Program develops community-minded and intellectually gifted young leaders who will contribute to the state of Tennessee and beyond,” said Amber Williams, vice provost for student success. “This new cohort exemplifies the program’s mission. I can’t wait to see how they’ll leverage their leadership at UT.”
The program—one of four university-wide honors programs at UT—creates transformational learning experiences to develop each scholar’s academic and leadership potential with the ultimate goal of developing Tennessee’s leaders of tomorrow. Haslam Scholars receive an endowed scholarship that covers tuition, fees, housing, and funding to support individual research. They participate in an exclusive leadership-focused curriculum and a fully funded collaborative study abroad program and are guaranteed a paid internship at a leading Tennessee organization.
Since its founding, the program has produced three Rhodes Scholars and recipients of other prestigious awards such as the Fulbright, Goldwater, Truman, Udall, and Gates Cambridge Scholarships as well as the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship. Graduates have gone on to attend top graduate schools and hold high-profile positions in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
“This cohort of exemplary students joins an impressive group of current students and alumni who have represented the University of Tennessee as shining examples of the Volunteer creed,” said James Williams, faculty director for honors and scholars programs. “I am excited to get to know these unique individuals and support them as they develop their strengths, find their place at UT, and graduate to be scholars of the world.”
Meet the newest Haslam Scholars:
Moorea Artaza, of Austin, Texas, plans to major in nursing and continue her studies in Spanish. She aspires to become a bilingual traveling nurse, helping to improve health care in impoverished areas abroad. She has done charitable work for the National Charity League and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, where she was a nominee for Student of the Year in recognition of her leadership and fundraising endeavors. She has participated in Spanish immersion programs for two summers and served on her school’s Service Council and Young Life’s Work Crew. She was captain of the varsity cheer team and a member of Mock Trial and Honors Choir. In her free time, she enjoys hunting, baking, hiking, babysitting, and spending time with friends.
Alice Grace Beavers, of Athens, Tennessee, plans to major in food science and pursue a career as a physician. She attended McMinn County High School, where she served as student government president, an officer in both FFA and Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honors society, and she volunteers in her community through programs in 4-H, Athens City Youth Council, and the local Anchor club. The inventor of an organic hemp–derived medical serum called CannaSKIN, she was awarded second place at the Chattanooga STEM Fair competition in biomedical science and is continuing research on the prototype. In her free time, she loves to write music, play various instruments, run her small photography business, and care for her farm animals. While attending UT, she hopes to participate in undergraduate research while meeting new students through volunteer programs on campus.
Keegan Collins, of Dublin, Ohio, plans to major in business administration. He was the captain of his high school football team, was selected for the Handshake America scholarship program, and represented the visual arts on his school’s Principal Advisory Council. He has received the All-District Scholar–Athlete Award and his high school’s Celebration of Excellence Award and is a member of the National Honor Society. He serves his local community of people with diverse abilities, volunteers for religious organizations, and is involved with school-affiliated clubs and sports. He is employed as an independent service provider for individuals with Down syndrome.
Caleb DeLong, of Knoxville, plans to double major in music performance and political science. He currently serves as principal French horn in the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra and has earned placement in both All-East and All-State Orchestras throughout high school. As a volunteer student teacher for a middle school music program, he helps young musicians learn an instrument while developing their appreciation for the arts. He was a Boy’s State delegate and has an interest in politics as well as a passion for the arts. He wants to advocate for improved arts funding in public schools, especially those in economically challenged areas. DeLong enjoys hiking in the mountains, visiting national parks, and playing disc golf.
Carson Fisher, of Hendersonville, Tennessee, intends to double major in computer science and political science. He is the co-founder and chair of the Tennessee Model UN and the Rhetoric Club, which seeks to revitalize Model UN programs after their rapid membership decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is a Tennessee state officer of the YMCA Center for Civic Engagement, president of the Model UN Security Council, and chief clerk of the Youth in Government Senate. His involvement includes serving as an intern with KS Ware and Associates; as National Honor Society president, Chess Club co-president, Model UN president, Debate Club vice president, and Spanish Honor Society vice president at Hendersonville High School; and as a member of the Sumner County Student Leadership Council. Focusing his volunteer efforts at Tennessee state historic sites, he serves as assistant director of camps and volunteer coordinator at Historic Rock Castle. In his free time, he enjoys attending Bible studies, kayaking, playing chess, and discussing politics with friends.
Addie Heehs, of Memphis, plans to major in finance and pursue a career in the nonprofit sector. She discovered her interest in nonprofit work through her involvement as fundraising chair for the St. Mary’s Community Fund, where she has helped raise over $100,000 for Memphis area nonprofits. She has served the community by providing free ACT tutoring and creating a fundraising project for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Passionate about water safety, she was captain of her varsity swim team, volunteered as a swim instructor, and worked as a lifeguard and swim coach. Her goal is to increase the swimming rates in Tennessee and beyond.
Frank Moser, of Brentwood, Tennessee, plans to major in chemical engineering and pursue a career in energy and sustainability. He served as president of his high school’s Science Olympiad team, leading the team in local, regional, and state competitions. He was debate captain and president of the Model United Nations Security Council. He mentors peers and middle school students on research and public speaking, volunteers at Second Harvest Food Bank, and serves on the Teen Advisory Board of the Brentwood Library. He is the oldest of four children and enjoys playing tennis, reading, and spending time with friends.
Lisa Patel, of Cookeville, Tennessee, plans to major in biomedical engineering and pursue a career in the medical instrument industry. Growing up with immigrant parents, she has a love of her Indian culture and helps organize Indian festivals in her town. Her love of culture carries over into her involvement in children’s theater musicals as well as her school’s choir. She has shown her leadership and interest in government as a Supreme Court justice at Volunteer Girls’ State, through her work as a registrar for her county’s election committee, and as president of her school’s Student Congress.
Gabby Pence, of Memphis, hopes to pursue a degree in biochemistry and a career in medicine as a pediatrician or obstetrician/gynecologist. She has been involved in theater and choir as well as her school’s prestigious a cappella group, OneVoice. Outside of school, she plays classical piano, leads music at her church, and volunteers as a tutor and mentor through local after-school programs. Her experience tutoring students at underserved schools fueled her desire to help mend disparities in health care. Her dream is to work with an organization such as Doctors Without Borders and provide medical care and training for underserved communities. Along these lines, she co-founded a school organization to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and participated in the St. Jude Leadership Society.
Tyler Porter, of Bowling Green, Kentucky, plans to major in business analytics and marketing. He was president of his high school’s student council, National Honor Society, and Future Business Leaders of America. He leads his school’s tech team by designing graphics for the video scoreboard and producing the livestream broadcast for the home sporting events. He is active in the Kentucky Youth Assembly and has served as a committee chair, campaign manager, and bill author. He serves on the leadership team of his church youth group and is a member of the tech team that livestreams Sunday morning services.
Elijah Smith, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, plans to study health sciences and preventative medicine. Having grown up in rural Appalachia, he is focused on improving community wellness. His self-started nonprofit agency offers free youth tennis clinics for beginners. He organized his county’s first community COVID-19 vaccination drive, works to combat food insecurity as a volunteer cook in a café where people eat regardless of their ability to pay, and co-founded and hosted a podcast featuring community leaders. He also led his varsity swim and tennis teams.
Dylan Stewart, of Knoxville, plans to pursue a double major in physics and philosophy. He led Hardin Valley Academy teams in ethical debate, excellence in mathematics, and mental health awareness and is a veteran of the Science Bowl and the PBS Scholars Bowl. In the larger Knoxville community, he enjoys volunteering for local organizations such as Big Brothers and Big Sisters of East Tennessee and the Greater Knoxville Citizens Climate Lobby chapter. In his spare time, he enjoys soccer and tennis and playing the piano and guitar as well as exploring the mountains and rivers of East Tennessee, backpacking, biking, and boating.
Kelly Su, of Knoxville, plans to major in sustainability with the hope of becoming a better custodian of the Earth. She is passionate about combating climate change and aspires to participate in conservation efforts, travel the world to better understand and propose sustainable practices, work under the climate division of the UN, and engage in grassroots activism. She played club and high school volleyball, served as a student government representative and officer, and competed in multiple Science Olympiad competitions. She enjoys running 5Ks, taking pictures, reading, and eating foods from other cultures.
Satchel Vaughn, of Nolensville, Tennessee, plans to major in business and become a corporate entrepreneur. She has been engaged in her community through organizations such as the National Honor Society, Hands-on Nolensville, and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. She excelled academically as an AP Scholar and attended the Governor’s School for the Arts in 2021. In high school she served as a band section captain and a member of the concert band’s wind ensemble and as a four-year member of the varsity track team. In her spare time she enjoys being outside, playing with her cats, and solving puzzles.
Jahneulie Weste, of Knoxville, plans to major in computer science with a minor in engineering entrepreneurship. She currently serves as the Knoxville Area Urban League youth ambassador on the National Urban League Youth Council. She was the president of Fulton High School’s National Honors Society chapter and served on the Student Advisory Council. She plans to become the founder and CEO of an IT company specializing in individualized online education and application development services and dedicated to helping underrepresented minorities navigate their way through a STEM professional environment. As a first-generation college student and American, she plans to create change in the world that will outlast herself and her family.
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