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A hero shot sof campus, from the top of Hodges Library, showing Downtown Knoxville and campus which includes Haslam College of Business, Ayres Hall, Neyland Stadium, Claxton Education Building, Hesler Biology Building, Alumni Memorial Building
An aerial view of the University of Tennessee campus from the top of Hodges Library

This fall the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will welcome 15 incoming first-year students as its newest class of Haslam Leadership Scholars.

Established in 2008 with a gift from Jimmy and Dee Haslam and Jim and Natalie Haslam, the Haslam Leadership Scholars program aims to attract, cultivate and retain future Tennessee leaders. Participants receive an endowed scholarship that covers tuition, fees, and room and board as well as a paid internship and a study abroad experience.

“Every year we have the privilege to learn more about and engage with these talented and immensely accomplished applicants from Tennessee and beyond,” said Patrick Akos, associate vice provost and executive director of University Honors. “We have great confidence that these 15 scholars have demonstrated incredible leadership capacity and a desire to make a difference in Tennessee. The Haslam Leadership Scholars program will enter them into a community of leaders, push them to grow and develop within the campus community and support them fully to enable them to achieve their dreams.”

Haslam Leadership Scholars are routinely recognized as Torchbearers, the university’s highest student honor, and receive national scholarships and fellowships including the Udall, Fulbright, Critical Language and Rhodes scholarships. As Tennessee’s premier public university, UT is attracting more students than ever to its highly regarded academic programs and Volunteer experience.

Meet the newest class of Haslam Leadership Scholars

AndersonNoah Anderson of Memphis intends to major in food science. His passion for the subject stems from his love for cooking and gardening and his interest in innovative science. He founded and was co-captain of his high school’s first chess team, which competed in state and national tournaments. Anderson was an officer of his school’s Technology Student Association chapter and a media representative for the Student Government Association. He has also participated in cross-country and served as a student ambassador. Outside of school, Anderson participates in Bridges USA’s Bridge Builder Youth Leadership Program, volunteers as a chess coach and works with a nonprofit organization focused on promoting urban gardening. He has been recognized by the College Board with the National African American Recognition Award. In his free time, he enjoys reading, music, and caring for his chickens, turkeys and dogs.

BielWinter Biel of Brentwood, Tennessee, plans to major in finance with a minor in entrepreneurship. She attended the four-week Tennessee Governor’s School for Technological Innovation and Business Leadership, designing and prototyping a technologically advanced lifesaving first aid kit that she aims to bring to market. Her passion for business began at age 11, when she started operating her annual youth summer camp and teaching calligraphy courses. She served in her school’s Walk 4 Water club, raising money to build a well in South Sudan, and volunteers with the Brentwood Girls Coalition, raising $30,000 for Elijah’s Heart and thousands more for Mother to Mother. Winter has studied piano since age four and composes and gives lessons. In her free time, she plays competitive sand volleyball and volunteers at her local church and the Hands On Nashville Emergency Shelter.

ChatmanRyan Chatman of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, plans to major in architecture and hopes to pursue the profession along with interior design. Chatman was president of his school’s DECA chapter and was the first DECA member from his high school to reach the top 10 internationally within his competition. He enjoys sharing insights and creating knowledge within others and has done so through mentoring new students and leading younger academics in STEM fairs. He is also an active member of several clubs, including the Science National Honor Society, the Cultural Awareness Club and the National Honor Society. Outside of his career interests, Chatman enjoys expanding his knowledge of the French language, reading and creating self-representative art.

FranceMallori France of Kingsport, Tennessee, plans to major in biomedical engineering with interests in medical device design and therapeutics. Proudly hailing from the Appalachian Mountains, she is dedicated to creating positive change while preserving the region’s unique culture. She hopes to research alternative approaches to pain management to address the detrimental impact of opioid use on local communities. France excelled in her high school marching band, earning two national championship titles and gaining leadership experience as a section leader and equipment manager. She was active in various clubs and organizations, serving as an ambassador for Little Free Libraries through United Way Kingsport. She is a tutor and mentor of younger students and is driven to increase the footprint of women in STEM. France represented Tennessee as a U.S. Presidential Scholar candidate and is a National Merit Commended Scholar and AP Scholar with Distinction. In her spare time she enjoys weight training, and she holds four Tennessee state powerlifting records.

GannNicole Gann of Harriman, Tennessee, intends to major in biology on the pre-medicine track. With a passion for leadership and service, she has dedicated herself to volunteer work: she has spent over 150 hours volunteering at the Harriman Public Library, the Oliver Springs Community Ministry Food Pantry, and school, church and community programs. Gann served as her high school’s senior class treasurer, editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, and a member of Beta Club, student council, Scholars Bowl, and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America. Gann also had the privilege of being a member of Roane County Youth Leadership’s Class of 2022, serving as a delegate for the 2023 Tennessee Student Congress on Policies in Education. After college, she wishes to use her unique service and educational background to serve as a health care advocate for the Appalachian region.

GravesOwen Graves of Brentwood, Tennessee, is on the pre-medicine track with an intended minor in business administration in preparation for hospital administration or private medical practice. Graves is an Eagle Scout who has continued his dedication to scouting as an adult leader in his local Boy Scout troop. He has demonstrated a passion for community service through his dedication to veteran ceremonies, rescue mission service and disaster relief efforts. Additional leadership roles include serving as the senior class representative for his high school’s Student Government Association, a member of the Williamson County Schools Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, and the youth representative to the council-at-large of Brentwood United Methodist Church, where he also was a senior choir leader and percussionist. Graves received varsity letters in wrestling and track and has received recognition for his art while maintaining membership in the National Honor Society and receiving the AP Scholar Award.

HudsonCallie Hudson of Versailles, Kentucky, plans to major in agricultural business and pursue a career as an agricultural business consultant, with interests in entrepreneurship and international agriculture. Hudson served as class president at her high school and was an officer in Future Farmers of America; Family, Career and Community Leaders of America; and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She volunteers in her community through the National Honor Society and Beta Club. Hudson started her entrepreneurial journey early, opening her own design business. She is passionate about her faith, friends and family, agriculture, and business. While attending UT, she hopes to explore all of the new opportunities awaiting her and meet new students on campus.

KilburnKohen Kilburn of Chattanooga, Tennessee, plans to major in mechanical engineering. He was a senior leader of his high school’s ultimate Frisbee team. Through his advocacy, ultimate Frisbee became a varsity sport, and his teams attended tournaments across the region. As a senior, he served on the Student Council and in the Senior Leadership Program. He was a member of his high school’s chapter of the National Honor Society and was named an AP Scholar with Distinction. Kilburn served as president of his school’s Service and Business Club, organizing speakers and service opportunities. Through his efforts, he bridged a gap in the community between his high school and the surrounding area. In his free time, he enjoys sports and the outdoors with friends.

LeMarbreAnna LeMarbre of Nashville plans to major in finance. She is passionate about fusing business, Spanish and medicine to bridge health care gaps in underserved populations. As an officer for her high school’s two largest service programs, LeMarbre engaged in service activities and encouraged others to do the same. Additionally, she was a school ambassador. LeMarbre often invests her time at the Next Door Recovery Center in downtown Nashville. Through immersion trips to Guatemala and Spain, she has developed fluency in Spanish and deepened her understanding of their respective cultures. In both Guatemala and Nashville, LeMarbre interned with doctors to support mothers, giving her a holistic perspective on connecting with patients of varying backgrounds. She values time with family, attending Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings at her school and working alongside teammates.

MaitraGabriella Maitra of Silver Spring, Maryland, plans to double major in economics and public affairs. Within her school’s community, she was a student in the Communication Arts Magnet Program, served as a senior witness on the county’s first-ranked mock trial team, co-founded the Model UN team, managed a nationally recognized yearbook as editor-in-chief, and co-founded a club that works in conjunction with the National Art Honor Society to support local artists and their businesses. She has served as a captain and coxswain on both her school and club rowing teams and will continue coxing on the UT rowing team as a varsity athlete. Maitra is passionate about diversity within sport and has worked with the national organization Stem-to-Stern to fund and implement programs for low-income students interested in rowing. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading and traveling.

NimonOliver Nimon of Signal Mountain, Tennessee, intends to major in mechanical engineering. As his school’s Mechanics Club president, he led students in projects and car restorations. Over the past three years, he has developed a virtual reality teaching tool enabling users to move, expand and deconstruct complex 3D models and study their components in a virtual hands-on manner. Nimon plays chess regularly, qualifying for the annual state scholastic tournament four times, and won a state soccer championship with his school’s varsity team. He volunteers as a custodian at the Little Brown Church and as a blacksmith making period-appropriate hooks for a local nonprofit organization. Nimon is a National Merit Commended Scholar and an AP Scholar with honors. In his free time, he enjoys woodturning and mountain biking.

RaganWeston Ragan of Franklin, Tennessee, plans to major in supply chain management and minor in Spanish so he can pursue a career in international business. Ragan’s passion for international business stems from his cultural experiences as president of the National Spanish Honor Society and his time working at a UPS Store. By working at an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic, he recognized the importance of distribution in daily life and aims to solve the industry’s inefficiencies. In addition to global problem-solving, Ragan is active in his community as a youth representative on his church’s Leadership Council. He was a Student Council representative in high school and served as a leader for the Best Buddies organization. He is also a member of the National Honor Society and a National Merit finalist. In his free time, Ragan enjoys practicing Brazilian jiujitsu and playing basketball with friends.

RussellAinsley Russell of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, plans to major in public policy and religious studies. Passionate about politics and law, she has worked in two elections, attended Girls State, and served as a lead attorney on her school’s mock trial team. She hopes to use her degree to advocate for fair and equal representation under the law. She is a co-founder of a mental health club, aiming to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. She has served as president of the International Court of Justice at Model United Nations and president of her school’s Rho Kappa chapter. Russell has completed over 75 hours of service work and is a member of the National Honor Society. An AP Scholar with Distinction, she enjoys tutoring in her school’s writing lab. In her free time, she loves cooking, crocheting and discussing political issues with her friends.

SimmonsCade Simmons of Spencer, Tennessee, plans to major in public policy and use his education for a career in grassroots policy or lobbying work. He has served in national and statewide leadership roles, focusing his efforts on 4-H. He is currently serving as the 4-H state president for Tennessee and is one of eight members of the National 4-H Congress Design Team. Simmons is a state winner for leadership in Tennessee 4-H and has received Vol State distinction. He enjoys spending his time volunteering and has worked with community organizations including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Simmons has served as president of his high school’s Future Farmers of America chapter and as student council vice president, working toward making positive community impacts. He enjoys hiking and playing tennis in his free time.

TaylorEmi Taylor of Thompson’s Station, Tennessee, plans to major in computer science and minor in American Sign Language. She hopes to pursue a career in app development, where she can advance sign language translation apps to break down language barriers and expand the deaf and hard-of-hearing community’s ability to communicate. Taylor runs a social media platform called JaneTutorsYou that provides free educational resources and guidance relating to topics like history and calculus. She has been awarded the National Rural Recognition Award and is an AP Scholar with Distinction. Taylor participates in the National Honor Society and volunteers at The Well food pantry. In her free time, she listens to Jeff Buckely or the Sundays, codes pop quizzes and collects anything pink.


Maggie Palmer (865-974-3993,