Top Ten Scholars

Celebrating Excellence

Presented by the Boise State Alumni Association and Boise State Honors College, the Top Ten Scholar Award is one of the highest academic honors granted to a Boise State University undergraduate student. Each spring the recipients are recognized, along with their honored faculty, at the annual Top Ten Scholars Award Ceremony.

What Makes a Top Ten Scholar?

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2019 Honorees

  • Cierra Abellera, Top Ten Scholar, Studio Portrait, Photo by Priscilla Grover

    Cierra Abellera

    Degree: Bachelor of science in psychological science
    Future Plans: Pursue a Ph.D. in social-psychology, specializing in the psychology of peace and prevention of violence.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. April Masarik, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

    Degree: Bachelor of science in psychological science
    Future Plans: Pursue a Ph.D. in social-psychology, specializing in the psychology of peace and prevention of violence.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. April Masarik, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

  • Nardos Ashenafi, Top Ten Scholar, Studio Portrait by Priscilla Grover

    Nardos Ayele Ashenafi

    Degree: Bachelor of science in mechanical engineering
    Future Plans: Pursue a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at Boise State University.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Krishna Pakala, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering

    Degree: Bachelor of science in mechanical engineering
    Future Plans: Pursue a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at Boise State University.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Krishna Pakala, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering

  • Jaraka Ball, Top Ten Scholar, studio portrait by Priscilla Grover

    Jaraka Ball

    Degree: Bachelor of arts in elementary education TESOL/ESL with a certificate in ESL
    Future Plans: Teach internationally then return to teach English as a second language in Boise.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Margaret Mulhern, Clinical Professor in the Department of Literacy, Language and Culture

    Degree: Bachelor of arts in elementary education TESOL/ESL with a certificate in ESL
    Future Plans: Teach internationally then return to teach English as a second language in Boise.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Margaret Mulhern, Clinical Professor in the Department of Literacy, Language and Culture

  • Alecia Fox, Top Ten Scholar, Studio Portrait, Photo by Priscilla Grover

    Alecia Fox

    Degree: Bachelor of science in kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science, pre-physical therapy
    Future Plans: Obtain a doctoral degree in physical therapy from the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Scott Conger, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology

    Degree: Bachelor of science in kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise science, pre-physical therapy
    Future Plans: Obtain a doctoral degree in physical therapy from the University of Montana School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Scott Conger, Associate Professor, Department of Kinesiology

  • Samantha Headley, Top Ten Scholar, Studio Portrait, Photo by Priscilla Grover

    Samantha Headley

    Degree: Bachelor of science in civil engineering
    Future Plans: Work as a structural engineer at a local engineering firm.
    Honored Faculty: Christopher Hyer, Assistant Director, Honors College

    Degree: Bachelor of science in civil engineering
    Future Plans: Work as a structural engineer at a local engineering firm.
    Honored Faculty: Christopher Hyer, Assistant Director, Honors College

  • Marinda Hollar, Top Ten Scholar, studio portrait by Priscilla Grover

    Marinda Hollar

    Degree: Bachelor of arts in political science and a bachelor of arts in Spanish, with a certificate in nonprofit management
    Future Plans: Serve with the Peace Corps in Indonesia before attending law school focusing on immigration, refugee and human rights law.
    Honored Faculty: Annal Frenz, Associate Director, Honors College

    Degree: Bachelor of arts in political science and a bachelor of arts in Spanish, with a certificate in nonprofit management
    Future Plans: Serve with the Peace Corps in Indonesia before attending law school focusing on immigration, refugee and human rights law.
    Honored Faculty: Annal Frenz, Associate Director, Honors College

  • Sarah Knue, Top Ten Scholar, Studio Portrait, Photo by Priscilla Grover

    Sarah Knue

    Degree: Bachelor of science in civil engineering
    Future Plans: Work as a water resources engineer, focusing on environmental stewardship and resiliency combining her background in hydraulics with environmental advocacy and outreach.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Krishna Pakala, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering

    Degree: Bachelor of science in civil engineering
    Future Plans: Work as a water resources engineer, focusing on environmental stewardship and resiliency combining her background in hydraulics with environmental advocacy and outreach.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Krishna Pakala, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering

  • Nitya Nukala, Top 10 Scholar, Studio Portrait, Photo by Priscilla Grover

    Nitya Bhargavi Nukala

    Degree: Bachelor of business administration in supply chain management
    Future Plans: Find a job that challenges her intellectual capacities each day and helps her with applying her knowledge in various avenues of Supply Chain Analytics.
    Honored Faculty: Kate Steven, Academic Support Coordinator, Advising and Academic Support Center

    Degree: Bachelor of business administration in supply chain management
    Future Plans: Find a job that challenges her intellectual capacities each day and helps her with applying her knowledge in various avenues of Supply Chain Analytics.
    Honored Faculty: Kate Steven, Academic Support Coordinator, Advising and Academic Support Center

  • Elena Paz Munoz, Chemistry Senior, Top Ten Scholar, Studio Portrait, Photo by Priscilla Grover

    Elena Paz Muñoz

    Degree: Bachelor of science in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry
    Future Plans: Pursue research opportunities at the Oregon Health and Science University and apply to medical school to eventually open clinics in underserved areas.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Ken Cornell, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

    Degree: Bachelor of science in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry
    Future Plans: Pursue research opportunities at the Oregon Health and Science University and apply to medical school to eventually open clinics in underserved areas.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Ken Cornell, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

  • Janice Witherspoon

    Janice Witherspoon

    Degree: Bachelor of arts in communication and a bachelor of science in political science, public law and political philosophy
    Future Plans: Pursue a career in public service.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Manda Hicks, Associate Professor and Director of Forensics, Department
    of Communication and Media

    Degree: Bachelor of arts in communication and a bachelor of science in political science, public law and political philosophy
    Future Plans: Pursue a career in public service.
    Honored Faculty: Dr. Manda Hicks, Associate Professor and Director of Forensics, Department
    of Communication and Media

Nardos Ayele Ashenafi

Top Ten Scholar and a 2019 Commencement Speaker

Boise State University is proud to present Nardos Ayele Ashenafi as one of two Boise State spring 2019 commencement speakers. Ashenafi graduates summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering.