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Boise State Alumni Association honors Top 10 Scholars at virtual May 7 event

Ten Boise State University graduating seniors will be recognized for their exceptional academic success at the annual Top Ten Scholars reception at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 7, in a first-ever virtual event that simultaneously will be streamed on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

The Top Ten Scholars honors students’ academic excellence and the tremendous influence mentoring faculty members have had on their success. Presented by the Boise State Alumni Association, the awards ceremony will feature remarks from each student honoree as well as remarks from Boise State President Dr. Marlene Tromp and Lisa Gardner, executive director of the Boise State Alumni Association and Office of Alumni Relations.

Students are nominated by their college deans and are subject to rigorous review by a selection committee. To qualify for consideration, a student must have a 3.8 or higher grade point average. Nominees then are reviewed based on academic breadth of coursework, research, creative works and publications, presentations at professional meetings or conferences, and extracurricular community and campus service.

“Student recipients should feel extremely proud knowing that they are deemed the top of their graduating class,” said Gardner. “They have had extraordinary experiences through their undergraduate studies with Boise State University, and we hope that they continue to share their wisdom and energy with their colleagues and alma mater as they move forward through their lives and career paths as Boise State alumni.”

2020 Top Ten Scholar Honorees

Georgia Zacest

Georgia Jaye Zacest, Auckland, New Zealand
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in History and English Literature
Future Plans: Zacest will begin law school in fall 2020, with hopes to pursue a legal career focused on expanding social justice through public interest and human rights law.
Honored Faculty: Shelton Woods, history professor and associate dean of the Honors College

Tyler Chapman

Tyler Chapman, Hagerman, Idaho
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Games, Interactive Media, and Mobile (GIMM); Bachelor of Business Administration in Information Technology Management
Future Plans: Chapman will attend graduate school at Iowa State University, studying human computer interaction in hopes to develop virtual simulations for training in various fields such as aerospace and athletics.
Honored Faculty: Anthony Ellertson, clinical associate professor and GIMM program director

Kaelee Novich

Kaelee A. Novich, Nampa, Idaho
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Future Plans: Novich plans to earn a doctorate in materials science and engineering with an emphasis in nuclear engineering and policy management at Boise State.
Honored Faculty:  Brian Jaques, assistant professor of material science and engineering

Emily Pape

Emily Pape, Boise, Idaho
Degree:  Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Economics
Future Plans: Pape will attend the University of Chicago to pursue a master’s degree in public policy.
Honored Faculty: Brian Wampler, research director and professor of political science

Kendra Noneman

Kendra Noneman, Eagle, Idaho
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering
Future Plans:  Noneman will pursue a doctorate in neural computation and machine learning at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She also has aspirations to compete in Olympic weightlifting competitions.
Honored Faculty: Eric Jankowski, assistant professor of material science and engineering

Austin Lamb

Austin Lamb, Fargo, North Dakota
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Spanish
Future Plans:  Lamb has accepted a fellowship to study political theory at Boston College, which he will attend after a year of service in AmeriCorps through Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest. He aims to become a university professor.
Honored Faculty: Scott Yenor, professor of political science

Tanya Lu

Tonglin (Tanya) Lu, China
Degree:  Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering
Future Plans: Lu will be pursuing a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.
Honored Faculty: Kris Campbell, professor of electrical and computer engineering

Arlen Donald

Daniele Moro, Avezzano, Italy
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Future Plans: Moro will begin working full time at Google as a software engineer conducting machine learning research for YouTube and Stadia. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in machine learning in his free time, and eventually a doctorate in natural language processing.
Honored Faculty: Kate Huebschmann, academic and fellowship advisor for the Honors College

Erica Korbel

Erica Korbel, Las Vegas, Nevada
Degree:  Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a pre-allied health emphasis
Future Plans: Korbel plans to gain exposure to healthcare systems working as a nursing assistant and eventually attend medical school.
Honored Faculty: Chris Hyer, associate director of the Honors College

Savannah Willits

Savannah Willits, Boise, Idaho
Degree:  Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and Community Development
Future Plans: Willits will continue to strengthen ties across disciplines, communities and eras by pursuing a joint master’s degree in architecture history and a law degree in historic preservation.
Honored Faculty: Samia Islam, associate professor of economics