Foundation News

14 Freshmen Receive Prestigious Engineering Scholarships

Exceptional Students Named Brevard, Adler and Harper Johnson Scholars
The 2018 John G. Adler, Brevard Family and Harper Johnson Engineering Scholarship recipients include (back row, from left): Leah Ladner, Spencer Johns, Henry Seiler, Adityya Surakanti and John Martin Paczak; (front row, from left): Doc Herrin, Anne Stewart Piazza, Cindy Nguyen, Jabria Thompson and Ajah Singleton.
The 2018 John G. Adler, Brevard Family and Harper Johnson Engineering Scholarship recipients include (back row, from left): Leah Ladner, Spencer Johns, Henry Seiler, Adityya Surakanti and John Martin Paczak; (front row, from left): Doc Herrin, Anne Stewart Piazza, Cindy Nguyen, Jabria Thompson and Ajah Singleton.

Fourteen University of Mississippi freshmen have been named recipients of top scholarships in the School of Engineering this fall.

Representing Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas, they are this year’s Brevard Family, John G. Adler and Harper Johnson scholars. The exceptional group of students posted an average ACT score of 33.4 and an average 3.92 high school grade-point average.

“We are excited to welcome these outstanding students to the School of Engineering,” said Ryan Upshaw, assistant dean for student services. Upshaw manages the School of Engineering’s recruitment efforts and coordinates the scholarship awarding process. “We look forward to their contributions to the school and to the university.”

Adityya Surakanti, a biomedical engineering major from Madison, is a Brevard Scholarship recipient. A STAR student and AP Scholar at Madison Central High School, he participated in the UM Summer College for High School Students engineering program and was part of the MCHS Engineering Academy. He is also a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

“I worked hard to receive scholarships to reduce the financial burden for my family,” Surakanti said. “When I found out that I was receiving this scholarship, I was elated, and it strengthened my commitment to Ole Miss.”

Other Brevard scholars are Wallace “Doc” Herrin of Picayune, Cindy Nguyen of D’Iberville, Henry Seiler of Tupelo and Lauren Skinner of Ocean Springs.

Herrin earned the status of salutatorian and served as student body president at Pearl River Central High School. He was also the student representative on the school board and attended the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference. He also plans to study biomedical engineering as part of the Honors College and has been accepted into the Chancellor’s Leadership Class.

Valedictorian of D’Iberville High School, Nguyen received numerous academic awards. She served as president of both the Key Club and the math and science team. She plans to study biomedical engineering as part of the Provost Scholars program.

STAR Student at Tupelo High School, Seiler was named an AP Scholar. He was also a member of the AP Science Club and served as a section leader for the marching band. He plans to study biomedical engineering as part of the Honors College.

Skinner was named valedictorian and STAR Student at St. Patrick Catholic School and attended the APEX Leadership Summit. She served as captain of the Science Olympiad and mentored a local Lego League team. She plans to study biomedical engineering as part of the Honors College.

Adler Scholar Spencer Johns of Little Cypress, Texas, hopes to pursue a career in the intelligence community after studying computer science and participating in the Center for Intelligence and Security Studies. He was named valedictorian at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School and attended both the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference and Texas Boys State. An Eagle Scout, he served as junior class president.

“I was overwhelmed when I received the email notifying me of the award,” Johns said. “It meant a lot to me that someone believed enough in my drive and experience that they would help support my further growth.”

Additional Adler scholars are Ashton Devall of Ethel, Louisiana, Leah Ladner of Gulfport, Bryson O’Malley of Mathews, Alabama, John Martin Paczak of Madison and Anne Stewart Piazza of Vicksburg.

Valedictorian of Centreville Academy, Devall was named STAR Student and served as senior class president and president of the Beta Club. She attended the APEX Leadership Summit. She plans to study chemical engineering as part of the Honors College.

Named to the Hancock High School Hall of Fame, Ladner was ranked sixth in her class and served as both president and regional governor of Mu Alpha Theta. She also served as treasurer of the Catholic Youth Organization. She plans to major in biomedical engineering as part of the Honors College.

O’Malley earned the status of salutatorian and served as National Honor Society vice president at Macon East-Montgomery Academy. He was selected to represent his school at the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference. He plans to pursue a degree in engineering as part of the Honors College.

A STAR Student at Madison Central, Paczak was named an AP Scholar and participated in the APEX Leadership Summit. He attended Youth Leadership Madison County and Mississippi Boys State. He plans to study civil engineering as part of the Honors College.

Piazza was ranked fifth in her class at St. Aloysius High School. She served as president of the senior class and the National Honor Society. She represented her school at the UM Trent Lott Leadership Institute summer program. She plans to study biomedical engineering as part of the Honors College.

Harper Johnson scholars are Peyton Lott of Clarksdale, Ajah Singleton of Raymond and Jabria Thompson of Florence.

Ranked third in his class, Lott served as sophomore and junior class president as well as student body president at Lee Academy. He also participated in the Clarksdale Youth Leadership program. He plans to study chemical engineering.

President of the student body at Raymond High School, Singleton was ranked fourth in her class and also served as junior class president and president of the Beta Club. She plans to study biomedical engineering as part of the Honors College.

Thompson earned the status of salutatorian and served as senior class president at Hartfield Academy. She also served as vice president of Mu Alpha Theta and co-captain of the varsity dance team. She plans to study chemical engineering as part of the Honors College.

Engineering scholarships are open to receiving gifts from individuals and corporations. To make a gift, click here or contact Denson Hollis, director of Development, at 662-915-5092 or dhollis@olemiss.edu.