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Ohio University's first Appalachian Scholars announced

ATHENS, Ohio (May 31, 2006) -- Ohio University has announced its first class of Appalachian Scholars. The 10 incoming students will begin classes at Ohio University in the fall.

The Appalachian Scholars program is a need-based scholarship initiative that provides scholarship support to students from the 29 Appalachian Ohio counties to attend Ohio University. Students earn the scholarship based on enthusiasm, motivation, academic achievement and financial need.

Each student receives a four-year renewable scholarship, an annual book stipend and participation in an annual leadership seminar. They will receive funding to attend an approved professional conference during their junior year, internship opportunities, and technology and research training.

"Clearly there was a powerful response from the region for the Appalachian Scholars program," said G. Christine Taylor, assistant to the president for diversity. "More than 300 students and parents attended information sessions at the four regional campus sites and in Athens, and 174 students applied. This first class met all of the criteria that we were looking for. It is made up of outstanding men and women who are enthusiastic, motivated, academically accomplished and have demonstrated financial need. There is no doubt they will be great ambassadors for the program."

The Appalachian Scholars for the 2006-07 academic year are:

  • Justin Birchfield, from Ripley Union Lewis High School in Ripley, Ohio, will major in education. He participated in student government, golf, Spanish Club, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Student Council, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and National Honor Society. He volunteered for the Environment Development and Restoring Higginsport Park Spring projects. He is the son of Richard and Kathy Birchfield.

  • Rebecca Capper, a resident of Willow Wood, Ohio, is a student at Symmes Valley High School. She lettered and served as team captain in basketball, volleyball and softball and served as president of her class all four years and participated in Student Council, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was a member of the Beta Club. She is active in her church's youth group and served as editor of the yearbook. She will pursue a degree in civil engineering and is the daughter of Mark and Lou Anne Capper.

  • Laura Kelley, from River Valley High School and resident of Cheshire, Ohio, will major in health communication. She was a four-year participant in show choir, drama, Key Club and 4-H in high school, worked on the yearbook staff and participated in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and the Beta Club. Kelley was also a member of the Gallia County Junior Fair Youth Board and is active in her church's youth group. She is the daughter of Bill and Tonya Kelley.

     
  • Ryan Lawhorn, a resident of Beaver, Ohio, is a student at Eastern Local High School who plans to study biological sciences. He served as president of the band and was a member of the Spanish Club. Lawhorn served as the vice president of his junior class and was the Student Council treasurer for three years. Voted captain of the basketball and track teams and is active in his church youth group, the PTO and local food drives and blood drives. After his time at Ohio University, he plans to go to medical school and become a pediatrician. He is the son of Sandra Lawhorn.

  • Brandon Rudd, is a student at Peebles High School and a resident of Peebles, Ohio. He was selected to the all-academic teams for soccer and basketball and earned all-Southeast District in soccer. He won the Gatorade Will to Win Award in soccer and was named the basketball team's Most Improved Player. He also participated in Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA) and served as president of the Student Council and the Beta Club. Rudd has been active in his church youth group and has volunteered for recycle paper and canned food drives and the Adopt-a-Highway program. The four-year member of the Talented and Gifted program is undecided on a major. He is the son of Brent and Tammy Rudd.

  • Erin Shipbaugh, a student at Minerva High School and resident of Rochester, Ohio, was involved in symphonic and marching band for all four years of high school. She is a member of the National Honor Society, 4-H, Junior Scholars Key Club, Hunger Task Force, Pep Club, Ecology Club and Students Against Destructive Decisions. Volunteers for the Special Olympics, Salvation Army, canned food drives, Relay for Life and Unity Walk. Shipbaugh served as the treasurer of Student Council and plans to pursue a career in communications. She is the daughter of Joseph and Kimberly Shipbaugh.

  • Julie Patterson, will study nursing at Ohio University-Chillicothe. She is a student at Southeastern High school and a resident of Londonderry, Ohio. Patterson lettered four years in softball, basketball and volleyball in high school and was a member of the National Honor Society. She volunteered for Red Cross Blood Drives and helped raise money for Hurricane Katrina victims. She is the daughter of Michael and Holly Patterson.

  • Nicole Pryor, a resident of Bethesda, Ohio, is a student at Union Local High School. She was involved in 4-H, Future Farmers of America (FFA), French Club, Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), Student Council and Junior Leaders. She also served as a member of the National Honor Society and lettered four years in track and field. She plans to study nursing at Ohio University's Eastern Campus and is the daughter of Sherri Pryor and Jerry Pryor.

         
  • Kelly Payne is a student at Ironton High School in Ironton, Ohio. She participated in track and field and was a member of the school newspaper staff, National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta, the school's math club. She also served as a Spanish instructor and volunteered for canned food drives, Operation Christmas Child, UNICEF and the Ohio River Sweep. Payne, who will attend Ohio University's Southern Campus and is undecided on a major, had perfect high school attendance and was on the honor roll all four years. She is the daughter of John and Nancy Payne.

  • Carletta Johnson, Zanesville, Ohio, is a student at Zanesville High School. She was involved in Key Club, orchestra, color guard and was a National Honor Society member. Johnson participated in the Junior Mentorship program and will study nursing at Ohio University-Zanesville. She is the daughter of James and Anita Jones.

The 29 Appalachia Ohio counties involved are Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Washington.

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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