New Scholars 2015-2016
For the 2015-2016 academic year, the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin has honored five incoming students with a Dedman Distinguished Scholarship. Each Dedman Scholar will receive an award of $25,000 per year, plus funding for study abroad, and additional support for unpaid internships and thesis research. Dedman Scholarships are awarded based on the applicant’s academic achievement, personal characteristics, leadership and accomplishments.
Megan Abrameit (Liberal Arts Honors from Tyler, Texas)
Megan was raised Tyler, Texas, and overseas in Qatar. In Tyler, Megan attended Robert E. Lee High School. While there, she served as NHS president and Revelation Student Ministries (Bible Club) president. She was also involved in coordinating a Special Needs Homecoming at Robert E. Lee for three years. Her heart is in Lee theatre, where she participated in a total of six theatre productions, two of which were UIL One Act Play competitors. She is also passionate about social justice and volunteered with a local anti-human trafficking organization since she was 12. While at UT, Megan hopes to combine her love of psychology, creative writing, and human rights to produce a human rights/social justice degree through the Humanities major while potentially double majoring in Psychology. She believes God has instilled a desire in her to work long term with victims of human trafficking whether in a legal or counseling setting.
Nathan (Max) Alvarez-Olson (Plan II/Mathematics from Austin TX)
At James Bowie High School, Nathan pursued academic excellence and graduated as co-valedictorian, in addition to performing with the school´s comedy club and participating in its male beauty pageant. He enjoyed mentoring younger students in Mathematics UIL and received medals at the district level. Outside of school, he coached a local Math Pentathlon team, which performed the best at the state competition two years in a row. Nathan is also an Eagle Scout and gave hundreds of hours of community service with Troop 403. He founded a board game club and participated in National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, and Spanish Club. At UT, Nathan, when he is not working toward his double major in Plan II and Mathematics, hopes to tutor his peers, involve himself in student leadership, and pursue research in the Dean´s scholars program.
Austin Hanna (Plan II Honors/Astronomy from Corpus Christi, Texas)
Austin, two-time All Star and KEDT "Challenge!" captain, led Flour Bluff’s televised quiz bowl team to its first championship in seven years. He earned the titles of National Merit Finalist, AP Scholar with Distinction, published poet, MENSA member, and valedictorian. Fervent Decathlete, he twice received the Top Overall Score among medium schools in the academic competition. As Treasurer of International Thespian Society, Austin was a devoted actor, winning 2nd in Duet Acting at TFA State and starring in "Macbeth" and "Blithe Spirit" (UIL Best Actor) among many others. Dual majoring in Astronomy and Plan II, Austin hopes to research the stars, make new friends, and craft the perfect sonnet.
Sophie Jerwick (Plan II Honors, from Kansas City)
In the Kansas City community and at Blue Valley North High School, Sophie Jerwick distinguished herself as a leader and grassroots activist. She was an intern for the Israel advocacy organization Stand With Us, allocated funds to inner-city girls’ education programs at the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and served as head of programming during her term as Vice President of her city’s Jewish youth group, BBYO. At her high school, Sophie served as co-President of its Jewish Student Union and co-captain of its Varsity Policy Debate Team, one of the largest in the nation. In addition, she was a Mustang Mentor, selected by faculty to lead weekly freshman advisory groups as a role model and discussion leader, was a member of the National Honor Society, and on the Student Council’s Prom Committee. A lifelong dancer, Sophie was also co-captain of the Varsity Dance Team, bringing the North Stars to 1st Place victory in Jazz at the St. Charles Classic. In her summers, she attended Kansas Girls State, where she was elected to also attend Girls Nation, traveled to UT for debate camp for two consecutive summers, and worked as a law clerk for a Missouri criminal defense attorney. Sophie plans to continue her passion for social justice while exploring her interests in physics, engineering, and economics while in Plan II at UT.
Jillian Pflederer (Plan II/International Relations from Chicago, IL )
Jillian graduated from the IB program at Lincoln Park High School in Chicago, IL. She participated in extracurricular activities such as volleyball, water polo, BestBuddies Club, and hosting foreign exchange students through the AFS Foreign Exchange program. During the summer of her junior year, she won a scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco while living with a host family. After this life-changing experience, she decided to graduate from high school early and take a gap year. She used that time to work in two internships where she served among the Rohingya refugee community in her Chicago neighborhood. She continued her passion for learning Arabic by studying with a language partner and joined the Middle Eastern and North African form at Northwestern University. She is excited to be starting at UT where she will double major in Plan II and International Relations while participating in the Arabic Flagship Program.
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