MISSOULA – The resumes of students awarded Montana’s top scholarship include working two jobs while building theater sets, an alpine skier who speaks three languages, a pow-wow fancy dancer, two SCUBA-certified divers, a county fair student administrator, a member of the national Tanzanian swim team, a zoo guide with more than 500 volunteer hours and a drum major who interned for four years at the San Francisco public defender’s office.
Despite their differences, a common thread binds them: Each was named a recipient of the University of Montana’s most prestigious scholarship, the UM Presidential Leadership Scholarship.
This 2020 class holds a 3.9 average GPA and an average ACT score of 30 and includes representation of Native, Latino, Asian American and Black communities. They major in disciplines that span the breadth of UM’s academic portfolio ꟷ wildlife biology, chemistry, neuroscience, journalism, political science, music, education, history and more.
“The Davidson Honors College is thrilled to welcome one of the biggest and strongest classes in its history,” said Tim Nichols, dean of the Davidson Honors College. “They shine academically, but also as artists, scientists, athletes, leaders and servants in their communities. We look forward to their personal and professional development as leaders, as well as to empowering their unique paths and future achievements at UM and beyond.”
Selected from a pool of more than 300, UM chose 26 applicants for their merits in excellent academic performance, exemplary public service, demonstrated leadership, unique personal qualities and potential for future impact. The scholarship award significantly defrays the cost of attendance at UM, and all UM Presidential Leadership Scholars are enrolled in UM’s Davidson’s Honors College.
The 2020 scholars represent 10 states and one U.S. territory and include15 students from across Montana. The 2020 UM Presidential Leadership Scholarship recipients are:
Julia Wynne loves to write and plans to major in either English or journalism. She intends to apply to law school and hopes to use her love of writing to advocate for others. She’s already done this with underprivileged youth in the Flathead Valley and for the Flathead County Animal Shelter. At Flathead High School, Wynne was an All-American speaker and debater and a member of French Club. She’s worked at Eagle Bend Golf Club and Show Thyme restaurant and as a personal chef. Wynne said she is looking forward to being in an environment that encourages meaningful discussion with students who are excited to learn and challenge themselves.
At Bozeman High School, Francie Beadle was a member of National Honor Society while also competing in hockey, skiing and baking. Beadle volunteered for a local nursing home and will study pre-medicine at UM. She is excited about college life and looks forward to becoming a part of the Missoula and UM community.
Sam Galindo will be a neuroscience major and pursue pre-medicine studies at UM. A swimmer, a sailor and a self-described ‘huge nerd’, Galindo always has loved space and the ocean “because both have yet to be truly explored,” he said. At Bozeman High School, Galindo was on the varsity swim team and in the jazz choir. He also was on cast and crew for four school musicals, volunteered at a local hospital and was a swim instructor for youth with disabilities. Additionally, Galindo is a Star Scout with the Boy Scouts of America and a National Hispanic Scholar.
Grace Andromeda “Andy” Tallman is pursuing journalism at UM. She is a National Merit Finalist and has mentored youth at Camp Equinox, helping children discover the joys of theater. She also has been active in two high school musical productions. An accomplished artist, Tallman additionally worked with her school paper as a reporter, copy editor and ultimately editor-in-chief.
Kersey Blackford will study political science at UM. She was part of a state champion Academic World Quest team, served as co-captain of her volleyball team and was named Academic All-State. She was also secretary and president of the local National Honor Society, class president and yearbook editor. Additionally, Blackford traveled to Japan with the Kakehashi project to learn about Japanese culture, economics and societal values.
Andi Newbrough will study biochemistry and pre-medicine at UM. She has danced since she was 4 years old and looks forward to being a member of UM’s Dance Team. While at C.M. Russell High School, she was a DECA state officer, a leader in student government and in the National Honor Society. Newbrough also was an Academic All-State athlete and a three-time state qualifier in track and field.
Quin Pray is pursuing history and political science at UM. He is a past participant in the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Program and Montana Boys State. Quin also was a member of the National Honor Society and captain of the football team. He also earned recognition for debate, choir and track while working two jobs throughout high school.
Drew Engellant is a biology major, and he graduated with a 4.0 grade-point average from Glacier High School. Engellant has competed in math competitions, is a multisport athlete and an avid mountain biker. He has been a member of National Honor Society and has volunteered with Red Cross blood drives and the Special Olympics. He is an aspiring physician and completed the EMT training course at Flathead Valley Community College.
John Shelton is a state champion speaker and debater (impromptu speaking), and an all-conference track-and-field athlete (high jump). He has worked summers at Glacier National Park and aspires to a career in business management. Shelton enjoys watching movies and loves the UM campus.
Liv Wilson is a fourth-generation Grizzly from Glacier High School. She plans to major in accounting or business management and entrepreneurship. Wilson’s high school involvement included serving as a DECA state officer, student body treasurer, a public forum debater and an Academic All-State tennis player. She’s a longtime 4-Her who has shown livestock and participated in photography, cooking and leadership projects. Additionally, Wilson volunteers at Kalispell’s historic Conrad Mansion and is an ice cream scooper at Sweet Peaks. Inspired by UM icon Jeanette Rankin, Wilson is passionate about women’s leadership in Montana and global politics. She looks forward to making new friends, going to concerts and Griz games and exploring Missoula.
Kolter Stevenson is a citizen of the world. He speaks Russian, Norwegian and Spanish and has lived both in Norway and Moldova. An alpine ski racer, Stevenson was a two-term class president and a member of the National Honor Society. He was named a National Ambassador by the Business Professionals of America. Stevenson will major in international business at UM. He looks forward to becoming a part of an engaging academic community at the DHC.
Adelynne Walley will study prepharmacy at UM. Walley was valedictorian of Custer County District High School, a member of National Honors Society and senior class president. She loves to ski and play lacrosse and enjoys reading and mathematics. Walley said she’s looking forward to becoming involved in the DHC community and to exploring Missoula’s mountains.
Jackman Mitchell-Robohm will major in wildlife biology at UM and also is interested in climate change studies. He already has been involved in several field-based experiences, including the Wyoming Migration Initiative, and is eager to engage in undergraduate research. Mitchell also has studied backcountry medicine. At Hellgate High School, Mitchell-Robohm was Academic All-State, in the National Honor Society and participated in track, cross-country and hockey teams.
Sandee Sepulveda completed the Global Innovation Institute program. She also was Academic All-State and earned all-conference recognition in track. She was a member of the National Honor Society and has volunteered at the Missoula Food Bank and served as a YMCA camp counselor.
Daniel Ryan is a computer science and mathematics major. He is excited to be a member of the Grizzly Marching band and also enjoys reading, baking, hiking, singing and kayaking. While in high school, Ryan competed in scholastic bowl, robotics, cross-country, track and served as student body secretary-treasurer. He also participated in UM's 2019 Schwanke Summer Honors Institute.
Violet Anderson will pursue a theater major at UM. In high school, she was Theater Club president, Choir Council secretary and an award-winning speaker and debater. Anderson was on the 4.0 honor roll and competed in the Miss Montana Outstanding Teen scholarship program. Recently, she has learned how to play the accordion, and she looks forward to the many cultural opportunities in Missoula.
Abigail League is from Madison, Alabama, and she will study wildlife biology at UM. A 4.0 student, she was a member of the soccer team and Youth Conservation Corps. League also has served as a math tutor and a camp counselor. She is an experienced SCUBA diver, a national Advanced Placement scholar and a Spanish National Honor Society member.
Kylie Crist will study wildlife biology and neuroscience at UM. Her love for animals is reflected in her experiences as a wrangler for Timberline Ranch, serving as a teen guide with more than 500 volunteer hours at the Oakland Zoo, working at the Elephant Home Conservation in Thailand and conducting primate, turtle and bat research in Costa Rica. Crist is SCUBA- certified, loves listening to music and is an avid reader, hiker and watcher of wildlife documentaries. She also enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Adam Kolokotrones is from Daly City, California. He will major in business and is considering a minor in political science with aspirations of attending law school. Kolokotrones is passionate about the criminal justice system and has interned for four years at the San Francisco public defender’s office. A National Hispanic Scholar at Archbishop Riordan High School, he was a drum major for the marching band, captain of the football team, president of the National Honor Society and a student government leader. He enjoys historical novels and looks forward to meeting other honors students and participating in the Knowles Hall Living and Learning Community.
Woohyun “Owen” Lee from Walnut Creek, California, will study wildlife biology with a concentration in aquatics. Owen enjoys fishing, camping, weightlifting and kayaking, and he is an avid outdoorsman who wants to explore the great Montana wilderness while meeting individuals with varied interests and perspectives. Lee also likes to grow vegetables and can cook the best scrambled eggs.
Kyle Wonders is from Newbury Park, California. He has volunteered at the Ojai Raptor Center, a wildlife rehabilitation hospital, and he will study wildlife biology at UM. Wonders is looking forward to being surrounded by the natural world at UM and meeting people from across the country. In high school, he served as a tutor, was a leader in the National Honor Society and volunteered with Special Olympics. He was a flag runner for varsity football games and competes in both pentathalon and decathalon events. In his free time, Wonders enjoys hammocking and bird-watching.
Mia Johns graduated from a performing arts high school in Las Vegas, where she served as National Honor Society president. At UM, she will pursue molecular neuroscience with a minor in dance. She plans to participate in neuroscience research when she comes to campus. Johns enjoys choreography, lifeguarding, synchronized swimming coaching, skiing, piano and travel.
Aleeya Lonefight is an enrolled tribal member of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota. She has participated in student council and Girls State. Lonefight also is a fancy shawl and traditional dancer and has interned making traditional pottery. A Hidatsa Language and Culture Youth Champion, she hopes to explore UM’s creative writing program and to one day become a practicing attorney or judge.
Ben Volinski from Scappoose, Oregon, will be a biochemistry major at UM. He plans to pursue the premedical sciences and is interested in becoming an anesthesiologist. Volinski has spent many summers with his family in Glacier National Park and the stunning natural environment throughout the state. In high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society, played football and was a member of jazz, concert and wind ensemble bands, as well as the jazz and chamber choirs. He also tutored math and was the student superintendent for Oregon’s Columbia County Fair and Rodeo. Volinski enjoys all snow sports (he was the on the Oregon Interscholastic Snowboarding team), fishing, hiking, backpacking and kayaking.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
Diego Zakers is from St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Zakers will study business management and entrepreneurship at UM. At Peter Gruber International Academy, Zakers completed a capstone project on cybersecurity, won a business plan competition and spent time as an exchange student in Mauritius, Africa and in Bigfork, where he played tennis. Back in the Virgin Islands, Zakers volunteered with cleanup efforts after hurricanes Irma and Maria. He also loves soccer, manages a local gym and enjoys playing acoustic guitar.
Meredith Boos is from Waukesha, Wisconsin. She will study wildlife biology at UM and play on the Montana Grizzlies Women’s Golf Team. At Catholic Memorial High School, Boos was an all-state swimmer and golfer. She’s also passionate about human rights, presented at an international human rights conference and is on the board for Zeru Zeru, an international human rights organization. Additionally, Boos has traveled to 12 different countries, lived in Tanzania and was on the Tanzanian international swim team. Her hero is Dr. Jane Goodall, and she’s studied at the Jane Goodall Institute in Gombe.
Gus Kauffman is a National Merit Scholar from Laramie, Wyoming. At UM, he will major in geography, with minors in mathematics and climate change studies. Kauffman was a member of the National Honor Society and is an accomplished Nordic skier and ski coach. A curious lover of science, Kauffman has already been involved in University field-based research projects and participated in a mountaineering course through the National Outdoor Leadership School in the Wind River mountains. Gus is eager to spend time in the mountains around Missoula and is looking forward to taking advantage of experiential learning opportunities in the DHC.
Contact: Tim Nichols, UM Davidson Honors College dean, 406-243-2534, email@example.com.