exterior of Huff Hall

Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services Student Awards

Alumni Athletic Scholarship

Sammy Rhodes

Sammy Rhodes

After completing her undergraduate degree in Speech and Hearing Science in 2022, Sammy will pursue a master’s degree and career in Speech-Language Pathology, and plans to work in elementary schools. A member of the wheelchair track team, she has volunteered at University Primary School and the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club.

Sammy also received the 2020 Glenn Hebert Scholarship.

Margaret Bansau Scholarship

Shawn Schaeffer

Shawn Schaeffer

Shawn will graduate next year with a master’s degree in Social Work. He plans to work in health services. Currently a pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Tuscola, IL, Shawn volunteers as a chaplain in county jails and nursing homes.

Margaret Bansau Scholarship

Jeannette Tarqueno

Jeannette Tarqueno

After completing her degree in Kinesiology in 2021, Jeannette plans to work in the adaptive sports industry. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, she has helped to develop a disabilities studies program in the College of Applied Health Sciences. Last year, she was an intern in the Accessibility and Inclusion Services Office at the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Pamela Borelli & Family Achievement Award

Ava Armour with her service dog

Ava Armour

Ava will complete her degree in Animal Sciences in 2021. She may go on to veterinary school or to graduate work in disability studies. She is president of the Service Dog Handlers Support Group, programs coordinator for the Pre-Veterinary Club, recruitment chair for the Illini Dairy Club, and a member of Animal Sciences Ambassadors.

Pamela Borelli & Family Achievement Award

Connor Kirkwood

Connor Kirkwood

Connor is a first-year student in Mechanical Engineering with a future goal of starting his own company. An avid volunteer and Eagle Scout, Connor has tutored algebra students at the Novak Academy and created science labs at a school in the Sierra Leone village of Panguma, to which he also donated 800 backpacks of school supplies.

Silvio and Loreta Corsetti Scholarship

Joel Caldero

Joel Caldero

Joel will graduate next year with a dual degree in Political Science and Sociology. He plans to conduct research on social justice issues and is particularly interested in helping people with addiction recovery. He has volunteered at animal shelters, retirement and nursing homes, and with AmeriCorps Illinois’ Junior AmeriCorps Project Yes.

Silvio and Loreta Corsetti Scholarship

Alex Kogen

Alex Kogen

Alex will receive his degree in Accounting from the Gies College of Business this year. He has been a teaching assistant for courses on professional responsibility, the undergraduate open seminar in business, and business analytics. He also has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity. A Dean’s List honoree, Alex is a James Scholar and Chancellor’s Scholar.

Howard Findley Scholarship

Matt Parkes

Matthew Parkes

Matt will complete his degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2022. He conducts railway capacity research and is a member of the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association. He hopes to work in the engineering department of a class 1 railroad, and currently does switch, track, and locomotive maintenance for the Monticello Railway Museum.

John S. Fine Scholarship

Daniel Oster

Daniel Oster

Daniel will complete his undergraduate degree in English this year and will stay on to complete a master’s degree in Management. He gained leadership skills as a mentor in the Beckwith Residential Support Services Program. He also served an internship with ATLAS (Applied Technologies for Learning in the Arts and Sciences) in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

John S. Fine Scholarship

David Ruvinskiy

David Ruvinskiy

Currently enrolled in the Division of General Studies, David plans to major in Information Sciences. After graduating in 2022, he plans to work in the field of iOS app development. Last year, he released two apps on the iOS App Store. He is a teaching assistant for the introductory course in computer science.

Maxwell R. Garret Scholarship

Joey Gibbs

Joey Gibbs

Joey will complete his bachelor’s degree in Community Health this year and his master’s degree in Management next year. He plans to work in an executive position at a rehabilitation facility or hospital. As a volunteer at Clark-Lindsey Village, he learned about many aspects of running a retirement home. He previously received the Morse-Hedrick Scholarship.

Maxwell R. Garret Scholarship

Gyu Dae Kim

Gyu Dae Kim

After completing a degree in Environmental Economics and Policy next year, Gyu Dae plans to work on sustainability issues with non-governmental agencies. He is a member of the Athlete Advisory Group for World Para Athletics. Gyu Dae won bronze medals in track events at the Rio de Janeiro, London, and Beijing Paralympic Games.

Glenn Hebert Scholarship

Nic Wyatt

Nic Wyatt

A junior in Community Health, Nic plans to pursue a Master of Public Health degree and go into health education. She is a facilitator for First Year Campus Acquaintance Rape Education (FYCARE), a peer mentor in the Mannie L. Jackson Illinois Academic Enrichment and Leadership Program in the College of Applied Health Sciences, and a Dean’s List honoree.

Anne Hopkins Memorial Scholarship

William Fasick

William Fasick

William will enroll in a Doctor of Physical Therapy program after completing his undergraduate degree in Kinesiology next year. He volunteers with the campus aquatic therapy program and the DRES therapy gym, and worked last fall as a personal assistant in the Beckwith Residential Support Services Program. He received the Hank Friedrichs Memorial Scholarship.

Carol Ann Kostka Award

Audrey Koziol

Audrey Koziol

Audrey will pursue a master’s degree after completing her bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering and Design in 2022, and plans to spend her career designing better science and technology systems. She is an intern with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and a resident advisor for the Women in Math, Science, and Engineering Living Learning Community.

Donald W. Krumrey Scholarship

Nathan Sprovieri

Nathan Sprovieri

Nathan hopes to enroll in medical school after completing his degree in Kinesiology next year. Last year, he shadowed doctors, dentists, and pharmacists during a service learning trip to Lima, Peru. An Edmund J. James Scholar in the College of Applied Health Sciences, Nathan spent spring break this year assisting healthcare professionals in Gibson City, IL.

Nathan also received a Mary Jane Neer Scholarship this year.

Joseph R. Larsen Memorial Scholarship

Zachary Michalski

Zachary Michalski

Zachary graduates this year with a degree in Finance and will pursue an MBA at Northwestern University. He completed an internship in finance with Underwriters Laboratory. A Dean’s List honoree, Zachary is the Deaf Culture chairperson for the ASL/Deaf Culture Club and vice president of external affairs for Illini Disc Golf.

Jeffrey I. and Lisa Livovich Award

Lauren Horvath

Lauren Horvath

Lauren is a first-year student in Mechanical Engineering. She hopes to travel to Eswatini this summer to build a footbridge through the Engineers in Action Bridge Program. Through her minor in Spanish, she is taking part in a project to create a nutrition guide book in Spanish and English. Lauren is a member of the National Technical Honor Society.

Irl H. Marshall Scholarship

Sophie Luijten

Sophie Luijten

Sophie will complete degrees in Global Studies and Spanish in 2022. She is a student ambassador and advisor in the Global Studies program and a research assistant for the Safe Global Water Institute. A Dean’s List honoree, James Scholar, and Chancellor’s Scholar, Sophie also received this year a Bailey Undergraduate Scholarship for Cause-Driven Leaders.

David C. and Ruth K. Mieher Scholarship

Jonathan Cho

Jonathan Cho

Jonathan will complete his degree in Human Development and Family Sciences in 2023. He plans to pursue a master’s degree as well. He is active in his church, assisting with the youth ministry and playing drums for the worship team. He also has received a Launch Scholarship from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

David C. and Ruth K. Mieher Scholarship

Arielle Weiss

Arielle Weiss

Arielle graduates in 2023 with a degree in Gender and Women’s Studies. She plans to become an activist focusing on victim advocacy. She volunteers locally at Crisis Nursery and works for the Evanston Work Ethic Program. A Dean’s List honoree, James Scholar, and Chancellor’s Scholar, Arielle is a member of the Illini Hillel Social Committee.

Morse-Hedrick Scholarship

Kady Dandeneau

Kady Dandeneau

Kady will complete her master’s degree in Kinesiology next year. Her research focuses on training for parasport athletes. She currently is evaluating high-intensity interval training for individuals with spinal cord injury. Kady was named the National Wheelchair Basketball Association female collegiate player of the year and Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s female athlete of the year.

Morse-Hedrick Scholarship

Jon McNamara

Jon McNamara

Jon will complete a degree in Statistics in 2022. His future goal is to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. He has volunteered as a coach for wheelchair basketball summer camps and assisted with the holiday party sponsored by Delta Sigma Omicron. He also has given presentations about wheelchair basketball to local elementary and middle schools.

Jon also received a Mary Jane Neer Scholarship this year.

David S. Mundy Scholarship

Matt Ludolph

Matt Ludolph

Matt will complete his degree in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences in December. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. As an intern with DRES Career Services, he helped plan and execute networking events. He also has assisted with research on technologies for people with disabilities through the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Eden Brewer

Eden Brewer

Eden completes her degree in Political Science this year. She plans to pursue graduate education in Political Science or Education. She volunteers at the Women’s Resource Center as a facilitator for the First Year Campus Acquaintance Rape Education and AdvCARE programs. A Dean’s List honoree, she is a member of Illinois Student Government’s Committee on Academic Affairs.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Hugo Calderon

Hugo Calderon

After completing a degree in Agricultural and Consumer Economics next year, Hugo plans to pursue an MBA. He analyzed freight transportation costs as an intern with Land O’Lakes and will intern this summer with Google as a solutions consultant. He is president of Minorities in Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Jaylen De'Angelo Clay

Jaylen De’Angelo Clay

Jaylen hopes to join the Dallas Black Dance Theater after completing his master’s degree in Dance next year. His thesis focuses on the impact of trauma, disability, and resilience on communication through movement. He currently teaches dance to underserved communities through DREAAM House. Jaylen received Publicly Active Graduate Education and Dreamer Foundation fellowships last year.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Ruth Contreras

Ruth Contreras

Ruth will complete a degree in Global Studies next year. She studied for a year in Brazil, volunteering at EduMais, a non-governmental education agency located in one of Rio de Janeiro’s most impoverished neighborhoods. Ruth worked with children in an after-school program on language and personal skills and engaged them in activities and crafts.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Shifra Ferziger

Shifra Ferziger

Shifra will complete her degree in Animal Sciences in 2023. She is particularly interested in animal behavior and environmental science. She serves as technical chair of the Eco-Olympics, a student competition to promote sustainability and energy conservation through behavior modifications. An Edmund J. James Scholar, Shifra has volunteered at dog and cat rescue organizations.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Shamonique Jones

Shamonique Jones

Shamonique will attend law school after completing her undergraduate degree in Psychology this year. She plans to specialize in entertainment law and public policy. Shamonique completed an internship at an entertainment company and is an avid volunteer.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Bing Liu

Bing Liu

Bing will become a consultant after completing her master’s degree in Management this year. She is the head teaching assistant for an undergraduate business analytics class and a course assistant for the online MBA program. She also is a graduate tutor for the Office of Minority Student Affairs’ Academic Services Center.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Clara Lynk

Clara Lynk

Clara will complete her degree in Bioengineering in 2023 and plans to go into therapeutic drug development. She was a member of a team that created a wearable sweat sensor that analyzes stress levels. She volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and helps to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities through her sorority Alpha Delta Pi.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Yash Mehta

Yash Mehta

Yash will go into investment banking after completing his degree in Finance in 2021. He is preparing for his career through the Illinois Investment Banking Academy and will intern with Houlihan Lokey as an investment banking summer analyst. He completed two internships with Knowles Corporation and worked remotely for two venture capital firms.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Amisha Patel

Amisha Patel

Amisha will complete her degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering next year. She plans to pursue a PhD in the field and to do research in drug discovery and development. A James Scholar and Dean’s List honoree, Amisha is working on a project that may result in novel agricultural methods that reduce environmental impacts while improving crop yield.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Maggie Phan

Maggie Phan

Maggie will complete her PhD in Recreation, Sport and Tourism in December. Her research explores food preparation and food consumption as leisure activities, and their impact on obesity and co-morbidities. She assists with evaluating and improving educational programs in engineering through Research Experience for Undergraduates programs and the Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Alma Schrage

Alma Schrage

After completing her master’s degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science in December, Alma hopes to continue doing research on the ecology and conservation of pollinators, particularly the endangered rusty-patched bumble bee of northern Illinois. Prior to entering her degree program, she was a seasonal wildlife biologist in locations across the US.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Jaime Thissen

Jaime Thissen

Jaime will complete his PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering in the fall. He hopes to work as an Extension specialist. He assisted in publication development and attended Congressional hearings while working for the United Nations Environment Program and interned with the US Department of Agriculture. He is a Sequoyah Fellow and SURGE Fellow.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Christina Verhelst

Christina Verhelst

Christina hopes to become a professor of Hispanic literature after completing her PhD in Hispanic Literatures and Cultures in 2022. Her research focuses on representations of disability, masculinity, and emotion in Spanish fiction. She is a founding member of the campus chapter of DREAM (Disability Rights, Education, Activism and Mentoring) and the Disability Identities Discussion Group.

Mary Jane Neer Scholarship

Ming Wei

Ming Wei

Ming will complete her degree in Consumer Economics and Finance in December and plans to attend law school. She performed due diligence and analyzed supply chain finance as an intern with the Boston Consulting Group in Beijing, China. As a member of the Minority Business Student Association, Ming helps to organize interviews, fund-raising events, and recruitment fairs.

Lyle Niklaus Memorial Scholarship

Pamela Wilhoite

Pamela Wilhoite

Pamela hopes to work internationally on global policy after completing her master’s degree in Social Work in 2021. This fall, she will complete her social work practicum in South Africa. Her volunteer work with community agencies such as the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club led to her induction in Sigma Gamma Rho, a social service and professional sorority.

Timothy J. Nugent Award

Rodrigo Scofield

Rodrigo Scofield

Rodrigo completes his degree in History with a minor in Secondary Education this year and hopes to become a high school history teacher. He has gained teaching experience at Mahomet-Seymour High School, Champaign Centennial High School, Urbana High School, and East St. Louis High School. He volunteers with Camp Lions of Illinois for the Deaf and Blind.

Matthew Allan Odelius Scholarship

Zain Bando

Zain Bando

Zain hopes to work in sports broadcasting after completing his degree in Journalism in 2022. He works for Fighting Illini Productions and Big Ten Network Student U as a scorebox operator and broadcaster. He also manages social media for Rollin’ Illini, a radio program about disability sports, and is an executive board member of the Illinois Sports Consulting Agency.

William A. Olson Scholarship

Eva Houston

Eva Houston

Eva will complete her degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science in 2023 and plans to go into either consulting or law. She co-founded a nonprofit organization called Plant One More, which collects fresh produce from community gardeners and distributes it to people in need and organizations such as Youth Emergency Services, which helps homeless teens and young adults.

Herbert G. Schaefer Scholarship

Maxwell Pinski

Maxwell Pinski

Maxwell plans to attend law school after completing his degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism next year. He works two jobs to help cover educational expenses and is active in his fraternity, serving as vice president and new member educator. A Dean’s List honoree, Maxwell is a member of the Pre-Law Honors Society and the Sports Business Association.

Steven D. Serio Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Scholarship

Ben Moronchuk

Ben Moronchuk

Ben will complete his degree in Recreation, Sport and Tourism in 2023 and hopes to work in Paralympic sports. He has coached the wheelchair basketball program in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. In 2016, he was named to the Canadian senior men’s national team, making his major international debut at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

James E. Seybold Scholarship

Zoe Robbins

Zoe Robbins

Zoe hopes to work in either advertising or fashion after completing her degree in Advertising in 2022. As a counselor at an overnight camp in Wisconsin, she was responsible for designing programs to involve campers in community service projects. She promotes philanthropy events through social media for her sorority and manages social media for the UI chapter of Her Campus.

Bill Stewart Memorial Award

Hannah Thompson

Hannah Thompson

Hannah will complete her degree in Bioengineering in December. She plans to obtain a graduate degree before entering the pharmaceutical or medical device industry. A Chancellor’s Scholar and James Scholar, Hannah has been a lab teaching assistant and undergraduate research assistant in her department and completed a co-op experience with the medical company Fresenius Kabi.

Donald W. Swift Scholarship

Nathan Saltzman

Nathan Saltzman

Nathan plans to study data science or applied mathematics at the graduate level after completing his degree in Industrial Engineering in 2022. He completed a project management engineering internship with Schneider Electric, where he assisted the construction manager, and worked as a front end assistant for Standard Market. Last year, he received the Glenn Hebert Scholarship.