Oak Ridge Associated Universities has awarded five William G. Pollard Scholarships of $2,500 each for undergraduate studies in the 2014-2015 academic year. The recipients of this year’s scholarships are Cody Cheatwood, Rachael Dreistadt, Bailey Kitts, Savannah Moua, and Sarah Tucker.
Each year, ORAU awards these scholarships to employees’ children who display exceptional achievements in their high school or undergraduate studies. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all high schools and colleges attended, three references (at least two of which must be from teachers), and a 500-word essay describing the student’s professional and personal interests.
Below are additional details on each of this year’s winners:
Cody Cheatwood, son of Kerri Hicks of Clinton, is a 2014 graduate of Anderson County High School, where he graduated with a 3.85 grade point average. Cheatwood was captain of both the football and track teams and was recognized as a High School Scholar Athlete by the East Tennessee Chapter of The National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. His volunteer work includes mentoring and tutoring students in the school’s special education program as part of the Peer Buddy program. He also participates in the Leo Club, the youth program of the Lions Club International, where he volunteers for numerous community events, including the Anderson County Toy Run, Upward Bound Program, and Relay for Life. He will attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he plans to major in special education and science.
Rachael Dreistadt, daughter of Jennifer Dreistadt of King George, Va., is a summa cum laude graduate of Stafford High School with a 4.29 grade point average. She plans to attend James Madison University, majoring in special education. Dreistadt was recently awarded the Extra Mile Award from the Special Education Advisory Council in Virginia for co-teaching a special education art class at Stafford High School. She is a member of the National Honor Society and, in 2013, received the Ronald Reagan Student Leadership Award, a national award program that recognizes outstanding student leaders. Dreistadt was editor-in-chief of her high school yearbook and a member of the marching band. Her volunteer work includes the St. George’s Epsicopal Church Soup Kitchen and the Stafford Baseball League. She is a member of the Interact Club, the high school program for Rotary International.
Bailey Kitts, daughter of Ken and Sophia Kitts of Knoxville, is a 2014 graduate of Bearden High School with a 4.23 GPA. She plans to attend Maryville College in Maryville. While at Bearden, Kitts was an AP Scholar with honors, a member of the National Honor Society, lettered on the school’s swim team, and was awarded the Bearden’s Best Award in 2013. In the summer of 2013, she attended the Governor’s School for computational physics and was chosen as a delegate to Girls State to represent the State of Tennessee and participate in a week-long citizenship/leadership training program. Kitts also volunteers at Arbor Terrace Assisted Living facility and Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. Kitts plans to eventually attend medical school.
Savannah Moua, daughter of Cheu and Charlene Moua of Loudon, is a 2014 graduate of Loudon High School. Active in musical performance, Moua is a 2014 winner of the Distinguished Young Women of America for Loudon County, a winner of the 2012 Knoxville Voice, and received the Rising Star Award at the 2013 Kollaboration DC competition. As musical instructor for her church’s youth group, she helps teach and direct musical performances. Moua’s community service work includes volunteering for community festival and events, as well as providing entertainment to local nursing homes. She placed first in her high school’s talent show in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Moua will attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she plans to major in music.
Sarah Tucker, daughter of Florie Tucker, of Roswell, Ga., is a 2014 graduate of Centennial High School in Roswell, where she attained a 3.9 grade point average. She is a member of the National Honor Society and elected to the student council. She received an academic letter award in 10th, 11th, and 12th grades and is an AP Scholar Award winner. She is involved in numerous school activities include Beta Club, Healthcare Occupations Students of America, and a member of the volleyball team. Through her college pre-work in high school, she spent three years completing a healthcare career track with courses in medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology. Tucker plans to attend the University of Georgia, majoring in exercise science. She then plans to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy.
The William G. Pollard Scholarship Awards are presented in honor of ORAU’s founder as recognition of his dedication to science and education. A University of Tennessee physics professor, Pollard founded the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies—which later became ORAU—to link the valuable scientific resources developed in Oak Ridge as part of the Manhattan Project with regional universities.