Oak Ridge Associated Universities has awarded five William G. Pollard Scholarships of $2,500 each toward undergraduate studies for the 2015-2016 academic year. The recipients of this year’s scholarships are Cory Anderson, Rachel Baxter, Christopher Friend, Bailey Kitts, and Caroline Thomas.
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:
- Cory Anderson, son of Michelle Anderson of Knoxville, is a December 2014 graduate of Hardin Valley Academy. He received the AP Scholars Award in 2015 for academic achievement and is currently a member of the National Honor Society.
Anderson has been participating in gymnastics competitions since 2007 and recently placed first in the nation for the floor exercise at the 2015 Men’s Junior Olympic National Gymnastics Championship in the 17-18 year old division.
Anderson obtained STEM Academy recognition in science and completed 14 math/science-related courses at HVA.
In the fall of 2014, Anderson shadowed a radiologist at the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs and intends to pursue a career as a radiologist. He will attend the University of Tennessee in Knoxville this fall, double majoring in pre-med and physics.
- Rachel Baxter, daughter of Wayne and Kimberly Baxter of Friendsville, Tennessee, is a sophomore in the pre-nursing program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. She currently carries a 3.7 grade point average and has attained Dean’s List status for two consecutive semesters. She is a member of the honors fraternities Phi Sigma Pi and Sigma Epsilon Pi and organizes events for the fraternities’ service committees.
Baxter, a former member of William Blount High School’s junior ROTC, received the Military Order of the Purple Heart Junior ROTC National Award, Cadet of the Year, and the American Legion of Auxiliary Scholastic Achievement Award. As a student with a military interest and the daughter of two registered nurses, Baxter aspires to become an Air Force flight nurse.
She recognized her compassion for caretaking when volunteering for the local rescue squad and running emergency medical service calls with her father.
- Christopher Friend, son of Loretta Friend, is a 2015 graduate of Oak Ridge High School with a 3.5 GPA.
Friend plans to attend East Tennessee State University to study computer science and information technology.
Friend’s experiences with computer technology range from writing HTML and XML code for a locally designed smartphone app to a seven-year involvement with the Technology Student Association. During Friend’s involvement with TSA, he received the Bronze, Gold, and Silver Achievement Award for years 2012, 2013, and 2014 respectively.
He additionally volunteered with the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge and was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2012 and 2014.
Friend hopes to contribute his IT skills to assist his company, community and societal needs.
- Bailey Kitts, daughter of Sophia Kitts, is a Maryville College sophomore with a 4.0 GPA. She plans to be a family physician/surgeon and intends to practice domestically and abroad in French-speaking African countries through the program Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).
Kitts also hopes to join the Peace Corps before enrolling in medical school. She is taking immersion French language and culture courses in Chambéry, France, this summer to become fluent in French.
Kitts is currently applying for undergraduate research at Maryville College in biology and is volunteering and observing surgeries at the Blount County Animal Center.
- Caroline Thomas, daughter of Elyse Thomas, plans to attend Ohio State University in the fall of 2015.
She graduated Madeira High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, with a 4.0 GPA and was an AP Scholar, Latin Club member, and a cross country and track and field athlete. Thomas also is a member of the National Honor Society and received the Maxima Cum Laude award for Latin achievement and the Raymond J. Seifert Award for academic achievement.
She looks to apply her interest in biology in the biomedical engineering program at OSU. She has been accepted into the Biological Sciences Scholars Program and will study genetically modified organisms.
The William G. Pollard Scholarship Awards are presented in honor of ORAU’s founder in 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.