Illinois Wesleyan Welcomes 12 First-Year National Merit Scholars

August 30, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Of the 558 Illinois Wesleyan University first-year students, 12 are National Merit Scholars.  The National Merit Scholarship Program recognizes approximately 8,200 high-school finalists out of 1.3 million PSAT/NMSQT entrants with an award, up to $2,000, for their academic abilities, skills, and accomplishments. The program is an independent non-profit organization that operates without government assistance.

The National Merit Scholars enrolled at IWU as first-year students are:

Sam Awan of Bloomington, Ill.  A graduate of University High School, Awan is the son of Zafar and Azra Awan of Bloomington.  He plans to major in biology, with a focus on pre-med, although he loves to write and has won the Young Authors State Award twice, along with winning the Writing Academic Award and Language Arts Academic Award.  Awan was also on the math team in high school and has taken French for five years.

Colin Barry of Peru, Ill.  A graduate of Saint Bede Academy, Barry is the son of Patrick and Mary Jo Barry of Peru.  He plans to major in international business, with a focus on pre-law.  Barry played both golf and tennis in high school, and was also a member of the French Club and the editor of the yearbook staff.

Erin Bradley of Normal, Ill.  A graduate of Normal Community High School, Bradley is the daughter of Robert and Maureen Bradley of Normal.  She plans to major in educational studies at IWU.  In high school she was a violist and v arsity golfer, as well as involved in the Social Studies Club and the Mock Trial Team.

Sara Costello of Lockport, Ill.  A graduate of Lockport Township High School, Costello is the daughter of Mark and Susan Costello of Lockport.  She has taken an active part in her high school choir, drama, and swing dancing, and plans to major in psychology at IWU.

Matthew Culhane of Hartland, Wis.  A graduate of Arrowhead High School, Culhane is the son of Timothy and Rebecca Culhane of Hartland.  He is a clarinetist and tennis player, and plans to major in business.

Jennifer Faust of Saint Louis, Mo.  A graduate of Visitation Academy, Faust is the daughter of Douglas and Carol Faust of Saint Louis.  She plans to major in biology at IWU.  Faust is a dancer, violinist, and past yearbook editor for her high school.

Jessica Lancaster of Olympia Fields, Ill.  A graduate of Marian Catholic High School, Lancaster is the daughter of Michelle and Hilary Lancaster of Olympia Fields.  She is a varsity cross-country runner, as well as an equestrian, swimmer, and pianist.  Lancaster is undecided as to what her major will be.

Cameron Lund of Casper, Wyo.  A graduate of Kelly Walsh High School, Lund is the daughter of Brian and Lois Lund of Casper.  She plans to major in computer science at IWU.  Lund takes an interest in drama and choir, and played both softball and volleyball throughout high school.

Linda Martin of Naperville, Ill.  A graduate of Neuqua Valley High School, Martin is the daughter of Mary Martin and Jeffrey Martin of Naperville.  She has been involved in theater drama throughout high school and while at IWU plans to major in English with a concentration in writing.

Jane Papke of Oak Park, Ill.  A graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School, Papke is the daughter of Gary and Carol Papke of Oak Park.  She is an keen equestrian, and was a varsity member of her high school drill team for three years.  Papke is undecided as to what her major will be.

Emma Rhine of Glenview, Ill.  A graduate of Glenbrook South High School, Rhine is the daughter of Alan Rhine and Anita Banoff of Glenview.  She plans to major in music, and throughout high school was a singer and violinist.

Andrew Tobin of Dubuque, Iowa.  A graduate of Hempstead High School, Tobin is the son of Terrence and Patricia Tobin of Dubuque.  He is undecided as to what his major will be.  Tobin has been involved in marching band, pep band, German club, and the Colts Drum Corps.

Contact: Leslie Boelter, (309) 556-3181