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UT Names 4 TCE Students Incoming Haslam Scholars


Two are Eagle Scouts. Several speak two or more languages. All have demonstrated academic excellence, served in leadership roles, and been avid community volunteers.

The 2019–20 incoming class of 15 Haslam Scholars was confirmed last week. Four of them will be joining the Tickle College of Engineering.

The four engineering students admitted to his top-tier honors program are:

  • Caleb Ellis, of Sevierville, Tennessee, plans to major in computer engineering and aspires to do research that leads to better technology. He has built multiple computers for his friends and himself. At Sevierville High School, he tutors fellow students and is active with the National Honor Society.
  • Leah Gutzwiller, of Liberty Township, Ohio, plans to major in biomedical engineering. She attends Mount Notre Dame High School, an all-girls high-school in Reading, Ohio. She is the first female president of the Molecular Modeling Club at Archbishop Moeller, an all-boys school, and has helped prepare presentations on the club’s protein research for national conferences. She traveled to Rome last winter with her school’s Model United Nations Club, where she participated in a debate on nuclear proliferation on the Korean Peninsula. She has worked with various community groups serving differently abled adults.
  • Sreya Kumpatla, of Memphis, plans to major in aerospace engineering and aspires to work at NASA or SpaceX. She had a perfect score on her ACT and won second place in the regional high school chemistry exam. She is active with her school’s Science Olympiad team and captain of the varsity tennis team, and was a gold medalist in the 2018 State Games of Mississippi.
  • Jessie Li, of Knoxville, is a graduate of Farragut High School. She plans to major in biomedical engineering and wants to do research that leads to safer gene therapies. Through her high school student government, she helped collect 22,000 cans of food for the Love Kitchen, a local charity serving homebound and homeless people. Li regularly volunteers in the emergency room and therapy services unit of Methodist Medical Center. She also founded an online tutoring program for Shuangwang Elementary School in rural China, using her bilingualism to supplement students’ English instruction.

The Haslam Scholars Program was founded in 2008 with a $2.5 million donation by Jimmy and Dee Haslam and a $2.5 million donation by Jim and Natalie Haslam.

The program admits 15 scholars each year after a highly competitive selection process. This year’s appointed scholars were chosen from more than 500 applicants. Each scholar will receive scholarships to cover the estimated cost of in-state tuition and fees and the average cost of campus housing, along with funding to support independent research. Out-of-state Haslam Scholars receive a waiver granting them in-state tuition.

Check out the full list of Haslam Scholars for 2019-2020 »

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