Graduates Recognized for Achievements Over Last Six Years
As seventh graders, 15 local students were directed to the Rising Scholars program (formerly known as the Rural Scholars program) because their teachers detected something special in each of them. Now, six years later, they are each ready to move onto the next phase of their lives: college, trade school, the workplace following completion of the Kent State Columbiana County Rising Scholars program.
A graduation celebration was held on the Salem Campus to recognize members of the Rising Scholars program who are each graduating from their respective high schools this spring. Because of the pandemic, each graduate was recognized in a “private” ceremony with just family, a mentor and a few program administrators.
The graduating scholars include:
- Emely Best from Ohio Connections Academy
- Madison Borchardt from Crestview High School
- Whitney Carter from East Liverpool High School
- Travis Diem from Crestview High School
- Quinton Gfeller from Southern Local High School
- Jacob Grodhaus from Lisbon High School
- Jacob Hickman from United High School
- Kiana Howe from Lisbon High School
- Camryn Jackson from Wellsville High School
- Jacob Paulin from Salem High School
- Nakkiya Rose Plummer from Leetonia High School
- Tony Seddon from Salem High School
- Emma Smith from Wellsville High School
- Stephanie Vassar from East Liverpool High School
- Dylan Yarwood from United High School
The scholars were recognized by Dr. Jessica Paull, interim program coordinator, along with Dr. David Dees, dean and chief administrative officer of the Columbiana campuses; Dr. Susan Rossi, assistant dean of the Columbiana County campuses; and Stephanie Shaw, representing the Marion G. Resch Foundation.
The Rural Scholars Program is designed to offer local first-generation college-bound students and their families the knowledge and social support needed to succeed at a university. The goal is for each student in the program to complete a post-secondary education with credentials necessary to succeed in his or her career. Students are chosen by their schools on the basis of their academic and leadership potential.
Kent State Salem and East Liverpool students serve as mentors to the younger scholars. Each mentor is a first-generation college student from Columbiana County with a strong record of academic success and a desire to serve the community.
Participating schools include Crestview Local, East Liverpool City Schools, Leetonia Exempted Village, Lisbon Village Exempted, Salem City Schools, Southern Local Schools, United Local Schools and Wellsville Local Schools.
Photo A: Travis Diem, graduating from Crestview High School, received his Rising Scholars stole from his father.
Photo B: Supporting the Rising Scholars are (front, from left) Dr. David Dees, dean of the Columbiana County campuses; Stephanie Shaw from the Marion G. Resch Foundation; and Dr. Jessica Paull, interim program coordinator; and (back, from left) mentors Tommy Kornbau, Hannah Thomas, Loke Kalima, Blaine McCurdy and Sarah Tennefoss
Photo C: Stephanie Shaw, of the Marion G .Resch Foundation, presents a certificate and gifts to graduate Stephanie Vassar from East Liverpool High School.