COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Charles (Chuck) Millham and Diane Gilchrist
Scholarship donor and professor emeritus Charles (Chuck) Millham with Diane Gilchrist at the 2018 Scholarship and Awards Ceremony.

2018 Scholarship and Awards Ceremony

Thursday, April 26th, 2018, 3:00pm, Neill Hall 5W

Scholarships and awards are given each year to students with high academic achievement and are possible because of the generosity of our donors, which we deeply appreciate. The history of each scholarship and its donor may be found on the department scholarships page.

Please read about our outstanding 2018 scholarship and award recipients, and click on any photo to see a larger image.

Jennifer Gomez Ruiz received an Ames Family Scholarship in Mathematics

From Brewster, Washington, Jennifer was valedictorian of her high school graduating class and plans on becoming a mathematics teacher. She has taken Korean 204, participated in the Korean conversation table, and received the 2017 Department of Foreign Languages and Culture Outstanding First Year Student in Korean Award. She hopes to teach English in South Korea for a year after graduating from WSU before teaching high school mathematics. A constant question she has is, "What makes a good teacher and how can I learn to become one?" She is absorbing her WSU classes as she learns about different teaching styles, child development and learning, and how everything comes together in a classroom to help children learn. She is particularly inspired by classes that cause her to consider how she can learn about her future students’ cultures to obtain insight into their upbringing and how it can influence their thinking and learning. She has joined WSU’s Pre-Service Teachers of Mathematics club (PreToM) to help her connect with and learn from other future mathematics teachers.

Kiera Lucas received an Ames Family Scholarship in Mathematics

Kiera is a junior from Richland, Washington who is majoring in mathematics and is currently doing undergraduate research with Dr. Sergey Lapin. She has been awarded the Michael and Elaine Bair Scholarship in Sciences (for the 2018-19 academic year) and the Boeing Outstanding Student in Sciences Scholarship (2017-2018). Kiera has been very involved in cheerleading since high school and works for the National Cheerleading Association (NCA) training new campers in cheers, chants, dances and stunts each summer, and loves it. Kiera is a WSU cheerleader and Honors Program student. She hopes to continue her education to obtain a master's degree or Phd and become a college professor.

Lita Forse received a Bell Freshman Mathematics Scholarship Award

Lita Forse is a freshman from Caldwell, Idaho. She plans on majoring in applied mathematics and also plans to obtain a master's degree in teaching. She hopes to eventually become a high school math teacher. She is on the WSU track team and throws the shot put and discus. At home she works as a track and field coach, and is heavily involved in track and field over the summer.

Angelina Pauletto received a Bell Freshman Mathematics Scholarship Award

Pauletto is a freshman from Vancouver, Washington who graduated in the top 5% with a 4.0 gpa from her high school. She enjoys volleyball, hiking, and calligraphy outside of school. She is majoring in mathematics, potentially minoring in French, and plans on becoming a math teacher. She is a member of the WSU Honors College as well as the WSU Chi Omega Sorority. She has participated in multiple fundraisers for the Make A Wish foundation and will be volunteering for different summer camps this summer.

Benjamin Hellwig received a Paul and Marjorie Clement Memorial Mathematics Scholarship

Benjamin Hellwig is a junior from Pocatello, Idaho, who is on the applied math track looking to get a minor in computer science. He is currently working with Dr. Sergey Lapin on an undergraduate research project to model pertussis transmission. He has received a National Merit Scholarship, Kevin Charles Colton Scholarship, Fessler Memorial Scholarship, and Scott John W. and Anna M. Fund Scholarship. He has passed his writing portfolio requirement with distinction and the professor from that class recommended he submit essays for publication, which he plans to do over the summer. He has volunteered at an elementary school in his home town to help second grade students with their reading and math skills. After he graduates he plans to continue his education by attending graduate school.

Devon Holze received a Tom and Tarry Eastep Scholarship

Devon is a junior from Drum, Pennsylvania who is studying applied mathematics with a cumulative gpa of 3.98. She has been an ASWSU senator representing the College of Arts and Sciences, and was elected to be the leader of the ASWSU Senate the end of the past school year. Outside of ASWSU, she serves as President of an RSO called "In It to End It," which works to raise awareness on campus regarding modern day human trafficking and human slavery. She will be a WSU orientation counselor this summer.

Ronald Lorimer received a William and Mary Lynn Graber Mathematics Development Endowment Fund Award

Ronald is a senior majoring in theoretical mathematics. Although Ronald started school thinking he would go into chemistry he soon "feel in love with mathematics," and is now minoring in chemistry. He commutes on his motorcyle from Spokane to Pullman, after transferring from Spokane Falls Community College where he tutored and took all the math and sciences courses he possibly could. With a wife, two children, and commuting, he has been able to maintain a 3.9 gpa. He says, " I believe eduction is the meaning of life, and I love doing challenging mathematics to the point my wife says I have an addiction. I just can't stop thinking about mathematics!"

Benjamin Hellwig received a Hacker Scholarship in Undergraduate Research

Benjamin Hellwig is a junior from Pocatello, Idaho, who is on the applied math track looking to get a minor in computer science. He is currently working with Dr. Sergey Lapin on an undergraduate research project to model pertussis transmission. He has received a National Merit Scholarship, Kevin Charles Colton Scholarship, Fessler Memorial Scholarship, and Scott John W. and Anna M. Fund Scholarship. He has passed his writing portfolio requirement with distinction and the professor from that class recommended he submit essays for publication, which he plans to do over the summer. He has volunteered at an elementary school in his home town to help second grade students with their reading and math skills. After he graduates he plans to continue his education by attending graduate school.

David Morin received a Hacker Scholarship in Undergraduate Research

David received a Hacker Scholarship in Undergraduate Research due to his recent research work with Dr. Mark Schumaker. David is a transfer student from Seattle Central College where he was a MESA representative and student tutor in math, physics, computer science, philosophy and he tutored campus veterans. He was a member of the Seattle Central College's Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Chess Club, Rocketry Club, Math Club and Mandarin Club. After graduation he plans to attend graduate school to obtain his PhD in physics. He would then like to work in a laboratory or teach physics at the university level. He is a veteran and non-traditional first generation student.

Michael Newsham received a Hacker Scholarship in Undergraduate Research

Michael is majoring in mathematics and is from Eagle River, AK. He is the recipient of a National Merit Scholarship and has received a Bell Outstanding Freshman Mathematics Award in the past. In the fall of 2014 he participated in the prestigious William Lowell Putnam Mathematics competition and placed in the top half of all nation-wide participants. He has worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant for Math 273, as well as a tutor in the MLC. He is involved in community activities, especially through his involvement as an officer in the Knights of Columbus at the St. Thomas More Catholic Newman Center in Pullman. He has held leadership positions in RSOs, serving as vice president of the WSU Math Club and formerly president of the WSU French Club. Additionally, he attends Honors Student Advisory Council meetings and events. After graduation he hopes to continue his education by obtaining a PhD in mathematics.

Thomas McCutcheon received the Julie Kerr Scholarship in Mathematics

Thomas McCutcheon is a sophomore from Sammamish, Washington, and is currently studying abroad. He is studying applied mathematics and has a 4.0 cumulative gpa. Outside of school Thomas enjoys swimming and fencing with the WSU Fencing Club.

Ally Carrigan received the Charles "Chuck" Millham Endowed Scholarship in Mathematics

Ally is from Kent, Washington and is majoring in mathematics with an actuarial science option. She is the house manager for Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, is a marketing assistant for WSU Student Affairs Marketing, a Regents Scholar, a Global Coug studying abroad in Florence, Italy this spring, and a Boeing Scholar in Science.

Gator Newell received the Charles "Chuck" Millham Endowed Scholarship in Mathematics

Gator Newell is from Selah, Washington and is a mathematics major with an emphasis in actuarial science and a minor in business administration. Recently, he was elected president of the Actuarial Science Club. Gator put together a team for WSU to compete in the Society of Actuaries (SOA) Student Case Study Challenge for 2018. The Case Study Challenge is an international competition between schools. This year, the challenge was analyzing and giving recommendations as a consulting firm for a mythical country’s long-term care social insurance program. Gator passed the actuarial exam P in March of this year. He enjoys a variety of outdoor activities such as fishing and hiking, and is working toward becoming an actuary once he graduates from WSU.

Kayla Rhodes received the Charles "Chuck" Millham Endowed Scholarship in Mathematics

A senior from Federal Way, Washington, Kayla is majoring in both mathematics and computer science and is a member of the Honors College. She will graduate in December 2018. She worked on a project for Boeing this year as a Boeing Scholar. She has been president and vice president of the WSU Math Club, has volunteered as an Honors College mentor, and has been an undergraduate teaching assistant in the department since 2014. She has had two computer science internships, one at HP and one at CDK Global. This summer she is going to be interning at Walt Disney as an Emerging Technology Software Developer Intern. After graduation, she would like to be employed as a software engineer.

William Rianda received a Robert and Nancy Strong Scholarship in Mathematics

William Rianda is a junior from Ferndale, Washington majoring in mathematics with an option in theoretical mathematics. He is currently in ROTC and as a contracted cadet he will commission as a officer in the US Army upon graduation. He has received an internship at MIT this summer through the Army. With a cumulative gpa of 3.85 he is on the President's Honor Roll and has also worked in the Math Learning Center (MLC) to tutor and help other students. He is self-supporting and paying for his own education through grants and scholarships, and has received an ROTC scholarship as well as a math scholarship.

Serena Peterson received the J. Russell and Mildred H. Vatnsdal Memorial Scholarship

Serena is from Selah, Washington and is majoring in mathematics with an actuarial option. At the age of 9, she began an entrepreneurial venture when she planted three hundred dollars from her own savings into seed money to purchase 5 commercial goats. Between 2007 and 2016, her agricultural business, SHUSH Boer Goats, expanded to approximately thirty head of registered Boer goats that she personally owned. It then sparked a family business with between 200-250 head of goats, breeding and marketing registerd Boer goats throughout the northwest United States. In her free time she thoroughly enjoys tutoring students who need help in mathematics. The past summer, she tutored a middle-school student in her community. She has held various positions within the department as an MLC tutor, a grader for Math 220 and a teaching assistant for Math 100. She privately tutors students several times a week in Math 171 and Math 106. She has funded her own education so far and is working to save money for next year's tuition and housing.

Jacob Bansberg received a Richard and Bonnie Winkwenwerder Scholarship in Mathematics Award

Jacob is a junior from Marysville, Washington who is majoring in mathematics with an emphasis in actuarial science and a minor in business, and he is contemplating a minor in statistics. Jacob will be the vice president of the Actuarial Science Club next year and helped out with the recent Society of Actuaries Student Case Study Challenge. He is active in the WSU marching band, serving as a section leader of the alto saxophone section for football, basketball, and volleyball games. His goal is to pass two actuarial exams by the time he graduates so he can pursue a career with an actuarial firm.

James Whitbread received the Knebelman Outstanding Senior Award

James Whitbread is from Colville, Washington and has been selected to receive the 2018 Knebelman Outstanding Senior Award. He has also received the 2018 Top Ten Senior in Academics Award from WSU. He graduates with a cumulative 3.993 gpa with a theoretical mathematics option, and has completed a minor in biology and chemistry, and received a certificate in molecular biosciences. To help other students he started the WSU National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) student chapter. Please read this story about James' work to help raise mental health awareness on the WSU campus. During the fall semester of both 2016 and 2017, as an undergraduate, he taught Math 103, Intermediate Algebra. He has been accepted into the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland this fall where he will study with other students from Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford. His career aspiration is to become a cardiac surgeon. Read more about James Whitbread here.

Megan Wendler received the Sidney G. Hacker Graduate Teaching Award

Megan Wendler is completing her PhD in mathematics while working as a graduate teaching assistant. In addition to assisting other instructors, she has taught linear algebra, calculus III, business calculus and trigonometry. She seeks to use new and innovative ways to explain standard material and strives to be enthusiastic and approachable as she provides meaningful answers to questions. She seeks to engage her students intellectually and tries to assign work that is thought-provoking and meaningful. Not a stranger to travel, she lived in South America for a year and a half, studied abroad in Japan and spent a semester abroad in New Zealand. Her cumulative gpa is 3.9 and she is presently doing research in linear algebra on semimonotone matrices. Her academic advisor is Dr. Michael Tsatsomeros.

Matthew Jobrack received the Nancy J. Robertson Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Mathematics

Matthew Jobrack is completing his PhD in mathematics as well as working on a MS in statistics, with a cumulative gpa of 4.0. His research focuses on number theory, modular forms and L-functions. He is currently writing a paper on the non-vanishing of derivatives of L-functions at their central point. He has taught courses on business pre-calculus and calculus, and probability and statistics for engineers. As a teacher, he strives to show how the material can be applied, as well as how it fits in to a bigger picture of mathematics and its history. His adviser is Dr. Sheng-Chi Liu.

Benjamin Hellwig Benjamin Hellwig with his poster Scholarship and Awards Ceremony Meghan Wendler, Matthew Hudelson and Michael Tsatsomeros
Chuck Millham and Chuck Moore Chuck Millham and Kayla Rhodes Chuck Moore Churck Moore and Chuck Millham
Chuck Moore David Morin and friend David Morin poster David Morin and his poster
Gator Newell, Chuck Millham and Kayla Rhodes James Whitbread James Whitbread James Whitbread, Outstanding Senior in Mathematics for 2018
James Whitbread James Whitbread People at the reception Lynn Schreyer
Megan Wendler Megan Wendler Michael Newsham with his poster Molly Clayton and James Whitbread
Molly Clayton and Jenn Kurz Molly Clayton and Jenn Kurz People at the reception People at the reception