Scholars You May Know

John A. Swanson, 1957

American Bank Note Company Merit Scholarship

Mechanical engineer, founder of ANSYS, Inc., 2004 John Fritz Medal recipient, philanthropist

Elvin R. Bishop, 1960

A. O. Smith Merit Scholarship

Musician, rock and blues legend

Stephen J. DeCanio, 1960

National Merit Scholarship

Professor of Economics, Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara, shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1960

Lilly Endowment Merit Scholarship

Professor of Economics at Columbia University, awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Economics, Former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank

Amory Bloch Lovins, 1964

National Merit Scholarship

Environmentalist and physicist, Chairman Emeritus and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, author, MacArthur Fellow

Robert B. Reich, 1964

National Merit Scholarship

Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, former Secretary of Labor, author

Thomas R. Cech, 1966

National Merit Scholarship

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Colorado, Boulder, awarded the 1989 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, former president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Alexa I. Canady, 1967

FMC Achievement Scholarship

First African-American female neurosurgeon, former Chief of Neurosurgery at the Children's Hospital of Michigan

Mitchell Daniels, Jr., 1967

National Merit Scholarship

President of Purdue University, former Governer of Indiana

Roger Y. Tsien, 1968

National Merit Scholarship

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Professor of Pharmacology and Professor of

Chemistry and Biochemisitry at the University of California-San Diego, awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Jerry Greenfield, 1969

Bache Corporation Foundation Merit Scholarship

Co-founder, Ben & Jerry's, philanthropist

Paul R. Krugman, 1970

National Merit Scholarship

Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University, awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics, Author, OpEd Columnist for the New York Times

Ben S. Bernanke, 1971

National Merit Scholarship

Former Chairman, Federal Reserve, economist at the Brookings Institution

Evelynn M. Hammonds, 1971

National Achievement Scholarship

Former Dean of Harvard College, Professor of History and African American Studies at Harvard University

Jeffrey D. Sachs, 1972

National Merit Scholarship

Economist, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Steven A. Ballmer, 1973

National Merit Scholarship

Former Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation

William H. "Bill" Gates III, 1973

National Merit Scholarship

Former Chairman, Microsoft Corporation, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, philanthropist

Jim Cramer, 1973

National Merit Scholarship

Host of CNBC's Mad Money, author, financial advisor

Mae Carol Jemison, 1973

Bell Telephone Laboratories Achievement Scholarship

Retired NASA astronaut, physician, first African-American woman in space

John G. Roberts, 1973

National Merit Scholarship

Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Elena Kagan, 1977

National Merit Scholarship

Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court

Lisa P. Jackson, 1979

Nabisco Achievement Scholarship

Vice President, Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives for Apple, Inc. and former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Benjamin Alvin Drew, 1980

National Achievement Scholarship

Colonel in the United States Air Force, Air Force pilot, NASA astronaut

Gabe L. Newell, 1980

National Merit Scholarship

Co-founder and managing director of Valve Corporation, developer behind popular game franchises like Half-Life and Portal

Lisa J. Randall, 1980

National Merit Scholarship

Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University, author

Susan E. Rice, 1982

National Achievement Scholarship

United States National Security Advisor and former U.S. Ambassador for the United Nations

Jeffrey P. Bezos, 1982

National Merit Scholarship

Chairman and CEO, Amazon.com, owner of The Washington Post

Peter A. Thiel, 1985

National Merit Scholarship

Author, entrepreneur, co-founder of PayPal

Linda D. Rottenberg, 1986

National Merit Scholarship

CEO and co-founder of Endeavor, entrepreneur, New York Times bestselling author

Manoj "M. Night" Shyamalan, 1988

New York University Merit Scholarship

Director, filmmaker, two-time Academy Award nominee, known for films such as The Sixth Sense and Signs

James Michael McCullers, 1989

BellSouth Merit Scholarship

Writer and director; co-wrote two Austin Powers films and wrote and directed the film Baby Mama

Melissa Harris-Perry, 1991

National Achievement Scholarship

Maya Angelou Presidential Chair in Politics and International Affairs at Wake Forest University, author, former host of MSNBC's "Melissa Harris-Perry" show

Stephenie (Morgan) Meyer, 1992

Brigham Young University Merit Scholarship

Bestselling author of the Twilight series, film producer

Kathryn Felicia Day, 1995

University of Texas Merit Scholarship

Bestselling author and producer, writer, and lead actress of The Guild; appeared in House, Monk, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural, and Eureka

Terence S. Carter, 1997

National Achievement Scholarship

Executive Vice President, Drama Development and Programming at Fox Broadcasting Company

Featured Scholars
George N. Pandya
George N. Pandya
Endlessly curious and exceptionally innovative, George N. Pandya says, “I am always thrilled to immerse myself in a fascinating new problem, learning something new, whether I fail or succeed.” George received three associate’s degrees as a dual-enrollment student before graduating from high school, and his passion for learning has enabled him to gain experience both in the academic sphere and the workplace.
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Natalie M. Johnson
Natalie M. Johnson
The youngest of six sisters, Natalie M. Johnson has experienced the financial strain that often accompanies a quality education. “Winning a National Achievement Scholarship,” she says, “was very moving for me because it meant for the first time in my life I could pursue my academic passions without stress caused by limited finances.” Natalie iterates, “very real social barriers prevent other low-income students from achieving the same things as I have.” She intends to use her education to give back to others.
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Isaiah J. Drummond
Isaiah J. Drummond
Isaiah J. Drummond was inspired to combine his interests in biology and mechanical engineering after attending the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Sciences (MITES) summer program through Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MITES, he won the Edna and Leon Trilling Award for Overall Academic Excellence, completed research at the Broad Institute for Genomics, and interviewed professionals at the Boston Medical Center. These activities motivated him to “work diligently to leave a positive, lasting impact on the world.” Isaiah asserts,“I hope to discover new ways to fight against ailments” and “use my knowledge and skills to increase public awareness of diseases and encourage others to join the fight.”
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Amy T. Sun
Amy T. Sun
While attending Johns Hopkins University, Amy T. Sun pursued a double degree in biomedical engineering and engineering mechanics. She gained valuable laboratory experience at several internships, including two at the National Institutes of Health, and worked as a research assistant in the systems biology laboratory at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Amy is passionate about “solving problems and understanding how the world works” and is grateful for her scholarship, which helped her partake in study abroad opportunities.
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Laurel M. Wright
Laurel M. Wright
Laurel M. Wright is the 2016 recipient of the National Merit John M. Stalnaker Memorial Scholarship, which is given each year to an outstanding National Merit Finalist planning to pursue a career in mathematics or science. This four-year award is underwritten by NMSC in honor of its founding President and Chief Executive Officer, who recognized a need for increased support of science and math in America. Laurel is attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she plans to turn her dream of becoming a theoretical physicist into a reality.
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