School Welcomes 50 High-Achieving Walter Williams Scholars to Campus

2018 Walter Williams Scholars

Now in its 15th year, the Walter Williams Scholars program has helped 771 students capitalize on their potential to become “the best of the best” in journalism and strategic communication. (Not pictured: Joe Butler, Michael Fitzpatrick, Lianna Kowalke, Hannah Sherrow and Allie Widick.)

In Addition to Academics, Incoming Freshmen Boast Impressive Achievements in Journalism, Leadership, Sports, and More

Columbia, Mo. (Aug. 31, 2018) — The Missouri School of Journalism welcomed 50 new Walter Williams Scholars on Wednesday, Aug. 29. The students come from 16 states across the country.

To be considered for the Walter Williams Scholars program, candidates must be incoming freshman with a score of 33 or higher on the ACT. This class of Walter Williams Scholars holds a variety of journalistic experience, with nine students who served as the editor of their high school newspaper or magazine. Many students lettered in sports and/or were captains of their teams, two were president of student government, and three are Eagle Scouts.

Some academic accomplishments from the group as a whole include:

“We are delighted that these outstanding students chose Mizzou,” said Associate Dean Emeritus Brian Brooks. “They represent the best of our nation’s future journalists and strategic communicators.”

The Walter Williams Scholars Program, named for the School’s founding dean, accepts freshmen by invitation only. Once on campus, students receive renewable scholarship funds directly from the School of Journalism, are placed in a special Freshman Interest Group, are assigned a personal faculty mentor, receive a $1,000 scholarship to study abroad or in the School’s programs in New York City and Washington, D.C., at any time before graduation, and automatic admission to the one-year BJ/MA program, which allows students to complete their graduate degrees in one year rather than two.

The program, designed for high-achieving University of Missouri freshmen studying journalism, is now in its 15th year. To date, 771 students have participated in this program.

The Fall 2018 class of Walter Williams Scholars is:

  • Gracie Alvarez from North Little Rock, Ark.
  • Maggie Baughman from Cumming, Iowa
  • Rachel Behrndt from Coppell, Texas
  • Jessica Blake from Dublin, Ohio
  • Tanner Bubeck from Argyle, Texas
  • Joe Butler from Ballwin, Mo.
  • Kevin Cook from Carmel, Calif.
  • Tyler Driesenga from Allendale, Mich.
  • Danielle DuClos from Anchorage, Alaska
  • Hal Estep from Branson, Mo.
  • Laura Evans from Leawood, Kan.
  • Jake Fein from Prosper, Texas
  • Jared Fisch from Cherry Hill, N.J.
  • Michael Fitzpatrick from Arlington Heights, Ill.
  • Connor Giffin from Foster City, Calif.
  • Taylor Gion from West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Hunter Hart from Powell, Ohio
  • Shelby Henderson from Bolivar, Mo.
  • Hannah Holladay from Overland Park, Kan.
  • Kyndall Hubbard from Chantilly, Va.
  • Grace Keith from Monroe, Wisc.
  • Lianna Kowalke from Reinwald Gurnee, Ill.
  • Lily Kraxberger from Columbia, Mo.
  • Ian Laird from Seattle, Wash.
  • Skylar Laird from Saint Peters, Mo.
  • Jonathan Larimore from Warrensburg, Mo.
  • Ellie McCrary from Wentzville, Mo.
  • Katelynn Mcilwain from Freeport, Ill.
  • Janae McKenzie from Powell, Ohio
  • Spencer Mende from Nixa, Mo.
  • Emma Moloney from Rocheport, Mo.
  • Andrew Moore from Rockton, Ill.
  • Jake Mosher from Saint Charles, Mo.
  • Evan Musil from Olathe, Kan.
  • Madalynn Owens from Columbia, Mo.
  • Rachel Pickett from Overland Park, Kan.
  • Jacob Reed from Centennial, Colo.
  • Holly Roustio from Independence, Mo.
  • Madison Ryley from Plainfield, Ill.
  • Hannah Sherrow from Chillicothe, Mo.
  • Nikol Slatinska from Columbia, Mo.
  • Anna Spell from Columbia, Mo.
  • Caroline Stiefbold from Mt. Prospect, Ill.
  • Delanie Vinzant from Maryville, Mo.
  • Abby Werner from Mansfield, Texas
  • Abby West from Weston, Conn.
  • Kylie West from Allen, Texas
  • Benjamin Wiche from Keller, Texas
  • Allie Widick from Lee’s Summit, Mo.
  • Madeline Wilson from Fulton, Mo.

Updated: November 4, 2020

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