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The SCICU Board of Trustees recognized two outstanding independent college and university students at its annual meeting on October 1 at Anderson University. Chosen from dozens of applicants by the prestigious Center for Scholarship Administration, this year’s award recipients are Ms. Natasha Rudy from Wofford College and Ms. Savannah Taylor from Furman University.
Natasha Rudy: J. Lacy McLean South Carolina Independent College and University Student of the Year (pictured right)
Natasha Rudy, a senior at Wofford College, is the 2013-2014 J. Lacy McLean Scholarship recipient and the SC Independent College and University Student of the Year. The award is presented annually by SCICU and includes a $2,000 scholarship.
Ms. Rudy, a native of Greenwood, SC, is a double major in Biology and Mathematics and has maintained a 4.0 GP during her academic career at Wofford. She spent the summer interning at the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Syntheses.
Ms. Rudy tutors fellow students in genetics and calculus nightly, serves as a Wofford Ambassador, and was selected as a member of the Leadership Team of Wofford’s Orientation Staff. She also serves her community as part of Wofford’s Math Academy, a student-run outreach program that gives Wofford students the opportunity to mentor and strengthen the math skills of fourth- and fifth-graders at a local elementary school.
After graduation, Ms. Rudy plans to seek a master’s degree in genetic counseling, an interest that developed after a high school field trip to the Greenwood Genetic Center. Ms. Rudy looks forward to her career in genetic counseling as a means of serving others: “I will be able to be the person who can soothe someone who is struggling to understand and cope with the implications of a genetic disease or disorder or a birth defect by providing them with answers and a network of support.”
During her junior year, Natasha Rudy was named SCICU’s Sterling L. Smith Scholar for 2013-2013.
The J. Lacy McLean Award was established in 1987 by friends of J. Lacy McLean in honor of his 34 years of service to higher education, particularly among private, non-profit colleges and universities. The award recipient must be a South Carolina resident who has performed well academically and who has demonstrated those traits characterized by the life of Lacy McLean, including commitment to public affairs, community service, and leadership. The nominee must be a rising senior at an independent four-year college or a rising sophomore at an independent two-year college
Savannah Taylor: Sterling L. Smith Scholar (pictured left)
Savannah Taylor, a senior at Furman University, is the Sterling L. Smith Scholarship recipient for 2013-2014. The award is presented annually by SCICU to a student who qualifies for a Higher Education Tuition Grant and includes a $1,000 scholarship.
Ms. Taylor is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts with a Music major in Voice. She has been on the Dean’s List every semester of her academic career. She holds memberships with both Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society and Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. Named a Hipp Scholar, Ms. Taylor has studied at New York University, Oxford University in England, and the Berklee College of Music.
A resident of Greer, S.C., Ms. Taylor has starred in numerous musical theater productions, operas, solo recitals, choirs, fundraisers, and voice and piano competitions. She has recorded music for YouTube and iTunes, and her original musical theater script and score will be debuting in Fall 2013. Her involvement at Furman University includes her work with campus housing, with the Exploration of Vocational Ministry Internship Program at the University Chapel, and as a tutor at Academic Assistance. She also teaches voice and piano to high school students in the community. Ms. Taylor is the founder of Leaders Gift, a nonprofit organization that offers college financial aid and admission information to high school students.
Upon graduation, Ms. Taylor plans to attend graduate school for business with the goal of working in the entertainment industry, as well as continuing to follow her passion for performing and recording music.
Funded through gifts to South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities, Inc., the scholarship was established in 1996 to honor the legacy of Sterling L. Smith for his relentless years of service to higher education. Sterling L. Smith was instrumental in crafting the development of the South Carolina Tuition Grants Program. All nominees must be rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors that are recipients of a South Carolina Tuition Grant, have performed well academically, and have demonstrated those traits characterized by the life of Sterling Smith, including leadership and commitment to public affairs.