The Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Association of Greater Austin
 

Congratulations to our 2017 Scholarship Winners

26 May 2017 10:42 AM | Joyce Statz (Administrator)

On May 7, 2017, the Phi Beta Alumni Association of Greater Austin was pleased to award scholarships to four outstanding students.  We congratulate them all and wish them great success in their studies and in their careers!

2017 PBKAAGA Scholarship Winners

Philip F. Patman Memorial Baccalaureate Scholarship

Arquetta Laryssa Gentry  $2,000

Arquetta Laryssa Gentry (called “G” by her friends) is a native of San Antonio, Texas. She has two younger brothers and was raised by her grandmother. She is a graduate of the Gary Job Corps Computer Service Technician program, and she credits her mentors there with encouraging her to develop her academic and leadership talents.

G is currently a full time Career Preparation Specialist for Gary Job Corps in San Marcos and an adult degree Honors student at Huston Tillotson University where she majors in psychology. At Huston Tillotson, she has been recognized for Outstanding Student Achievement for her superior grades and her leadership efforts.

She volunteers extensively in community organizations such as the San Marcos Citizen’s Police Academy Alumni Association and Gary Job Corps events, and she is active in the campus-based American Democracy Project Student Government Association and the NAACP. G enjoys writing poetry, fixing computers, drawing, and listening to all genres of music. Her goals are to serve as a role model and to offer support as a motivational speaker to young people, adults, and at-risk youth by sharing education, skill, and life-learning experiences and the values of perseverance, struggle, and leadership.


Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Gabriel Hillman Alvarez  $2,500

Gabriel Alvarez was described by one of his teachers  as an incredibly high achieving student who distinguished himself among a school full of high achieving students.  He’s seen as hard working, inquisitive, and creative, exemplified by a research project that required building a model of a sacred space. His group designed and built an Orthodox Church, one of the best models ever assembled.  

So, it’s not surprising that Gabe describes himself as passionate about science and engineering, He has participated regionally and nationally with the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) Engineering Club, and created a challenge-based curriculum to introduce STEM ideas to under-represented students at the Gus Garcia Young Men’s Leadership Academy. He has worked abroad to aid Nicaraguan refugees in Costa Rica, and is now the co-president of the LASA Spanish Honor Society.

At an internship with NASA and the UT Center for Space Research, Gabe developed flood-monitoring software to improve emergency response. He also worked in constituent relations and policy research as an intern to Mayor Steve Adler at City Hall.

He is an active member of the LASA National Honor Society and a participant in Youth and Government. Gabe is the captain of his Division I club soccer team, and won the district championship with his school’s varsity team. He is a National Hispanic Scholar and a National Merit Finalist, and has received the AISD Trustees’ Scholar Award as well as the Harvard Book Award. Gabe will graduate from LASA in June as the valedictorian, and plans to continue his studies at Stanford University in the fall.  Is it any wonder that Gabe’s sponsor sees his motto as “make an impact”?


Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Dayln Elizabeth Gillentine  $2,500

Dayln Gillentine is a senior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy and has lived in Austin her whole life. She lives with her parents, sister, pet dogs, and cat. Other than the time she spends having hilarious dinner conversations with them, she spends most of her free time running and playing soccer.

Dayln also loves trying out new desserts and watching movies with friends. She spends her summers working at Book People’s Camp Half Blood and her school years studying fascinating topics in mathematics and philosophy.

Dayln is described as eager and excited to learn, always positive, drawing classmates into the lesson at hand with enthusiasm and humor.  Her philosophy teacher provided even more insight into an engaged student who is one of the most thorough “annotators” that he’d encountered in 16 years of teaching, often filling the margins so thoroughly that no room remained.     

He further described her as kind, involved, insightful, and empathetic, and said “if empathy is the foundation of a civilized society, then Dayln is helping to affirm and create the best of civilization.“

She looks forward to attending Smith College next year, where she intends to study math and is excited for all the new experiences and friends that will accompany it.

 

Phi Beta Kappa Physicians' Scholarship for Academic Excellence

Daniel Lee Rios McCutchen  $2,500

Daniel Lee Ríos McCutchen’s teacher, Keeth Matheny, writes that Daniel “is one of the top 1% of all students I have ever taught.” In addition to being a top academic student, Mr. Matheny notes that Daniel is “an extremely positive role model” for the students in his freshman success skills course, which is “all about social and emotional learning.”

Daniel is a senior at Austin High School, where he was awarded the Trustees’ Scholar award every year in recognition of outstanding academic achievement. He is salutatorian of his senior class.

Daniel excels in sports and is an all-state distance runner and team leader. He has also taken a leadership role by organizing charity and humanitarian projects. Inspired by his grandparents’ history— he wrote an essay about learning how his grandparents came to the U.S. as migrant workers under Roosevelt’s Bracero Program— Daniel became President of the Austin High Latino Partnership and initiated blue jeans, clothing, and school supply drives for local immigrant groups. He is founder of the Walk For The Water non-profit fundraising organization, an annual 5k race that raises money for clean, accessible water for people in Burundi, Africa. He is advisor to the Aspen Institute's National Youth Commission, and he teaches a Social and Emotional Learning class to freshman students at his high school. Daniel will be attending Harvard University next fall, where he will run track and study government and international relations.

 

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