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HVA, Webb seniors named Haslam Scholars

Two Hardin Valley Academy 2011 graduates, Ryan Clark and Shivani Goyal, and Tyrel Prentis, Webb School of Knoxville class of 2011, have been named as three of 15 members of the 2011-2012 class of Haslam Scholars at The University of Tennessee.

Haslam Scholars Program benefits include a $1,500 laptop computer and a study-abroad experience valued at $4,000, as well as up to $5,500 to support students’ honors thesis research and travel to present their work.

In addition, each Haslam Scholar will receive a scholarship package that totals $17,300.

Shivani, who plans to major in psychology, said being chosen has given her a feeling of exhilaration.

“For the next four years I am going to be taken care of so well there, all 15 of us will. It is an exhilarating feeling, knowing that for the next four years, I am set,” she said.

Shivani holds an unweighted 4.0 grade-point average, which is higher once her eight AP classes are added to the average, and has been active in student government, Key Club and HVA’s literary magazine throughout her high school career.

Ryan plans to major in music and is an accomplished classical piano player.

“I went to Governor’s School [for the Arts] after my sophomore year and that completely changed how I felt about education and my academic career. It really turned things around [and] I started taking my AP classes. I have taken 11 AP classes,” he said.

“At first I planned on double majoring in music and math, but I did an internship with Senior Portfolio at UT with one of the math professors and that experience made me realize that I do not want to pursue math academically. I would rather put all my efforts toward music and see what can happen there.”

Shivani participated in an internship with a local psychology group, which reinforced her desire to enter that field of study.

“I have been interested in psychology since eighth grade, so it has been a very constant interest of mine for quite some time now. I don’t know which type of psychology I want to do because there are so many. I am thinking maybe a PhD in clinical psychology,” she said.

Tyrel, whose interests include history, art history, the classics, physics and theater, said being accepted into the Haslam Scholar program persuaded him to choose UT over the other schools where he was accepted, including Yale and Harvard.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this group; this program is the entire reason I came to UT. Being close to my family was a big thing and this program made it possible,” he said.

Both Shivani and Ryan said one of the biggest advantages to being a Haslam scholar is the feeling of community the program offers its participants.

“It is very close-knit and I think that is a very important part because it is not just that you have 15 people receive the scholarship and they say, ‘Now go out and do your own thing,” it is more like, you have 15 people receive the scholarship, now do your own thing, but also form this great community where you learn from each other and build upon each other’s knowledge,” she said.

“I look at the Haslam program like a big hawk and we are under their wing,” Ryan said.

“It’s the fact that they are going to take such a personal interest in all that we do. It feels like the closest thing a nerd like myself can get to a fraternity, not in a stereotypical sense, but with camaraderie with a great group of people that we will have a class with each week. Even though we are all going to be studying very different subjects, we will still have a close relationship with each other.

“I am looking forward to that,” he added.


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