Recent Lakota East graduate Jeffrey Back and recent Ursuline graduate Kaitlin Burnam, both of West Chester, received The University of Cincinnati’s highest scholarship award — a four-year, $92,000 Cincinnatus Presidential scholarship to pay for tuition, room and board, books and fees.
The prestigious scholarship competition selects students on the basic of academic achievement, leadership and commitment to community service. Each awarded scholar must perform 30 hours of community service each year.
Back, a National Merit Finalist, will be majoring in industrial design at UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP).
“I have wanted to study industrial design since the eighth grade,” Back said. “I’m fascinated by the combination of creative thinking and problem-solving that makes up industrial design.”
Back’s high school activities included serving as editor-in-chief and sports editor for Spark, Lakota East’s student-generated news magazine. He also served as captain of his school’s cross country team and was a member of Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society, National Honor Society, his school’s Latin Club and the Student Athlete Leadership Team. He was also involved in Relay For Life to benefit the American Cancer Society; Special Olympics and volunteering at St. Rita’s Haunted House, as well as serving through his church.
Burnam, a National Merit Commended student, will be majoring in computer engineering in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
“I’m fascinated by modern technology and the way it develops so rapidly, and I want to find ways to take advantage of that growth,” Burnam said. “Specifically, my goal is to create tools that will help people with special needs, especially autism, have greater communication capabilities.”
Burnam was a member of her high school competitive Academic Team and chemistry club and also played on four different hockey teams during high school. Her service activities include judging a third-grade writing contest at Bethany School in Glendale that her Girl Scout troop began in 2009. She has also participated in fundraisers to research autism, as well as the Relay For Life fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.