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July 3, 2006 :: Students Receive Scholarship Renamed for Former Chancellor

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Demonstration of academic success and civic involvement has earned four Oklahoma high school seniors a scholarship renamed in honor of one of Oklahoma’s former chancellors.

Stephen Eller, Haskell High School; Tyson Miller, Woodward High School; Sarah Savage, Anadarko High School; and Nicole Ticknor, Bennington High School, will each receive a $2,000 scholarship as part of the Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholarship program, formerly known as the Chancellor’s Scholars program.

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education recently renamed the scholarship program to honor Brisch, who served as chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education for 15 years. He retired in 2003 and passed away last February at the age of 66.

The 2006 Chancellor Hans Brisch Scholars were selected from more than 114 nominations made by high school principals statewide.

“These students are an elite group of young Oklahomans who have distinguished themselves academically and through service to their local communities,” Chancellor Paul G. Risser said. “They are an impressive group of scholar leaders who are making a difference in the lives of others by consistently giving back to their communities. We wish them well as they pursue their college goals.”

Eller has volunteered at the Oklahoma Farmer’s Union Camp for the past four years, helping lead children’s group activities and serving as a teen counselor. He has also served as president and director for the Northwest Swine Showman Association and has volunteered at the local library; Haskell Livestock Booster Club Annual Rodeo and Bull Buckout; and for the Haskell School Beautification project.

During his high school career, Eller served in several leadership roles, including senior class president, newspaper editor and National Honor Society president. He earned many academic accolades such as Academic All-State finalist, Muskogee Daily Phoenix Academic All-Star and Who’s Who Among American High School Students. A 4.0 student and senior class valedictorian, Eller will attend Oklahoma State University in the fall.

Miller served on the Woodward Red Cross Board of Directors and volunteered for many community events and projects, including Special Olympics, Boomer Breakfast Buddies, Boomer Readers, Kid Fest, Crystal Christmas and an apartment clean-up ministry. He has also served as a Vacation Bible School volunteer, a missionary to Romania, a basketball camp instructor and also was active in several school-related blood, food and coat drives.

Some of Miller’s leadership positions include serving as vice president and president for the WHS National Honor Society; Student Council representative and senior class vice president. He also served as coordinator for the 2005 Woodward “See You at the Pole” event, instructor and chaplain for “Students Teaching AIDS to Youth” and captain for the WHS varsity football team. He also received the United States Achievement Academy Leadership Merit Award. Miller’s academic achievements include National Scholar, Student Citizen of the Year by the Woodward Chamber of Commerce and Outstanding Student of America Award.

A 4.0 student, Miller is planning to attend the University of Oklahoma next fall.

Savage co-founded Youth Improving Community, an organization of students that works with the Anadarko City Council on volunteer projects to improve services, increase cooperation between the city and youth, and provide resources for all ages. She serves as a volunteer for the Anadarko Community Library and for Anadarko First Baptist Church in its children’s ministry. She was active in several school-related organizations, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and served in many student leadership roles, which included student council representative, junior class vice president and Anadarko Girls’ State representative.

Ranked first in her class, Savage earned a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society and Oklahoma Indian Honor Society. The Anadarko Optimist named Savage its student of the month during her junior and senior year and she received the Anadarko Indian Education Leadership Award. Named a U.S. Achievement Academy All-American Scholar, she will attend the University of Oklahoma in the fall.

Ticknor initiated, developed and implemented GIRL (Growing Into Real Ladies), a four-week program for elementary to junior high females that focuses on self esteem, peer pressure, teen pregnancy and eating disorders. Since the program’s inception last spring, she has been invited to share the program outside of her own school district.

She served as senior class president and president of the National Honor Society. She also was co-captain for the basketball team and served as a mentor for elementary students. Ticknor earned a 3.98 GPA and is planning to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, in the fall.

The first Chancellor's Scholars were recognized in 1992. Since then, 58 students have received the award.

Private gifts support the program, which honors not only Brisch but the office of Chancellor and all individuals who hold that office.