College scholarship winners announced

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 13, 2021

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GROSSE POINTES — Several local students will get a financial boost when they begin college this fall.

Earlier this month, the Grosse Pointe Branch of the American Association of University Women, or AAUW, and the Grosse Pointe Theatre, or GPT, announced their 2021 scholarship recipients.

Fundraising in the AAUW has provided for national endowments and scholarships, and local scholarships to women at Wayne State University, Alternatives for Girls and Macomb Community College.

Within the last few years, the branch has provided the financial stability to continue and expand its science, technology, engineering and math program currently at Defer Elementary School and at Pierce Middle School in the Grosse Pointe Public School System.

This year, the AAUW Grosse Pointe Branch elected to provide $1,500 scholarships to two Grosse Pointe North High School and two Grosse Pointe South High School seniors who want to have careers in STEM. Also, $1,000 was awarded to a student who has been involved in robotics.

During the selection process, different criteria was looked at, and each recipient was asked, “If you could skip into a time machine and move forward or backward, where would you go and why?”

North students Victoria Treder and Mia Cassar each received $1,500 scholarships. Becoming a physician is Cassar’s goal.

“In the midst of the global pandemic, I am personally more than ready for a post-pandemic world; the hope that the future brings in the ‘this too shall pass moments’ motivate me daily,” Cassar said in an AAUW press release. “This motivation ignites my passion to discover something that I will be able to do in STEM research.”

Treder plans to work as a forensic scientist.

“In order to properly understand the endeavors and accomplishments of my own life, I must credit the historical events that have led me to where I am,” she stated in the press release. “The concept of historical evaluation and acknowledgement can be applied to any day-to-day situation.”

South students Hayden Barry and Peyton Lancaster each received $1,500 scholarships.

Lancaster aspires to become a biomedical engineer. She is passionate about helping others and believes she can positively impact other people’s lives by applying her abilities in science and math in the field of biomedical engineering.

Barry’s goal is to become a pharmaceutical scientist. She’s interested in what would happen to the world’s climate if there was a nuclear war. The South senior would go back in time to when the first physicist completed a nuclear winter model to understand more about the subject.

Looking forward to a career as a machinist, South student Alexa Rigotti received the $1,000 STEM robotics scholarship. In the press release, she stated that she is “a female who does not conform to gender roles, especially in my interests. I am the only female in my high school to do percussion and drumline. I joined the robotics team to learn about machining.”

GPT awarded $6,000 to five high school seniors to help with their college tuition. This year’s scholarship audition was held May 1 at the Grosse Pointe Theatre headquarters at 315 Fisher Road, with social distancing measures in place. The recipients were announced May 2. The adjudicators were metro Detroit performers Ron Bernas, Makayla Redgate and Rodel Salazar.

And the GPT scholarships go to: Kerrigan Dunham, South, attending Millikin University this fall; Quinn Sahutske, South, attending the University of Michigan; Christina Jarad, University Liggett School, college to be determined; Lauren Battle, Walled Lake Northern, attending the University of Michigan; and Lillian Groth, Regina High School, attending DePaul University in Chicago.

Dunham has been a member of the Pointes Singers Competitive Show Choir since 2019. He has entertained audiences in various stage shows at South, and is a member of the marching band and concert band playing the baritone and euphonium, respectively. He is an Eagle Scout and webmaster of Troop No. 96 out of Grosse Pointe Memorial Church in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Sahutske has performed in many GPT Youth on Stage Program productions. She was a student director this year at South. Sahutske received a superior first division rating in solo voice from the Michigan School Vocal Music Association in 2017 and 2018.  She has participated in the Broadway Artists Alliance Summer Musical Theatre Intensive in 2017 and the Purple Rose Theater Company Summer Intensive in 2018.

Jarad most recently played Sophie Sheridan in University Liggett’s production of “Mamma Mia!” She also was a Sutton Foster Award nominee this year for best lead actress and a third-place winner in the National Association of Teachers of Singing Great Lakes Region in musical theater competition. Jarad, an accomplished dancer, won a superior rating for her classical and modern piano playing at the Michigan Federation of Music Clubs for nine years.

Battle has been in band more than seven years. While a student at Walled Lake Northern, Battle performed in stage productions, played soccer, ran track, and was in the National Honor Society and Political Science Club. She received academic honors throughout high school and earned a varsity letter.

Groth will study vocal performance and creative writing in the fall. She had leading roles in Regina and De LaSalle Collegiate High School theater performances. Groth was Miss St. Clair Shores Outstanding Teen first runner-up and the talent award winner in 2017 and 2019. She has participated in writing workshops, including Interlochen Novel Writing Institute and Gotham Writer’s Workshop.

As the 2020-2021 school year finishes out, the Louisa St. Clair Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution announced $1,000 scholarships each to Grosse Pointe South High School graduate Evan Smolen, of Grosse Pointe Farms, and Grosse Pointe North High School graduate Eliza Ellery, of Grosse Pointe Woods.

The scholarships were announced at the chapter’s annual meeting in May. The scholarships were established to acknowledge academic excellence in American history at the secondary level, to promote continued study at an undergraduate institution, and to encourage a degree and career in American history and related fields.