CEAT’s WW Allen Scholars and Boys & Girls Club Scholars selected for 2022


Friday, July 1, 2022

Media contact: Kristi Wheeler | Marketing and Communications Manager | 405-744-5831 | [email protected]

Sophie Hawkins, Lenna Abouzahr and William Penney have been selected as recipients of two prestigious scholarships for Oklahoma State University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.

Abouzahr and Hawkins were named annual recipients of the WW Allen Fellowship.

The WW Allen Scholarship is available for engineering students and offers over $135,000 in scholarships and opportunities. The scholarship includes $7,500 per year, industry networking, study abroad experiences, and mentorship. Scholars also receive full tuition and accommodation towards a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge.

Lenna abouzahr graduated from Stillwater High School this spring and is majoring in electrical and computer engineering.

Lenna Abouzahr is from Stillwater, Oklahoma, and graduated from Stillwater High School. She devoted most of her time to her position as drum major of the marching band, in addition to being captain of the school’s mock trial team and president of the Young Democrats. She was also a member of the Academic Team, the Beta Club, and the National Honor Society.

“High school was a good way for me to explore and see what interested me,” Abouzahr said.

During a student shadowing program at a Stillwater hospital, she saw the repercussions of a hack in the hospital’s computer system. She also remembers the fallout from the Texas electricity crisis. These experiences influenced his decision to major in electrical and computer engineering.

“It was so awful because electricity is something everyone takes for granted,” Abouzahr said. “It’s such an integral part of our daily lives, and we don’t realize how important it is. It was terrible to see people without electricity.

Abuzahr’s appreciation for electricity also grew during his visit to the Middle East, where his parents are from. She has been to Lebanon four times and said experiencing the country’s electricity problems was something that touched her deeply.

“We couldn’t even use a vacuum cleaner because it consumes too much energy,” Abouzahr said. “And now, the economic crisis is making it more expensive to use generators in neighborhoods. The alternative is to use solar panels.”

Getting involved on campus is something Abouzahr hopes to pursue in college. Different organizations like the Society of Women Engineers and the Muslim Students Association piqued Abouzahr’s interest and boosted his enthusiasm for the start of his academic career.

“Part of the reason I’m excited is because I believe women belong in all aspects of society, including fields like engineering that have traditionally been male-dominated,” Abouzahr said. “I want to help show others that women and minorities deserve prestigious scholarships like this and that we can do whatever we want.”

Sophie Hawkin
Sophie Hawkins graduated from Trinity High School in Arlington, Texas this spring and is majoring in industrial engineering and management.

Sophie Hawkin is from Arlington, Texas and graduated from Trinity High School. She plans to major in industrial engineering and management because of her passion for leadership and sustainability. Her social and mathematical skills also played a role in choosing her major.

“I wanted to find a way to merge my soft skills with my math-oriented brain,” Hawkins said. “I felt like industrial engineering was the perfect mix of both. Simply because it’s the most people-oriented field in engineering. I thought it would be a great way to use my two skills.

Hawkins demonstrated his skills and interests by getting involved in different organizations at his school. His former roles as Principal Drum Major of the Band; the director of community outreach at the Junior World Affairs Council; and being a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society enhanced his leadership abilities.

Raising global awareness is a movement that Hawkins has followed since a young age. In her spare time, she uses her interest in fashion and sustainability to practice upcycling – saving and adjusting clothes as a way to avoid fast fashion. Exposing herself to different perspectives involving the climate crisis inspired Hawkins to work for the movement in her future career.

“If I can make an impact at the business level, it will make a bigger difference than if I try to implement those aspects of sustainability at home,” Hawkins said. “So I want to prioritize that in my life. I think including it in my career is a great way to contribute to this cause on a daily basis.

Improving her fluency in Spanish is something Hawkins hopes to accomplish by using the scholarship opportunity to study abroad. She wants to visit Honduras after researching a project done by a group of Cornell students.

“They implemented this project to help with their water clarity, and then they handed it over to now be managed by the community,” Hawkins said. “I just think it would be really interesting to know more about this process. Not just the technical aspect of the process, but how they implement it with community members. »

William Penney
William Penney graduated from Colgate High School in Colgate, Oklahoma this spring and is majoring in chemical engineering.

William Penney was selected as the 2022 WW Allen Boys and Girls Scholar.

This scholarship program has been designed to benefit someone who was an active member of a boys and girls club during high school and who wishes to pursue educational goals in the field of chemical engineering. The recipient receives $15,000 per year for up to four years of study toward an engineering degree, plus enrichment activities and domestic and international travel.

Penney graduated from Coalgate High School in Coalgate, Oklahoma. Throughout his high school career, Penney was involved in many leadership roles and organizations. His roles included student council president, senior class president, vice president of the National Honor Society, captain of the Coalgate Academic Quiz Bowl team, track team member, and team member. of powerlifting.

“I was extremely involved on campus throughout my high school career as an officer in almost every organization I served in,” Penney said. “It gave me countless opportunities to be a leader and pushed me out of my comfort zone to become the person I am today.”

Greg Davidson is the former manager, superintendent and coach of Penney’s varsity team. When Davidson began recruiting for the academy team, Penney was the first to sign up and the only member to return to the second session prepared. This was the start of Penney’s journey to becoming an All-State player his senior year.

“The end result was that Penney became one of the best, if not the best, academic bowler in the state,” Davidson said. “A career marked by four state tournament appearances, four national tournaments, a four-time Oklahoma team member, and being named Oklahoma Academic Coaches’ Association Academic Bowl All-State his senior year .”

However, Penney’s involvement isn’t the only quality that sets him apart. Davidson believes Penney’s work ethic, competitiveness and desire to succeed are just some of the characteristics that make him a “one-in-a-lifetime” kid.

“In addition to being an excellent student, he is also of the highest moral character,” Davidson said. “He is very compassionate, especially when it comes to children and those less fortunate. He has one of the biggest hearts to still be so young in years. Honestly, the world needs more Will Penneys.

Penny said he was in disbelief when he heard the news.

I had an instant sense of relief because the financial burden of college had been lifted off my shoulders,” Penney said. “I’m proud that the hard work I’ve put in has been rewarded. I am extremely grateful to have been selected for this scholarship and will do my best to ensure that this money is put to good use.

Penney looks forward to the new friends, organizations and challenges he will encounter as he begins his future with OSU.

“I want to personally thank Mr. Wayne Allen for his generosity and for making my dream of studying chemical engineering at Oklahoma State University come true,” he said.

Story by: Bailey Sisk | [email protected]


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