Awards and Honors: June 29, 2010

Esther Olsen, a junior at Crater High School, traveled to Washington, D.C., in May, where she was installed as the state president of the Oregon State Society of the Children of the American Revolution. The installation took place at Mount Vernon.

Her state project is to raise funds to purchase benches for the new dormitory at Chemawa Indian School in Salem.

Her interests include cross country, church youth group, German, honor society and ham radio.

Zachary Olsen, Troop 102, recently earned his Eagle Scout award. His Eagle Scout project was to landscape part of the Don Jones Park in Central Point. This included a hummingbird garden and informational sign.

Olsen started scouting as a Wolf Cub. He has earned the Webelos super achiever award, the Arrow of Light award, the den chief service award and 30 merit badges.

Zachary is in eighth grade at Scenic Middle School. He was recently awarded the Principal's Award for a 4.0 grade-point average. He also is involved with cross country, jazz band, church youth group, C.A.R., Brain Bowl, pentagames, math club and ham radio.

The Jacksonville Kiwanis Club has awarded $750 scholarships to the following students:

Crater High School: Ben Dodge, Chad Johnson, Kyle O'Connor, Alexandra Vaught and Kristen Wilson.

Phoenix High School: Dahley Hinojosa and Kayla Holden.

Members of high school K Clubs who were awarded $1,000 scholarships were: Laurent Portrait and Thomas Warden.

Carly Miller-Werben of Medford, a student in the School of Health, Arts and Sciences at the Oregon Institute of Technology, is a recipient of the President's Senior Cup Award from OIT. The President's Senior Cup Award is awarded to baccalaureate students who, in the opinion of the faculty, have achieved academic excellence and fostered increased respect and prestige for the university. This year's recipients were selected from among 35 high-achieving students named Outstanding Scholars by academic department chairpersons and program directors.

Miller-Werben graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 grade-point average. She earned a bachelor's degree in health sciences with a minor in psychology and will begin medical school at Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry in August.

A transfer student from Oregon State University who quickly engaged in campus life at OIT, she was involved with the OIT Health Sciences Club, women's soccer and was a teaching assistant for biology and anatomy and physiology courses. She also tutored students in writing and science in OIT's Center for Learning and Teaching.

Her local community involvement included active church membership and a variety of volunteer experience with The American Red Cross, Dogs for the Deaf, Sky Lakes Medical Center and High Desert Hospice among other worthy organizations.

The Medford Branch of AAUW honored eight women with scholarships for the next academic year at the annual Scholarship luncheon held June 5 at Skyline Plaza in Medford.

A scholarship-selection committee selected six recipients from Rogue Community College and three from Southern Oregon University to receive $1,000 each toward their degree pursuits.

Outstanding recipients from Rogue Community College are: Kimberly Clark, Anjanette Wright, Terah Kropp, Cynthia Maldonado, Lilia Mejia and Joni Schelin.

SOU's outstanding recipients are: Elizabeth Aguirre, Jessica Hines and Elizabeth Pierce.

The money raised for the scholarships is the result of yearlong fundraising efforts by the members of the Medford branch of AAUW, whose purpose is to provide for education and equity for local women and girls.

Western Washington University student Danya Rose-Merkle of Ashland traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 4 to present research at a conference titled "Transnational Hispaniola: Shared History, Shared Future: Converging Paths in the Haitian and Dominican Transborder Experience."

The conference, which was held June 3-6, brought together scholars, artists, activists and community organizers interested in thinking about Dominican-Haitian realities in ways that go beyond simplistic and political rendering of the histories of these two countries.

Rose-Merkle traveled to the Dominican Republic in the winter of 2009 with 19 other WWU students and Lawrence Estrada, WWU director of the American Cultural Studies program and professor at WWU's Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, as part of a quarter-long course on "Race Culture and Society."

Her role as teaching assistant allowed her to make various connections while in the Dominican Republic and to conduct research in the free-trade zone area in the city of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic. Her research looks at the lives of women working in free-trade zones and how work affects their family roles, their place in Dominican society and overall autonomy as women.

Rose-Merkle coordinated her research through a Dominican nonprofit organization called the Foundation for the Development and Well-Being of Women and Children, where she was able to make connections in the community to interview participants.

Rose-Merkle's research was selected to be presented at the conference shortly after sending an abstract of her research to the conference staff.

Rose-Merkle will receive financial support from WWU and Fairhaven College to help cover her travel costs.

She plans to continue her research in November when she moves to Santo Domingo for a year to teach English in la Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo.

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