New class of University Scholars announced

University Scholars, 2023

LAWRENCE — The 42nd class of University Scholars and their faculty mentors were recognized during a reception hosted by the University of Kansas Honors Program at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 in Nunemaker Center. Attendees celebrated this year’s scholars and mentors with refreshments and heard remarks from Sarah Crawford-Parker, University Honors Program director, and faculty member Nathan Wood.

The University Scholars Program recognizes and encourages sophomores who have demonstrated intellectual achievement and curiosity. Selected students receive a $1,500 scholarship, are assigned an Honors Faculty Fellow as a mentor that supports their academic interests and participate in a seminar course that promotes interdisciplinary engagement on a topic of contemporary interest.

This spring’s seminar is taught by Wood, associate professor of history. “Technology and Society” will encourage students to apply a historical lens to the technological innovations that shape our world. 

“I hope students will think differently about their relationship to technology, reflecting on how its history can provide analogies for understanding our connection to technologies today,” Wood said. “A historical perspective on technology helps us to be humbler about what it can achieve, more realistic in our assessments of its novelty and sober about the inequalities that have been intrinsic to its use.”

The 2023 University Scholars are listed below alphabetically with major, hometown and faculty mentor:

  • Zakariya Ahmed, interdisciplinary computing major from Overland Park, mentored by Thom Allen, assistant teaching professor of architecture.
  • Levi Cromwell, classical languages and history major from McPherson, mentored by Darren Canady, director of undergraduate studies and professor of English.
  • Andrea Gunara, behavioral neuroscience major from Leander, Texas, mentored by Stephanie Zelnick, professor of clarinet.
  • Molly Handelman, music therapy major from Highland Park, Illinois, mentored by Nilou Vakil, associate professor of architecture & design.
  • Brinley Hull, computer science major from Prairie Village, mentored by Yvonnes Chen, professor of journalism & mass communications.
  • Kanchan Khemani, business analytics & information systems major from Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India, mentored by Nilou Vakil.
  • Shreya Koduri, molecular, cellular & developmental biology and sociology major from Overland Park, mentored by Katie Batza, director of graduate studies and associate professor of women, gender & sexuality studies.
  • Carly Kolle, biology major from Linn, mentored by Katie Rhine, associate professor of African & African-American studies and geography & atmospheric science.
  • Shamaria Massenburg, multimedia journalism major from Knightdale, North Carolina, mentored by Yvonnes Chen.
  • Caleb Prescott, aerospace engineering major from Lawrence, mentored by Mary Klayder, associate director of undergraduate studies and senior lecturer in English.
  • Diego Prieto, microbiology major from Bogotá, Colombia, mentored by Kyle Camarda, associate professor of chemical & petroleum engineering.
  • Aarush Sehgal, molecular, cellular & developmental biology major from Chandigarh, India, mentored by Kyle Camarda.
  • Kalie Traverse, molecular, cellular & developmental biology major from Olathe, mentored by Mary Klayder.
  • Hoang Viet Le, microbiology major from Bien Hoa, Dong Nai, Vietnam, mentored by Elizabeth MacGonagle, associate professor of African & African-American studies and history.
  • Emily Ward, anthropology and political science major from Edinburg, Texas, mentored by Katie Batza.

Created to recognize and encourage academically talented and motivated sophomores, University Scholars was founded in 1982 under the leadership of retired U.S. 10th Circuit Chief Judge Deanell Tacha, then KU’s vice chancellor for academic affairs, along with longtime University Honors Program director Francis Heller, the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Law and Political Science.

Photo: University Scholars seminar instructor Nathan Wood (far left) stands with students from the 2023 cohort. From front to back, left to right: Hoang Viet Le, Kalie Traverse, Emily Ward, Andrea Gunara and Brinley Hull; Wood, Aarush Sehgal, Carly Kolle, Caleb Prescott, Diego Prieto, Levi Cromwell, Shamaria Massenburg, Kanchan Khemani and Shreya Koduri. Not pictured: Molly Handelman and Zakariya Ahmed.

Mon, 02/13/2023


Dustin Vann

Media Contacts

Dustin Vann

University Honors Program