Recent Scholarship Recipients
Thank you from our 2008 , 2010, and 2011 winners
Congratulations to our 2011 scholarship recipient, Raj
Vinjamuri. Raj is a 2011 graduate of
Coon Rapids High School, where he excelled academically, athletically and
personally. Among his accomplishments
are a 4.1 grade point average, varsity participation in football, tennis and
track & field, as well as recognition in the National Honor Society for three
years. Raj also found time to give back
to his community with a number of volunteer programs.
This fall, Raj begins his Illini career with a focus on engineering
and a special interest in computer and electrical engineering.
I can say with true orange and blue pride that I am an Illini. I cheered at the
top of my lungs at every football game possible, including the Gopher-Illini
game--in which I led a full, two-person "ILL-INI" chant. Disregarding that loss,
our team finished strong for a second bowl-victory in a row. I look forward to
cheering again next year in Block-I.
Without knowing a single person, student or faculty, I entered the
year with a blank slate and high expectations. Now, I look forward to returning
for the spring semester, after Winter Break, and reengaging with friends and
peers. Academic responsibilities are certainly more engrossing than they were in
high school, but I promised my parents to make good their investment. Including
keeping up with class. Also, I was able to utilize the recreation facilities with
classmates and join the Navigators on campus.
After one full semester in Champaign-Urbana, I am more than satisfied
with the beginning of my collegiate career. This beginning was made possible by
not only my parents, but also the contribution given by this Club. I sincerely
appreciate the investment all of you have made in my future, and with great
anticipation, I welcome my future as a student of the University of Illinois. Go
From Ruchi Tekriwal (2010 winner)
College is the place for new beginnings, the place to learn all sorts of new things, the place to make a new person out of yourself. These chances are what make me look forward to college, even if I do have to leave behind all that is familiar to me. I anticipate furthering my learning at one of the top universities in the country.
I plan to major in psychology at UofI. I decided this would be my area of study over a year ago and taking an AP Psychology class my senior year of high school only made me more positive that a degree in psychology was what I wanted to pursue. My curiosity for psychology may stem for my desire to better understand myself and others. Understanding the behavior of myself and others will allow me to communicate more easily. I am most interested in social psychology. The influences of social perception and cultural factors on our behavior are still not fully understood. The gradual unraveling of these mysteries is something I want to be a part of. During graduate school, I want to conduct research in the field of social psychology.
Naturally, I wanted a school with a strong psychology program. Any teachers I talked to always mentioned how the psychology program at the nearby University of Minnesota was so great. Research studies from there were even mentioned in my psychology textbook from time to time. I researched to find out how well the school was actually ranked and found that the University of Illinois was consistently ranked above most other schools. In fact, I was surprised to see that UofI was in the top five of many lists I looked at, from top psychology programs to top public universities. This made my college choice much easier. Not only does UofI have a great psychology program but it also has the prestige of being one of the best universities, nicknamed a “Public Ivy.”
The independence and freedom is what every incoming freshman looks forward to as they make a new step in their lives. The idea of being fully responsible for one’s actions is both daunting and thrilling. My enthusiasm for learning only adds to my excitement for college. I want to experience higher levels of education. I want to learn in an open environment with intellectual discourse, something that rarely happens in high school. College is a chance to try new things, the kind of chance that one rarely gets.
-Ruchi Tekriwal (2010 winner)
Hello Twin Cities Illini Club,
First of all, I would like to say thank you for the scholarship. I was honored to be chosen as the first ever recipient.
My first year at the University of Illinois was great! I lived in Barton Hall for my freshman year. Barton is an all girls dorm and is right across the street from Huff Hall at 4th and Gregory in Champaign. Living in Barton was fun and I met many people who became my close friends.
I am a broadcast journalism major and got a job at the radio station on campus (WPGU) as a sports reporter. Last year, I covered Illini women's and men's tennis teams. It was great! Currently, I am covering Illini volleyball and we are ranked 12th in the nation!
I am involved in Greek life on campus. I rushed first semester last year and became a Sigma Kappa. Our house is on 3rd and John Street in Champaign and that is where I currently live. I absolutely love being Greek and being in a sorority takes up a lot of my time. I am currently the assistant to the VP of Scholarship form my house. I help keep track of everyone's GPA's and I organize study hours.
Other than that, I am an AVID Illini fan. Last year I was in Orange Krush and cheered our men's basketball team on to many home victories. I was also fortunate enought to go on the Orange Krush road trip when we invaded Northwestern and WON! This year I am in Orange Krush again and Block I for football.... but I'm a bit disappointed with our team's performance fo far.
And of course, I go to class. I made the Dean's List second semester and am now a James Scholar for the College of Media. Most of my classes are fun and I find them very enjoyable. I am learning so much! I have concentrations in political science and economics so I am taking classes in those fields as well as journalism.
Again, I want to thank you so much for the scholarsip. If you are ever on campus, please let me know. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again and Oskee wow wow!!
Heather Punke (2008 winner)