70 freshmen recognized as Big Red Scholars

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70 freshmen recognized as Big Red Scholars

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln recognized 70 freshmen as Big Red Scholars on Nov. 16.
Greg Nathan | University Communication
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln recognized 70 freshmen as Big Red Scholars on Nov. 16.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln recognized 70 freshmen as Big Red Scholars at a reception Nov. 16 in the Nebraska Union. The awards were presented by Chancellor Ronnie Green and Executive Vice Chancellor Donde Plowman.

Big Red Scholars are students who are National Merit and National Hispanic finalists or who have a perfect ACT/SAT score, putting them in the top 1 percent of the 2018 freshman class.

“I am so excited for your future. You have accomplished so much already. Just think of where you’ll be at graduation,” said Plowman, who is also the chief academic officer at Nebraska. “Work hard, set goals and dream big. I know you’re going to do great things.”

This year’s freshman class featured one of the strongest academic profiles and one of the highest nonresident enrollments in school history. The class also saw a significant increase in National Merit and National Hispanic finalists, the majority coming from out of state.

“We see you as the next generation of leaders who will change the world for the better,” Green said. “Keep your passion for progress, for a brighter future — it’s bigger than any obstacles that stand in the way.”

Following is a list of 2018 Big Red Scholars by hometown, with high schools in parentheses.


  • Bellevue: Morgan McArthur (Bellevue East)
  • Bennington: Stanley Drvol (Creighton Preparatory School)
  • Denton: Aaron Haake (Lincoln Southwest)
  • Elkhorn: Vishnu Menon (Millard North)
  • Lincoln: Ashley Clegg (Lincoln East), Kyle Driver (Lincoln Southwest), Jackson Goddard (Lincoln Southwest), Gregory Hubbard (Lincoln Northeast), Darin Schlautman (Lincoln Pius X), Zachary Trouba (Lincoln Southeast)
  • Omaha: Dana Andersen (Millard West), Grace Blusys (Elkhorn South), Patrick Burkholder (Westside), Collin Dougherty (home school), Jacob Mann (Gretna), Ana Podariu (Westside), Simon Schoenbeck (Omaha Central), Steven Silgado (Omaha South), Noah Wasserburger (Skutt Catholic), Michael Westberg (Omaha North), Huey-Xian Wong (Elkhorn South), Bennett Wright (Elkhorn South)
  • Palmyra: Joseph Thomson (home school)

Elsewhere in the U.S.


  • Alta Loma: Brandon Valadez (San Dimas)
  • Covina: Christopher Munoz (South Hills)
  • Diamond Bar: Ana Figueroa (Diamond Bar)
  • Fremont: Alberto Alaniz (John F. Kennedy)
  • La Habra: Isabella Jacobsen (La Habra)
  • Los Angeles: Phoebe Pena (Notre Dame Academy)
  • Paramount: Diego Mejia (Paramount)


  • Aurora: Alexis Linhardt (Cherokee Trail), Ryan Olsen (Cherokee Trail),
  • Colorado Springs: Sarah Carroll (Liberty)
  • Windsor: Madison Armijo (Windsor)


  • Chicago: Andres Hernandez-Sanchez (Northside College Prep)
  • Naperville: Jeffrey Moore (Naperville North)


  • Carmel: Mackenzie Gonzalez (Carmel)


  • Leawood: Thomas Wolfe (Pembroke Hill School)
  • Overland Park: Christopher Burgess (Blue Valley Northwest), Benjamin Hanson (Shawnee Mission South), Antonio Linhart (Blue Valley Northwest), Robyn MacDonald (Shawnee Mission South)


  • Burnsville: Molly Olander (Eastview)
  • Eagan: Landon Borges (Eagan)
  • Hugo: Andrew Weigel (Stillwater Area Senior)
  • New Brighton: Aaron Norlinger (Mounds View)


  • Platte City: Lauren Znamenacek (Platte County R-III)
  • Wentzville: Emma Rose (Wentzville Holt)


  • Moon Township: Matthew Danner (Moon Area)


  • Aberdeen: Amanda Jacobs (Central)
  • Mitchell: Natalie Buckley (Mitchell)
  • Sioux Falls: David Berman (O’Gorman), Emily Kassing (O’Gorman), Michael Kovash (O’Gorman), Conner Stearns (O’Gorman)


  • Brentwood: Vincent Vilay (Brentwood)


  • Carrollton: Bella Rodriguez (Hebron)
  • Dallas: Julio Esteban Martinez (Townview/School of Health Professions)
  • Flower Mound: Jessie Benefee (Flower Mound)
  • Georgetown: Dylan Patrick (Georgetown)
  • Harlingen: David Cavada (Harlingen South)
  • Helotes: Sarah Reyes (Louis D. Brandeis)
  • Kingwood: Jesus Rivera III (Kingwood Park)
  • Livingston: Mackenzie Doyle (Lehman)
  • Midland: Alexander Telesca (Robert E. Lee)
  • Pflugerville: Graysen Wall (Pflugerville)
  • Richardson: Natalia Martinez (L.V. Berkner)
  • Round Rock: Zachary Ortiz (Round Rock)
  • San Antonio: Brandon Page (James Madison)
  • Southlake: Bella Tran (Carroll)

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