Published: June 26, 2023

The award is given to students for academic achievement and service; it is considered one of the College of Arts & Sciences’ highest honors

The College of Arts and Sciences has awarded the Jacob Van Ek Scholarship—one of the college’s highest honors—to 26 exceptional undergraduates.

These students were nominated by faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder for their superior academic achievement and service to the university, the Denver and Boulder communities, or larger national and international communities. The five-person Van Ek Scholars Award committee selected the winners, who receive a $230 award and a certificate of recognition.

The award is named for Jacob Van Ek (1896-1999), who arrived at CU as a young assistant professor shortly after earning his doctorate in 1925 at what is now known as Iowa State University. Within three years, he was a full professor and, by 1929, he was dean of the College of Liberal Arts, serving until 1959. 

students on campus studying

Students studying on campus in unique places.

The following students are this year’s Jakob Van Ek Scholar Award recipients:

  • Abigail Matthews, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
  • Eswari Duggirala, Ethnic Studies and Psychology
  • Caitlyn Mendik, Biochemistry
  • Joseph Lim, Integrated Physiology
  • Rose Rivera, Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
  • Emily Reynolds, Anthropology and Linguistics
  • Ben O’Meara, Psychology
  • Jordan Lee, Geography and Linguistics
  • Wendy Acevedo, Integrated Physiology
  • Kaitlyn Shirley, History
  • James Kim, Sociology/LCE
  • Emmeline Nettles, International Affairs and Chinese
  • Keely Olson, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
  • Ella Baca, Women and Gender Studies
  • Shane Ball, Economics and History
  • Wessie Simmons, Theater and Dance
  • Gigi Saad, Program in Jewish Studies
  • Jackson Avery, Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
  • Paloma Siegel, Geography
  • Veronica Feather, French and Italian and International Affairs
  • Cassie Parrisher, Political Science
  • MacKenzie Dean, Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
  • Abby Hartley, Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
  • Em Fox, Anthropology
  • Nick Nemeth, Art and Art History