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Bella Baker, Makinley Kennedy, William Miller, Meg Jackson and Sarah Short.

Five freshmen receive Oklahoma State Scholar Society honors

Thursday, September 3, 2020

 Oklahoma State University has named five new fellows of the Oklahoma State Scholars Society, the university’s prestigious scholar development program that offers major financial support and scholarly mentorship to the state’s top students.

“Members of this society are some of Oklahoma’s best and brightest students,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “They are Oklahoma’s next generation of leaders, innovators and visionaries. We are honored to have them join our university.”

The fellows are Bella Baker, Makinley Kennedy, William Miller, Meg Jackson and Sarah Short.

Each fellow receives up to $74,500 in scholarship support — the full cost of attending four years — including a study-abroad stipend.

The fellows were selected based on a review of their essays and résumés, a phone interview and an in-person interview with a faculty committee. President Hargis and First Cowgirl Ann Hargis hosted a lunch for the finalists.

Students selected for this award embody the legacy of OSU’s land-grant history, according to Ben Hagan, assistant director of undergraduate admissions. The committee selects students who have an outward focus and are deeply aware of the world around them.

The New Fellows

Bella Baker

At 15, Bella Baker had metal rods and screws implanted to fix her crooked spine.

She had to learn to walk all over again but said the experience helped her understand what really matters in life.

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized for this scholarship,” she said. “This comes with the responsibility of making the committee’s selection worthwhile and doing the absolute most with my education.”

Baker, who attended Del City’s Christian Heritage Academy, is looking forward to studying industrial engineering and management at OSU. She plans to attend law school and become a patent attorney.

Eventually studying abroad is also something Baker is excited about.

“The amazing program for studying abroad is actually a big reason why I wanted to go to OSU in the first place,” she said. “I think it is so important to experience different cultures, and OSSS recognized study abroad as an important part of one’s education as well.”

Makinley Kennedy

Makinley Kennedy is thrilled to join the Cowboy family. Both her parents and sisters attended OSU, and her family “bleeds orange.”

“I have always had little doubts in the back of my head that my dreams were greater than my capabilities,” she said. “However, after receiving this scholarship, I have realized that no matter where you come from, as long as you have the drive and work ethic, you can be an impactful and accomplished person in the world.”

Kennedy, who attended Lawton’s MacArthur Senior High School, plans to major in political science and sports media and hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.

“While at Oklahoma State, I hope to experience and create long-lasting, meaningful relationships,” Kenneday said. “I believe people are the key factor in what truly makes life wonderful!”

William Miller

Bullied as a youngster for his involuntary movements and sounds, William Miller struggled with tics brought on by Tourette syndrome. But he didn’t let it define him.

“I have been able to be very successful despite my condition, and I want kids out there who are getting bullied in the same way I did to know that they are more than their disorder,” he said. “My struggle is very small compared to what so many people around the world go through, and I am thankful that I was able to overcome it.”

The Norman North High School graduate is majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering with the goal of positively impacting the world as an engineering researcher.

Miller is grateful for all the help he has had along the way.

“It makes me so happy to know that all of the time and energy my parents and mentors put into my development as a man helped me reach a point that I never thought I could,” he said.

Meg Jackson

Often underestimated due to her 4’9” frame, Meg Jackson has learned to use her voice to advocate for herself, which taught her the importance of advocating for others.

The third-generation Cowboy hopes to attend law school and become a constitutional lawyer. But before that, the Edmond North High School graduate will be majoring in political science and music (cello) at OSU.

“During my time at OSU I hope to not only grow academically, but also broaden my worldview,” Jackson said. “I am stoked about OSU’s brand-new music school, where I will study with worldclass musicians and get a chance to play in a beautiful new hall. I am also ready to experience first-hand ‘America’s Greatest Homecoming,’ go to football games, and become a member of the Cowboy family. Oklahoma State offers both the academic rigor I am seeking as well as the fun of a big-time university!”

Sarah Short

First-generation college student Sarah Short has learned to overcome difficulties surrounding ADHD to succeed academically.

The Edmond Santa Fe High School graduate plans to major in plant biology to become a field botanist.

“I love the aspect of hands-on work and getting my hands dirty as well as the side of the job in the lab,” Short said.

She is looking forward to her time in Stillwater.

“While I’m at OSU I hope I will be able to experience the many academic and scientific resources on campus,” she said. “I also hope I will get to see the close-knit OSU sense of family and make new friends.”

Short is grateful to be recognized as an OSSS fellow.

“This scholarship will provide me with the freedom of being able to worry less about finances when leaving college,” Short said. “I will have the ability to go out into the world and focus on my career.”

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