Area students receive scholarships from Eastern Arizona College

Contributed Photo/EAC Alumni Scholarship winners.

By Raigan Hartley

THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College’s 35th annual Scholarship Banquet was held last month to recognize the scholastic achievements of nearly 100 EAC students.

The banquet, held at EAC’s campus in Thatcher, recognized donors and recipients of 60 scholarships. Many of the scholarships are annually funded by the generous contributions of various organizations and individuals, while others are endowed scholarships funded by the earnings provided by the gifts of donors.

The first scholarship of the night was the Allen H. and Marie A. Cress Music Scholarship. This scholarship is given to a full-time student participating in the A Capella Choir and was awarded to Audrey Whipple.

Next was the Alumni Association Scholarship, which was made possible by the gifts of EAC alumni through annual fundraising. The scholarship was presented to 12 students who are children or grandchildren of EAC alumni who demonstrate exemplary character traits and academic ability. Recipients included Kirsty Arbizo Cochran of Safford, daughter of Luka and Marie Arbizo; Kamee Bell of Eagar, daughter of Amy and Brian Bell; Shayci Echols from Gilbert, daughter of Dawn and Cory Edwards; Jace Fish of Lakeside, son of Camilee and David Fish; Abigail Fry from Anaktuvuk Pass, Alaska, daughter of Katie and Brooks Fry; Emily Hakes of Mesa, daughter of Dani Lyn and Ken Hakes; Bayli Heap from Nephi, Utah, daughter of Kent and Lisa Heap; Rhett Layton from Gilbert, son of David and Joanna Layton; Annette Pearce from Show Low, daughter of Kim and Maylene Pearce; Maura Shumway from Snowflake, daughter of Raymond and Laura Shumway; and Savana Shumway from Holbrook, daughter of Debbie and David Shumway.

Stephanie Peck of Safford, daughter of Kevin and Jody Peck, was awarded the Bernstein Brothers Memorial Scholarship, which honors a deserving student who is seeking higher education.

The Bowman Consulting Scholarship, established to increase the number of students completing CADD and engineering training, was presented to Johnny Griffin from Thatcher, son of Doug Griffin and Melanie Russell.

Nathaniel Pollard from Richmond, Virginia, son of Jaheisha and Nathaniel Pollard Jr., and Gabriella Renee Romero of Thatcher, daughter of Clayton and Sonia Romero, were both presented with the Dorine Chancellor Athletic Scholarship. This scholarship assists one women’s softball student (Romero) and one men’s basketball student (Pollard) each year.

Michaela Basteen, from Morenci, daughter of Michael and Roberta Basteen, was awarded the Dr. Ron Keith Memorial Music Scholarship, which provides full annual tuition and additional funds to help students who are members of the EAC Band program.

The EAC Foundation Nursing Scholarship is a scholarship contributed by EAC Alumni and friends to form an endowment that funds scholarships for students in the EAC Nursing Program and provides full annual tuition. The scholarship was presented to Alexis Arpan, Cameron Byrd, Yesenia Moreno, Anjelika Murillo, and Rosemary Pando.

The Emil Crockett Insurance Agency presented the Emil Crockett Scholarship to Nikea Lambson as an outstanding returning student, majoring in Business.

Grant Palmer received the Follett College Stores Scholarship on account of his high cumulative GPA, and for majoring in Business with an emphasis in Business Administration or Small Business Management.

Kaitlynn Brantner from Safford, daughter of Josh and Dusti Brantner, was awarded the GFWC – Woman’s Club of Safford Scholarship. This scholarship is given to a Gila Valley high school graduate.

The Graham County Hispanic Family Heritage Scholarship, established to bring people together to celebrate Hispanic family heritage, was given to Jorden Martinez of Safford, son of Alex and Jerri Martinez.

KristiAuna Bryce from Pima, daughter of Kandace and Derrick Bryce, was rewarded with the Graham County Republican College Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to a student who has graduated from a Graham County high school and is a registered republican on their 18th birthday.

Marshall Launer of Central, son of James and Camille Launer, was presented with the Jerry and Verlene Anderson Scholarship, which is given in memory of Jerry Anderson and in honor of Verlene Anderson, who was employed at Eastern Arizona College for 30 years. The scholarship provides full annual tuition and additional funds toward educational expenses.

Richard Quinlan from Springerville, son of Richard and Sherry Quinlan, received the Jesse U. and Betty DeVaney Scholarship, which is awarded to a returning student majoring in Business Administration or Computer Science. Jesse U. DeVaney dedicated 37 years of service to Eastern Arizona College where he served as an instructor in Business Administration and later as Dean of Admissions, Research and Development, and Registrar. The scholarship provides full annual tuition.

Contributed Photo: EAC United Way Scholarship winners.

The Keith and Kathleen McBride Crockett Family Alumni Scholarship is awarded by the Crockett family to a student who is a child or grandchild of an EAC alumnus. The scholarship honors the service of Keith and Kathleen and their children. Keith served as president of the EAC Alumni Association for 14 years and as a member of the EAC Foundation Board for 13 years. This year the scholarship was awarded to Madison Hall of Show Low, daughter of Mike and Nikki Hall.

Camille Clark received the Kristie and Patrick Putnam Scholarship, which is awarded to a student who is studying business, nursing, science, or computer science.

Erin Black of Bylas, daughter of Velticia and Luke Zospah, was presented with the Mary Kim Titla Scholarship on account of possessing qualities of personal integrity, good moral character, and good citizenship, as well as maintaining a minimum GPA of 2.75. The scholarship is awarded annually to a Native American student enrolled full-time at EAC.

The Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center Foundation Scholarship was given to Rebecca Oliver of Morenci. This scholarship is given to students from Graham or Greenlee County who are enrolled in the EAC Nursing Program. It provides full annual tuition and covers the nursing fees.

The Newman Sustaining Board Scholarship was awarded to Ashley Leon, Ariella Garcia of Safford, daughter of Rebecca Ornelas and James Torres, and McKenna Martinez. Students who receive this scholarship are active participants in the Newman Club and excellent examples of Catholic youth both on and off campus.

Taylor Haymore of Sierra Vista, son of Justin and Karisa Haymore, and Lila Claussen of Thatcher, daughter of Valerie and Larry Claussen, both received the Ora DeConcini-Martin Scholarship. As a graduate of the Gila Academy, Mrs. DeConcini-Martin went on to obtain undergraduate and graduate degrees. Through this scholarship, she hoped to inspire others to continue in this tradition.

Tristen Begay of Round Rock, son of Philander Begay and Cassandra Haudley, and Heather Begay of Chinle, daughter of Emma Davis and Gary Begay, were awarded the Pizza Edge Scholarship, which is given to students with a high GPA and who demonstrate good character, citizenship, and integrity.

Bridie Black from Fort Thomas, daughter of James Larry and Tara Lynn Black, and McKyla Bartlett of Pima, daughter of Kody and Jlynn Bartlett, both received the Safford Lions Club, which is awarded to incoming freshmen who are graduates of a Graham County high school.

Kacey Bell of Pima, daughter of Gary and Brandi Bell, was awarded the Safford Rotary Club Scholarship, which is given to a deserving Graham County high school graduate.

The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties Scholarship was given to Shari Burnett of Safford, daughter of Wayne and Louise Elliott; Brittany Ewing from Safford, daughter of Aaron and Micah Mleynek; Ashleigh Hernandez of Duncan, daughter of Jennifer and Steven Johnson; Brooklyn Kempton of Virden, New Mexico, daughter of Brandon and Shannon Kempton; Michael McGrath from Duncan, son of Joe and Brianne McGrath; Brianna Mooney of Thatcher, daughter of Taunia and Glen Mooney; Cydnee Palmer of Pima, daughter of Kurt and Diana Palmer; Chayla Quintana from Safford, daughter of Daniel and Channin Quintana; Hunter Stailey of Thatcher, son of Marsha and John Stailey; Katelin Stergion of Duncan, daughter of Danielle Rodriguez; Nathan Willey from Morenci, son of Pam and Gene Willey; and McKayla Wilson of Safford, daughter of Christina (Daniel) Nunley and Don Wilson. The scholarship was established to benefit the high school graduates of Graham and Greenlee counties. The United Way understands the life-changing benefit of education and funds these scholarships to help our community improve the education level and earning ability of the youth in our community.

Gracye Otto was given the Anna Deane Millett, Don and Carlotta Pace Scholarship, which is presented to a student who has achieved academically while a freshman at EAC, and who will be returning in the coming year.

Rebecca Dolan from Safford, daughter of Gail and Pam Peterson, was awarded the Ashley Marie Beals Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship memorializes the life of Ashley Marie Beals and is intended to improve the quality of health care in Southern Arizona and beyond by supporting a nursing or pre-medical student.

The Belle and Arnold Greenbaum Scholarship was presented to Jessica Richins by the family and friends of Belle and Arnold Greenbaum to perpetuate the memory of their involvement and support of Eastern Arizona College.

The Bette N. Smith Nursing Scholarship was given to Ryan Watson. The scholarship is funded by the family of Bette N. Smith, who was sincerely interested in the higher education of young people, especially as it relates to nursing and medical careers.

Darrin Gonzales received the Dallace Butler Memorial Scholarship, which honors Dallace Butler, a great humanitarian who cared deeply for his students, was employed in many capacities at EAC, the last being counselor for the Micronesian Project.

Paige Jackson from Lukachukai, daughter of Mary Norcross, was given the Debra Mullenaux Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was created as a tribute to the life and memory of Debra Mullenaux and is awarded to a married, full-time student with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Kathryn Palmer from Mesa, daughter of Darin and Brenda Palmer, received the Dennis Braithwaite Memorial Music Scholarship, which is presented to students who love music and wish to continue their study of music at the college level.

The Donald J. Caldwell Educational Scholarship is given to students in the EAC Nursing Program to help them gain skills in demand by today’s employers. The scholarship was presented to Kevin Crosby and Morgan Udall, and provides full annual tuition, books, room, and board.

Matthew Ebright, Brandon Faber, and Darrin Gonzales all received the Douglas Michael Loeb Memorial Scholarship, which is given to students who are a full-time EAC student majoring in either Auto Mechanics or Auto Service Technology.

The Dr. David G. Lunt Choral Music Scholarship was awarded to Kathryn Palmer of Mesa, daughter of Darin and Brenda Palmer. The scholarship was established by the alumni and friends of the Eastern Arizona College Choral Department in honor of Dr. David G. Lunt. Dr. Lunt served as choral director for 21 years and built a program recognized across Arizona and beyond for excellent and uplifting entertainment. The scholarship provides funds for educational expenses.

Dylan Phelps was awarded the Dr. Pam Rule Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship memorializes Dr. Pam Rule who taught anthropology courses at Eastern Arizona College and served as a director of the EAC Museum of Anthropology.

Bobbie Benkert and Alexia Osornio received the E. James Lee and Jacqueline McFadden Lee Scholarship, which was established by the EAC Foundation to honor E. James Lee and Jacqueline McFadden Lee for their years of service and financial support.

The Eldon and Lucille Palmer Memorial Scholarship, a memorial to over 73 years of marriage, is presented to a full-time student from Thatcher High School majoring in music. This scholarship was presented to Laura Meehl from Thatcher, daughter of Leah and Shannon Meehl.

Ben Dike was awarded the Elizabeth Louise Loeb Memorial Scholarship, which is to honor the late Mrs. Elizabeth Louise Loeb to continue her support for Eastern Arizona College.

Spencer Palmer from Thatcher, son of Brad and Amy Palmer, received the Ella T. and J. David Lee Memorial Scholarship, which is presented to an EAC student majoring in either Administrative Information Services or another vocational field.

Audrey Phelps of Pima, daughter of Tony and Julie Goodman, was awarded the Fred and Olga Pace Scholarship which is given to a deserving Graham County resident returning to EAC in pursuit of a degree that provides preparation for gainful employment.

The G. Wayne and Phillis Blake Scholarship was given to Ashley Polkabla. This scholarship is given to a student who was a Miami, Globe, or San Carlos High School graduate.

Rudy Perez received the George R. Bingham Jr. Memorial Drama Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to a full-time EAC student seeking a degree in Theatre and Cinematic Arts.

Christin Shumway of Safford, daughter of Gary Shumway, and Tyson Hawkins received the H. Greg Brockmeier Scholarship. In honor of Greg Brockmeier, who has provided 32 years of service to the community and his employer, this award is presented to a new or returning student.

Ariella Garcia of Safford, daughter of Rebecca Ornelas and James Torres, and Tathra Shiflet of Thatcher, daughter of Ron and Lorene Shiflet, were both awarded the Helen Johnson Bone Scholarship, which was established by William J. Bone and the late Helen Johnson Bone to benefit a homemaker seeking a degree from EAC.

Kiev Brobst received the Helen Papas Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded by George Papas in memory of his wife of 53 years. Helen loved music from great choirs. This scholarship is intended to help music bless the lives of others as it did Helene’s.

Samantha Voelker from Globe, daughter of Jeannette and Daniel Voelker, was presented with the Jared Taylor Brown, Alice Edna Hamblin and Polly Elizabeth Matthews Koger Scholarship. This scholarship provides funds toward educational expenses for a full-time student seeding a career in agribusiness.

The Jeffrey R. Vaughn Memorial Scholarship was given to Julio Cortez of Houston, Texas, son of Ingris Ascencio, which memorializes the life of Jeff Vaughn, and seeks to help students studying nursing or emergency medical services.

The John Mickelson Endowed Scholarship was awarded to Alyssa Cluff from Fredonia, daughter of Aaron and Tammy Cluff, for an outstanding freshman returning to EAC for the sophomore year. This award is given in honor of John Mickelson, a state Senator instrumental in establishing the Arizona State Community College System.

Sadie Barron and Natawni Layton were both given the Kalvert W. Lines Scholarship, which is awarded to sophomore students with at least a 3.75 GPA.

The Kathryn Murphy-Spencer L. Kimball Scholarship was presented to Ronald Higginbotham of St. David, son of Ron and Louisa Higginbotham, and Emmalee Hall of Show Low, daughter of Karen and James Zimmerman. This scholarship is awarded to students majoring in a university transfer curriculum with an excellent GPA, and who have provided service to the College and the community.

Raymond Palka of Safford, son of John Palka, was awarded the Mark J. Green Spanish Scholarship. In memory of their son Mark J. Green, who passed away while attending EAC, Max and Nathalene Green award this scholarship to a top student in Spanish Language courses.

Calvin Jones and Alayna Curtis both received the Max and Clara Curtis Bennett Memorial Scholarship, which was created by Max Bennett as a memorial to his wife and to improve the future of our communities and country.

Samantha Voelker of Globe, daughter of Jeannette and Daniel Voelker, and Camille Hudson of Globe, daughter of Brian and Cecilie Hudson, were awarded the Meghan Lynne Hammer Memorial Scholarship. Family and friends of Meghan Lynne Hammer, who dedicated herself to helping others improve their lives through music, established this scholarship to be awarded to Miami or Globe High School graduating seniors who want to further their education in the field of music at EAC.

The Paula Dinsmore Daman Memorial Scholarship was given to Brittany Adams. This scholarship was established in memory of Paula Dinsmore Daman, who graduated from EAC in 1970. She went on to complete a bachelor’s degree, raise a family, and to many other successes-even with a learning disability.

Clayton Overson of St. Johns, son of Brent and Tobie Overson, received the Phyllis Martin Lord Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a student demonstrating scholarship potential, personal integrity, and service to family, church, and community.

Chloe Hilton of Duncan, daughter of Mark and Melanie Hilton, was awarded the Sarah Lamoreaux Memorial Scholarship, which is given on account of the student’s qualities of goodness, enthusiasm, dedication, and positive role model for EAC.

The Sumitomo-Freeport-McMoRan Scholarship was presented to Matthew Porter of Morenci, son of Mark and Dee Porter, Darin Guerena of Globe, son of Mark and Carrie Guerena, and Danielle Machuse from St. John’s, daughter of Stephalyn Kinlichee and Danford Machuse. The scholarship was provided by the Sumitomo Metals Mining Corporation in honor of the twentieth anniversary of their partnership with Phelps Dodge Corporation and offers full annual tuition to Industrial Technology students.

Kelsey Cook received the Virginia Rae Barr Memorial Scholarship, which is funded through an endowment provided by Mrs. Virginia Vornauf, and is presented to a current or prospective EAC student majoring in Early Childhood Development or Education.

Maizie Edmunds of Tucson, daughter of Tamara Edmonds-Ball and Jason Ball, was given the Walter and Julia Rogers Scholarship. This scholarship was established with fond memories of Walter’s start at Gila Junior College and offers full annual tuition to a student seeking a university transfer curriculum or a certificate program leading to employment.

Grant Allred of Bowie, son of Melanie and Jared Allred, and Lorina Higginbotham of St. David, daughter of Louisa and Ron Higginbotham, were awarded the William J. Bone Scholarship, which is presented to deserving students who have been determined to possess personal integrity, good moral character, and good citizenship.
For more information about EAC’s donor scholarships, or to create or endow a scholarship of your own, call the Director of EAC’s Foundation, David Udall at 428-8296; visit the website at<>; and like them on Facebook at