New Presidential Scholars Arrive

The Honors College is proud to announce that the fourth cohort of Mattox Scholars are completing their first semester at Lubbock Christian University (LCU). A relatively new tradition at LCU, the Mattox scholarship is the most prestigious academic award on campus, and with twenty scholars on LCU’s campus spanning every class level, the Honors College is eager to see what they will achieve. While every Mattox Scholar is a studious academic who seeks to excel in his or her chosen field, each Mattox Scholar is also unique, bringing intellectual strengths and leadership skills. We are pleased to introduce them now.

Shelby Ahlgrimm is from Arlington, Texas, and she was drawn to LCU by its small student body size and community atmosphere. shelby aAlthough she is a little far from home, Shelby is enjoying being able to make new friends who are willing to go get ice cream with her on the weekends (Shelby’s favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla.) Some of the new friends Shelby is making are in the older Mattox cohorts, with whom Shelby interacts at the monthly Mattox lunches. These meetings are times for the Mattox scholars to gather and discuss how they are progressing in college, often sharing information about extra-curricular activities, classes, and research in which they are engaging. In addition to meeting new friends, Shelby is also excited to interact with professors who enrich her learning experience. She is majoring in Family Studies, and even though she’s not quite sure what her future career will be yet, Shelby is excited to learn from her knowledgeable professors. The Honors classes Shelby has taken so far have shown her areas of study and life that she has never experienced before, and she is excited to see where else her education in the Honors College will take her.

Emily Baum is from Lubbock, Texas, and she loves spending her time participating in sports and eating strawberry ice cream. emily baumEmily was first drawn to LCU by the Mattox Scholarship because of its high prestige and additional opportunities that are available to Mattox scholars, such as support for research and presentations at national conferences. Since arriving as an Exercise Sport Science major with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy, Emily has come to deeply appreciate how LCU creates an atmosphere that seamlessly weaves together authentic faith and rigorous education. Every professor on campus genuinely cares about the students, and Emily is excited to learn from her professors both what she needs for her future career as a practicing physical therapist and what she needs to know for her future life beyond college. In her pursuit of academic excellence, Emily is grateful to be part of the Honors College because the Honors College is a small, tight-knit community of like-minded students across every discipline at LCU. Every student brings a different perspective to the Honors College, and this creates an atmosphere of continuous drive to do and be better in every class and in every field of study. Through the Honors College, Emily is able to participate in activities that have broadened her scope of knowledge and understanding, helping equip Emily for life both in and out of the office.

Mason Cunningham was born in Washington State, but he moved to Lubbock, Texas as fast as he could. Although Mason has considered Lubbock to be home since his sophomore year of high school, he has traveled around the world on a variety of mission trips that have led him to study viewpoints and to make relationships with people in places like Kenya, Austria, and Germany. masonYet every time Mason travels, he is also reminded of the simple joys of home: familiar faces, an overwhelming sense of community, and a freezer with mint chocolate chip ice cream in it. Mason was drawn to LCU by the strong feeling of community that he had never felt before on a college campus. This feeling only grew as Mason began attending LCU as a Management of Information Systems major with the aspiration to become a chief technical officr eventually. Through his participation in the Honors College, Mason has been thrilled to take a wider variety of classes than he thought possible. His Honors College education allows Mason to study a broader amount of material, ranging from History to Chemistry, and his Honors classes delve deeply into the material, giving Mason more opportunities to learn as much as possible with the time that he has at LCU before he enters the corporate world.

Lexi Denbow is from Amarillo, Texas where she grew up with her two younger siblings.  Lexi spent her childhood traveling, listening to music, and eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. She was originally drawn to LCU by the Christian community

Lexi and Emily
Lexi and Emily

atmosphere, and her appreciation of that atmosphere has only continued to grow. Lexi loves being surrounded by the friendliness, care, and respect that she encounters from students and staff in her classes and in her activities around campus because Lexi loves caring for people. While she is currently undeclared, Lexi plans on majoring in Social Work with a minor in Missions, and after college, she hopes to become a full time missionary overseas. Even though Lexi arrived at LCU a little unsure of where she wanted to go, the Honors College has allowed Lexi to explore deeply, giving her the information she needed to make decisions. The Honors College has shown her how to question, contemplate, and discuss ideas and philosophical concepts in a way she has never been able to before, often through demonstration by Honors College professors such as Dr. Kenneth Hawley. Lexi is excited to continue learning with the Honors College, preparing herself to serve others with the same love that LCU embodies every day.

Emily Gray is also from Amarillo, Texas, and she was first drawn to LCU by its close knit community and the individual attention each student receives. At LCU, a student like Emily is not a number; instead, the professors and staff take time to build relationships with students, creating an environment conducive to learning and growing. Emily is majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in Pre-Occupational Therapy. After college, Emily plans on becoming a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, where she will share a loving atmosphere learned at LCU and mint chocolate chip ice cream with children with disabilities. At LCU, Emily has greatly enjoyed being able to participate in the Honors College. Her Honors classes enrich her education by allowing her to question and discuss deeper questions than she has been able to before. Honors classes encourage students to expand their knowledge beyond traditional major requirements, helping Honors students to become more well-rounded citizens. In addition, Emily also enjoys Honors Chapel, a monthly meeting of all Honors students to worship God and consider questions about college, relationships, and life. These meetings are refreshing for Emily, and she excited to continue to participate in the Honors College in the years to come.

“This fourth Mattox cohort, all arriving from Division 6-A high schools, reflects the quality and dedication that we hope to model with the Mattox Scholars program, Dean Stacy Patty notes. “We are thrilled to have them join us, and we look forward to their work here and many successes in the future.”

This article was written by Sarah Fantinel, a junior English major and Mattox Scholar at LCU.

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