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May 2015

Newest Class of Johnson Scholars Named at SCU

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 12, 2015 —Ten incoming Santa Clara University first-year students have been chosen as Johnson Scholars for 2015.

The Johnson Scholars program is funded by a generous gift from donors Rupert and Maryellie Johnson as a way to help students and enhance the University’s mission. The program was established to award full, renewable academic scholarships to up to 10 of SCU’s most academically accomplished, leadership-minded applicants.

During their four years the Johnson Scholars receive premier access to the University’s top leadership and honors programs, including the prestigious Johnson Leadership Fellows program, a summer stipend for a self-designed leadership experience.

“We extend a warm welcome to this year’s Johnson Scholars and commend them for their high achievements in scholarship, leadership, and community service,” said SCU President Michael Engh, S.J. “These students represent the compassion, leadership, integrity, and academic excellence that Rupert and Maryellie Johnson sought to honor with this scholarship.”

The newest Johnson Scholars hail from six states: Arizona, California, Washington, Oregon, Maine, and Hawaii.

Johnson Scholars for Class of 2019

Name: Liah D'sa
High School: Chandler Preparatory Academy
Hometown: Gilbert, Ariz.
Major:  Public Health

Liah D’sa exemplified strength, fortitude, scholarship, and purpose throughout her high school career at Chandler Preparatory Academy in Chandler, Ariz. She was forced to give up traditional school days during her sophomore and junior years to overcome a major medical hurdle but still managed to outperform her peers through a home study program. She has an unparalleled level of self-motivation, discipline, and maturity beyond her years that have driven her to excel in her studies. She likens youth to clay that needs to be molded and says she looks forward to being shaped by the Jesuit experience at SCU.

Name: Andrew Descourouez
High School: Bellarmine College Preparatory
Hometown: Los Altos, Calif.
Major: Arts & Sciences Undeclared

Andrew Descourouez has had multiple leadership roles in high school, including serving as student body president of Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose and on the youth advisory committee of Free the Children, with whom he traveled to Kenya and China. He is the founder of Bellarmine’s Free the Children Club, working to inspire others to make a difference in the world. Andrew has a passion for social justice and says that education driven by values and vision makes him feel like he’s part of something bigger than himself.

Name: Rachel Goldstein
High School: Lowell High School
Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.
Major:  Engineering Undeclared

Rachel Goldstein embodies strength in leadership and speaks up for what she believes in. A senior at Lowell High School in San Francisco, she is a member of the leadership team at the California Academy of Sciences, where she has volunteered hundreds of hours to bring science to the community in innovative and engaging ways. Rachel plays for her school's league-winning varsity tennis team and founded the tennis club at Lowell to provide a space for students to learn to play the sport. She is passionate about her Spanish studies because it allows her to connect to a wide variety of people. She has participated in an immersion program in Spain and is recognized for her service as a member of the Spanish Honors Society, where she helped to raise money for Casa de Las Madres and a disaster relief program.

Name: Maria Khouri-Haddad
High School: Saint Francis High School
Hometown: Los Altos, Calif.
Major:  French and Francophone Studies

Maria Khouri-Haddad is the president of the Foreign Language Honor Society, an Associated Student Body leader, and founder of the Glee Club at Saint Francis High School in Mountain View. Maria is a dual citizen of the United States and Lebanon and is fluent in four languages. She is strongly inspired by her family’s roots in Lebanon and the warmth and support of the culture. Maria hopes to bring that same welcoming spirit to SCU and looks forward to developing close friendships and ties at Santa Clara University.

Name: Eoin Lyons
High School: Saint Ignatius College Prep
Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.
Major:  Business Undeclared

Eoin Lyons is student body president at Saint Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco. He believes that education can be attained in and out of the classroom and uses all of his life experiences as an opportunity to learn. He was recently invited to go to Uganda on an immersion trip with his school, where he was inspired by the people he met — people whose worlds had been turned upside down by war and who had so little materially but who exemplified so much love and selflessness. Eoin believes a Santa Clara University education will help him have the conscience and compassion to become a force of positive change in the world. Eoin is a Santa Clara LEAD Scholar. The LEAD Scholars Program is a four-year program for first-generation college students focused on academics, community engagement, and service.

Name: Cooper Scherr
High School: Saint Francis Central Coast Catholic High School
Hometown: San Juan Bautista, Calif.
Major: History

Cooper Scherr is a highly motivated student striving for excellence in all things. His interests outside of academics include sports, theatre, singing, and community service. Cooper says he hopes to be a doctor, just like his father, and to help people get back to health. He was first introduced to Santa Clara University through his middle school basketball coach, a former Bronco. During his freshman year at Saint Francis Central Coast Catholic High School in Watsonville, Calif., he attended an overnight basketball camp at SCU and left with a positive impression of the school. Cooper says Santa Clara’s mission to mold competent, conscientious, and compassionate leaders attracts him.

Name: Phillip Barber
High School: Bishop Blanchet High School
Hometown: Bellevue, Wash.
Major: Business Undeclared

Phillip Barber is the senior class treasurer, Spanish Club president, and a valedictorian of the class of 2015 at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle. Phillip says that being a leader is an important goal of his and he strives to make an impact on the world around him. He started a neighborhood sports camp in 2009 and enjoys volunteering at Kiwanis Camp Casey, a summer camp for children who have physical disabilities. Phillip says that the most appealing aspect of the Santa Clara University vision is the education of leaders. He hopes to parlay his leadership skills and get involved in programs at SCU like the California Program for Entrepreneurship.

Name: Varsha Kalavar
High School: Jesuit High School
Hometown: Portland, Ore.
Major