Signing Day Spotlights Students Headed to Graduate School

Amanda Morrison Signing Day
Amanda Morrison ’22
Annie Tyler '22 Signing Day
Annie Tyler ’22

Bright careers await the seniors graduating soon from Kalamazoo College, including those in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Six of them were spotlighted recently during a Signing Day, featuring some of the scholars who are moving on to graduate programs this fall.

Much like student-athletes would gather to sign letters of intent when selecting their collegiate destinations, the chemistry students met to officially declare their educational next steps. The event was first envisioned by Subi Thakali ’21, Alex Cruz ’21 and Angela Ruiz ’21, who desired an academic answer to the accolades a student-athlete might receive during a Signing Day. Professor of Chemistry Jeff Bartz organized it that first year and even borrowed a photography backdrop from the athletics department.

Now, grad-school bound chemistry students from K receive some brief fame through social media as their pictures and destinations are featured in the department’s Twitter and Instagram accounts. Suja Thakali ’23, a leader in the Higher-Level Education in Dow student organization, planned much of this year’s event with Bartz again borrowing a backdrop. The students among the honorees on the Signing Day were:

Lia Schroeder
Lia Schroeder ’22
Grace McKnight on Signing Day
Grace McKnight ’22
  • Annie Tyler, who is heading to Yale University for a Ph.D. in organic chemistry
  • Amanda Morrison, who will join the University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis for a master’s degree in medicinal chemistry
  • Grace McKnight, who will attend the Grainger School of Engineering at the University of Illinois for a Ph.D. in theoretical and applied mechanics
  • Lia Schroeder, matriculating at Rutgers University for a Ph.D. in biophysical chemistry
  • Faith Flinkingshelt, moving on to the University of California-Irvine for a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry
  • Ola Bartolik, who is seeking a Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Michigan.

The chemistry department expects the tradition to continue next year alongside students from the biology department. But for this year, Tyler’s destination is especially noteworthy as she will be the first Heyl scholar from K to be awarded a Heyl Fellowship in more than 15 years. Heyl scholars are high-achieving high school graduates from Kalamazoo County, who receive full-tuition scholarships to attend K in a STEM program or Western Michigan University’s Bronson School of Nursing. K grads who successfully matriculate to Yale are eligible to apply for the Fellowship.

Ola Bartolik
Ola Bartolik ’22
Faith Flinkingshelt
Faith Flinkingshelt ’22

Tyler—a chemistry and religion double major, Kalamazoo Central High School graduate and Kalamazoo Promise scholar—said Yale wasn’t a graduate school on her radar until she realized the possibility of attending on a Heyl Fellowship.

“When I visited the campus and chemistry building, Yale was the only place I visited where I didn’t have an ‘I like this, but here’s this issue I have with it’ feeling,” Tyler said. “I liked everything about it. I liked that it was in a new place, and that they seemed really excited about recruiting students. I could very easily picture myself at Yale for the next five years.”

The Heyl Fund will cover up to four years of Tyler’s tuition and fees along with a stipend in the Fellowship. For the upcoming academic year, those costs add up to more than $80,000.

“I’m really honored that I was chosen for the Heyl Scholarship and the Heyl Fellowship,” Tyler said. “The scholarship allowed me to attend Kalamazoo College in the first place. To see that my last four years of work at K have allowed me to become a Heyl Fellow makes me really proud and excited to continue the work.”

Eight New Heyl Scholars to Attend K This Fall

Heyl Scholar Elizabeth 'Ellie' Grooten
Elizabeth ‘Ellie’ Grooten

Heyl Scholar Anna Buck
Anna Buck

Heyl Scholar Ava Apolo_
Ava Apolo

Eight Kalamazoo County high school students seeking to major in STEM-related fields have earned Heyl Scholarships to attend Kalamazoo College in the 2021-22 academic year.

The Heyl Scholarship Fund, marking its 50th anniversary, was established in 1971 through the will of Dr. Frederick Heyl and Mrs. Elsie Heyl.

Maggie Lekan_
Maggie Lekan

Cole Koryto
Cole Koryto

Alex Kish
Alex Kish

Frederick Heyl was the first director of research at the Upjohn Company and he taught at Kalamazoo College. The scholarships are renewable for four years and cover tuition, fees, college housing and a book allowance.

This year’s recipients of the scholarships, their high schools and their chosen majors or professional goals are:

Laurel Wolfe
Laurel Wolfe

Emerson Wesselhoff
Emerson Wesselhoff

  • Ava Apolo, Loy Norrix High School and Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center (KAMSC), biology.
  • Anna Buck, Loy Norrix High School and KAMSC, mathematics.
  • Elizabeth “Ellie” Grooten, Kalamazoo Central and KAMSC, biology.
  • Alex Kish, Comstock and KAMSC, mechanical engineering.
  • Cole Koryto, Portage Central and KAMSC, computer science and business.
  • Maggie Lekan, Kalamazoo Central, biology or chemistry.
  • Emerson Wesselhoff, Loy Norrix and KAMSC, biology with an environmental science concentration.
  • Laurel Wolfe, Loy Norrix, biology.

Six Earn Heyl Scholarships

Heyl Recipient Madeleine Coffman
Madeleine Coffman

Heyl Recipient Lukas Bolton
Lukas Bolton

Heyl Scholar Jordyn Wilson
Jordyn Wilson

Six students from Kalamazoo County high schools received Heyl Scholarships to attend Kalamazoo College in the 2020-21 school year. Pursuant to scholarship criteria, all will major in STEM-related fields.

Since 1971, the Heyl Scholarship Fund has been available to remarkable Kalamazoo-area math and science students, and was established through the will of Dr. Frederick Heyl and Mrs. Elsie Heyl.

Heyl Recipient Emily Haigh
Emily Haigh

Heyl Recipient Bijou Hoehle
Bijou Hoehle

Heyl Recipient Xavier Silva
Xavier Silva

Frederick Heyl was the first director of research at the Upjohn Company and also taught at Kalamazoo College. The scholarships are renewable for four years and cover tuition, fees, college housing and a book allowance.

Recipients of the Heyl Scholarships include: Lukas Bolton, Kalamazoo Central; Madeleine Coffman, Hackett Catholic Prep / Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center (KAMSC); Emily Haigh, Portage Central / KAMSC; Bijou Hoehle, Kalamazoo Central; Xavier Silva, Portage Northern / KAMSC; and Jordyn Wilson, Parchment / KAMSC.

Heyl Scholarship Winners Announced

Eight students from Kalamazoo County high schools and one Kalamazoo College first-year student will receive Heyl scholarships to attend Kalamazoo College in the 2018-19 school year, majoring in math or science.Heyl Scholars

The prestigious scholarships, available to accomplished Kalamazoo-area math and science students who meet certain requirements, cover tuition, rooming and book fees. The scholarships were established in 1971 through the will of F.W. and Elsie L. Heyl. F.W. Heyl was the first director of research at the Upjohn Co. and taught at Kalamazoo College.

Honored at a dinner at the College, the scholarship winners are (from left): Evelyn Bartley (Loy Norrix High), Eva DeYoung (Loy Norrix High), Sam Ratliff (Kalamazoo College), Madeline Guimond (Loy Norrix High), Molly Ratliff (Loy Norrix High and Kalamazoo Area Math and Science Center), Alina Offerman (Loy Norrix High), Syeda Tooba (Parchment High and Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center), Tatianna Tyler (Kalamazoo Central High) and Thomas (Jake) Fales (Kalamazoo Central High).

Five other students received Heyl Scholarships to attend Western Michigan University’s Bronson School of Nursing.