University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations
December 7, 2011
Contact: Jennifer Z. Ekman, USA Public Relations, (251) 460-6360
                 Stephanie Bradford, DYW, (251) 438-3621


USA Welcomes Three State Winners of
Distinguished Young Women as Freshmen

The University of South Alabama welcomes three state winners of the Distinguished Young Women program as freshmen this fall. The three first-year students join four upperclassmen for a total of seven state winners from the program currently enrolled at USA.

Freshmen Rebecca Mitchell of Maryland, Audri Rousseau of Oregon and Aspen Schleser of Colorado each received full scholarships to attend USA.

USA President Gordon Moulton welcomed the new students with a scholarship ceremony and luncheon at noon on Wednesday, Dec. 7.

“We are gratified that the University of South Alabama's high quality academic programs and dedicated faculty continue to make it a first-choice institution among the nation’s most academically talented students,” USA President Gordon Moulton said. “Students of this quality have many options, and we are certain they will have a positive experience at USA.”

The scholarship program is part of USA’s mission to educate and train the next generation of leaders for Mobile, the region and the nation. The scholarship is offered to state winners who have high academics and a 30 or above on the ACT.

Each scholarship is estimated at more than $40,000 over four years. The award covers four years of full tuition, fees, room and board. It also includes a laptop computer, which the students received their first week of class.

Rebecca Mitchell of Ijamsville, Md., graduated from Urbana High School with a 4.0 grade point average and a 30 ACT. The daughter of Tom and Cathy Mitchell, she served as marching band head drum major in high school and was heavily involved in a variety of musical groups and bands. She plays violin and piano and has given lessons in each. An elementary education major, she would like to be an elementary school teacher or run a family business.

Audri Rousseau of Salem, Ore., graduated from West Salem High School with a 4.0 grade point average and a 30 on the ACT. The daughter of Thomas and Lisa Rousseau, she was valedictorian of her class, even while serving as varsity cheer captain, student body vice president and prom chair. Her volunteering with deaf children helped her find her calling. She is now enrolled in the USA College of Education.

Aspen Schleser of Aurora, Colo., graduated from Grandview High School with a 4.0 grade point average and a 1350 on the SAT. The daughter of Stephen and Denice Schleser, she excelled in a variety of academic honors, including time as a French exchange student, and numerous student activities. She also enjoyed success in theatrical performances and modeling. A political science major, she hopes one day to become the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Other Distinguished Young Women state winners now at USA include Lauren Gessner of Ohio; Twila Tschan of Oregon; Hannah Yeats of Idaho; and Haley Armstrong of South Dakota.


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