2017 Academic Merit Award Winners
On July 7, 2017, the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) Scholarship Fund will bestow on 24 Foreign Service high school seniors the 2017 AFSA Merit Awards– all of which are children of AFSA members. Recipients receive $2,500 as winners,$1,000 as honorable mention winners, and $500 commended art winners. The prizes total $45,500 this year. AFSA received a total of 105 applications in this year’s competition.
Below you will find short biographies on the Academic Merit Award winners and honorable mentions.
Academic Merit Award Winners - $2,500
Emma Bachman — daughter of Brian (State) and Jan Fischer Bachman; graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia; attending University of Oklahoma; and awarded the Embassy Risk Management Academic Merit Award.
Isaac Burkhalter — son of Edward (State) and Susan Burkhalter; graduated from Saint Maur International School, Yokohama, Japan; attending University of Virginia; and awarded the Louis C. and Valeria Hebert Memorial Academic Merit Award.
Adrianna Carter — daughter of Mark (State) and Malynda Carter; graduated from American School of Warsaw, Poland; attending University of Virginia; and awarded a Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield Academic Merit Award.
William Clements — son of Sue Saarnio (State); graduated from McLean High School, McLean, Virginia; attending College of William and Mary; and awarded the John and Priscilla Becker Family Academic Merit Award.
Evan Dastin-van Rijn — son of Michele (State) and Paul Dastin-van Rijn; graduated from St. John's International School, Waterloo, Belgium; attending Brown University; and awarded the Joanna and Robert Martin Academic Merit Award.
Vidalia Freeman — daughter of Jeremy (State) and Cheryl Freeman; graduated from American School of Doha, Doha, Qatar; attending Utah State University; and awarded an AFSA Academic Merit Award.
Hannah Gage — daughter of John (State) and Ok Gage; graduated from The American School in Switzerland (TASIS), Lugano, Switzerland; attending Ohio State University, and awarded an AFSA Academic Merit Award.
Scott Huson — son of Tim Huson (State) and Anne Braghetta (State); graduated from The Country Day School, San Rafael de Alajuela, Costa Rica; attending Brown University, and awarded the an AFSA Academic Merit Award.
Harry Kamian — son of Robin Dunnigan (State) and Harry Kamian (State); graduated from Washington-Lee High School, Arlington, Virginia; attending Williams College; and awarded the Donald S. Memorial and Maria Giuseppa Spigler Academic Merit Award.
Marianna Karagiannis — daughter of Dr. Alexander Karagiannis (State) and Katherine Ingmanson; graduated from JEB Stuart HS, Falls Church, Virginia; attending University of Chicago, and awarded the Promax Management Academic Merit Award.
Augustus “Gus” Kmetz — son of John (State) Kmetz and Dr. Loretta Bass;, graduated from Norman High School, Norman, Oklahoma; attending Brown University, and awarded a Joanna and Robert Martin Academic Merit Award.
Seamus Lawton — son of Daniel Lawton (State) and Paula Hawkins; graduated from Methodist College Belfast, Belfast, United Kingdom; attending Amherst College; and awarded the Turner C. Cameron Jr. Memorial Academic Merit Award.
Alice Naland — daughter of John Naland (State-Retired) and Barbara Reioux; graduated from Washingon-Lee High School, Arlington, Virginia; attending UCLA; and awarded a Care First Blue Cross Blue Shield Academic Merit Award.
Jane O'Connor — daughter of Matthew O'Connor (State) and Dawn Park; graduated from Urbana High School, Ijamsville, Maryland; attending Hillsdale College; and awarded an AFSA Academic Merit Award.
Academic Merit Award - Honorable Mention Winners - $1,000
Claudia Amadeo-Luyt — daughter of Stefanie Amadeo (State); graduated from United Nations International School, New York, New York; attending Barnard College, Columbia University; and awarded an AFSA Academic Honorable Mention Award, the AFSA Best Essay Award and the Linda K. Fitzgerald Memorial Community Service Award.
Jane Christensen — daughter of Darin (State) and Elizabeth Christensen; graduated from George Mason High School, Falls Church, Virginia; attending Brigham Young University; and awarded an AFSA Academic Honorable Mention Merit Award.