Indiana Woman Receives President's Outstanding Senior Award

Photo of Avery Scherer with President Whitlock

Avery Scherer, the daughter of Doug and Anne Scherer, of Jeffersonville, Ind., received the President’s Outstanding Senior Award at Eastern Kentucky University’s commencement ceremonies on May 5.

Each academic college, the Office of Student Affairs and the International Alumni Association nominate students based on scholarship, leadership and service to both campus and community. Each recipient receives a plaque and $1,000 stipend.

“We were richly blessed this year with some outstanding candidates for this prestigious award, but none more richly deserving than Avery Scherer,” said EKU President Doug Whitlock.

Scherer graduated Summa Cum Laude and as an Honors Scholar with a baccalaureate degree in aquatic biology. She has received numerous academic awards and honors and has been very active, volunteering on campus and in the community. Scherer has worked with the local Humane Society, the Bead for Life jewelry program to assist Ugandans living in extreme poverty, along with many other causes.

Scherer came to EKU to be a part of the university’s nationally recognized Honors Program and credits director Dr. Linda Frost for her decision to enter a doctoral program. After spending the summer of 2010 in Dr. Lee Smee’s laboratory at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Scherer was invited to return there for her graduate work, which she will begin in the fall.

“The Honors Program at Eastern is, in my opinion, without equal,” Scherer said. “Against all odds, Dr. Frost has proven to be one of the most supportive and influential people to have ever burst into my life, and I honestly cannot imagine what my life would look like right now had she not been a part of this process. She was, after all, the first and most determined to insist I earn my Ph.D., and I largely credit the Honors Program’s magnificent faculty for my ability to communicate both orally and through writing.”

Scherer has also studied abroad in both Australia and Belize and presented works at 11 conferences and on-campus events. She was one of only 50 students nationwide to receive a Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad grant. Scherer also earned honorable mention distinction from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

“At this point in my life, I can feel myself standing on the edge of something big,” Scherer said, “and though I have no idea what the future will bring, I know the next chapter of my life holds exciting new experiences. But standing on the early edge of that adventure means standing on the final edge of this one. Eastern has become a home to me in a way I never could have imagined it would four years ago, and I am loath to leave it. I have watched myself grow in the nurturing and exploratory academic environment that is Eastern Kentucky University. The next several years of my education will be difficult and rewarding, but, because of the excellent education and experience I gained at Eastern, I will never doubt I can handle whatever life challenges lie ahead.”

Published on May 08, 2012