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Legacy Scholars follow in family footsteps to attend ASU

June 28, 2011

Students majoring in education, finance and sustainability were among the latest recipients of the Arizona State University Alumni Association’s Legacy Scholarship program, which was established last year to ensure that receiving an ASU education becomes a family affair.

The ten awardees for the 2011-12 school year will receive $1,200 each, or $600 per semester. Relatives of ASU Alumni Association members were eligible to apply for the scholarship.

The following students were selected as 2011-12 Legacy Scholars:

Matthew Barquin will be pursuing a degree in secondary education at ASU. Barquin maintained a 4.0 GPA at Flagstaff High School and was a member of National Honor Society. He participated in student government, school athletics, volunteered at a local middle school and was a member of the Citizens Helping Initiate Change through Community Service program and the San Francisco de Asis Life Teen youth group. Barquin says that he believes that ASU contributed significantly to the success of his father and older brother, who are both alums. He has been inspired by the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU and hopes eventually to join Teach for America.

Chandler Blean is planning to major in business. She is a resident of Glendale, and her family includes four generations of proud Sun Devils, including grandparents who participated in the successful ballot initiative that allowed ASU to become a university in 1958 and a grandfather who played football under Sun Devil coaching legend Frank Kush. Blean is a graduate of Mountain Ridge High School and was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and the National Society of Female Scholars. Blean participated in her school’s golf team and spirit line squad, and volunteered in community organizations including the National Charity League, Sunshine House, Maggie’s Place and Special Olympics. Blean says she cannot imagine attending another university, given her family’s involvement with ASU, and hopes ASU will provide preparation for financial independence as an adult.  

Ellyse Crow plans to major in social and behavioral studies. She maintained a 4.0 GPA at River Valley High School in Mohave Valley, Ariz.  She belonged to the National Honors Society and participated in many school-related extracurricular activities, including student government, basketball, speech/debate, Key Club, and the District Student Advisory Board. Outside of school, she has volunteered as a blood drive site coordinator, and acted as a leader for children’s church programs and summer mission trips. Crow says she decided ASU was her college choice after spending two summers in the middle school program at Barrett, the Honors College at ASU. She intends to keep her family’s tradition of alumni engagement alive after graduation.

Alicia Dominick will be pursuing majors in English (linguistics) and Spanish. She maintained a 4.67 GPA at Arcadia High School in Phoenix and was a member of National Honor Society, served as editor of the school’s newspaper, played in the symphonic band, and was a member of the Club Imprints service organization and Students Taking Action Now: Darfur. Dominick’s community involvement includes participation in the National Charity League and Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organizations. She is also a junior writer for Zona Magazine, a local publication. Her parents are proud first-generation college graduates from ASU and she hopes to continue their example of active engagement.   

Brittany Ebbing, a junior at ASU, is majoring in family and human development (pre-med). She anticipates a 2013 graduation. Her mother is a proud ASU alumna. She maintained a 4.46 GPA while at Paradise Valley High School. At ASU, Ebbing has been active in Barrett, the Honors College, served as an Obama Scholars Peer Mentor, held chapter and state leadership roles in the Health Occupation Students of America group, and has been a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta, the national health pre-professional honor society. She has volunteered with Cardon Children’s Medical Center and the Maricopa Medical Center. Ebbing hopes to be able to give back to ASU financially when she is an alumna to help support the dreams of future Sun Devil students.

Spencer Mitchell is a senior at ASU who is double-majoring in accountancy and finance. He graduated from Valley Christian High School and attended Mesa Community College. He anticipates a 2012 graduation from his bachelor’s programs, and hopes to receive his master’s of taxation degree in 2013. Mitchell has worked as a peer advisor within the W. P. Carey School of Business, has been a member of the fund-raising committee of Beta Alpha Psi (an honorary organization for financial information students and professionals), and the appropriations committee of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He also has led guitar workshops at Tri-City Baptist Church. Mitchell’s father is a proud member of the ASU Alumni Association, and he says he selected ASU in part because of his family connection.

Catlin Ostrander plans to major in Earth and space exploration at ASU. She attended Dobson High School in Mesa, and was active in National Junior Honors Society, National Honor Society and the school’s service learning program. She held leadership roles in choral and instrumental music organizations and worked as a teacher’s aide. Her community involvement includes participation in Mesa Top 2 Bottom, a city-wide cleanup and beautification project, as well as stints as a junior lifeguard and a Vacation Bible School instructor. Her mother is a member of the ASU Alumni Association.

Kristen Rund will be pursuing degrees in history and education. She graduated from Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe with a 4.0 GPA. She was on the Tempe Union High School Superintendent Advisory Council, sang in the school’s choir, was a member of the National Honor Society and participated in We the People, a competition government team. Outside of school, she had a leadership role in the Reading Rocks program, participated in the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission, and volunteered with ASU Cares Day of Service. Rund, whose father and sister are alums and life members of the ASU Alumni Association, describes the university as a “second home” and hopes to become active in ASU’s Student Alumni Association.

Christian Shappee intends to major in industrial design at ASU. He maintained a 4.1 GPA at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix. His school involvement included the track team, Key Club, National Honor Society, student government, prom/graduation committees, being a freshmen mentor, contributing to the scoreboard design for his school’s gymnasium, and providing T-shirt design services for school clubs. He volunteered with the Students Supporting Brain Tumor Research organization. Both Shappee’s parents are alumni, and he credits their example, as well as the national reputation of the industrial design program within the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, as being pivotal toward helping him decide to attend ASU.

Nicole Starr plans to obtain a degree in sustainability at ASU. She maintained a 3.83 GPA at Coronado High School in Scottsdale and has completed coursework at Rio Salado Community College. During her high school career, she was involved in Key Club, the Society of Higher Arts, Science Club and National Honor Society, and was a member of the varsity volleyball team for four years. Outside of school, she participated in the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Scottsdale. Starr’s parents and grandparents are ASU alums, and she says ASU is considered the family’s second home. She hopes to continue Sun Devil traditions with her own children someday.

In order to be selected, Legacy Scholarship recipients had to demonstrate evidence of academic success, a strong commitment to community service and/or university involvement, and dedication to the achievement of their personal and educational goals. As part of the university’s commitment to promoting access to education, the association distributed half of this year’s awards on the basis of financial need.

Christine Wilkinson, president of the Alumni Association, said the Legacy Scholarship program was key to engaging multiple generations of Sun Devil families.

“We are thrilled to expand our family of scholarship recipients this year,” Wilkinson explained. “The Legacy Scholarship program enables the Alumni Association to pass on the values and traditions of ASU to future generations.”

For more information on the Legacy Scholarship program and other awards and scholarships offered by the Alumni Association, visit