Science Scholars: College welcomes 4 new Rickey Scholars

Joining an impressive group of scholars, many of whom have gone on to some on the nation’s most prestigious graduate programs, Jennifer Kachel ’13, Shelby Lee ’13, Will Vance ’12 and John Zoretich ’13 are Marietta College’s new Rickey Scholars in Physics.

Earning a Rickey Scholarship is extremely competitive. Recipients are chosen based on the application they submit, their grades and their interest in the study of physics. The scholarship is renewable annually for up to four years.

The Rickey Scholarship was created in 2000 by Marietta alumnus David M. Rickey '78, Jan Nielsen and the J&D Foundation.

“We solicit applications from all students interested in studying physics at Marietta by mail, and on our website. We look for strong overall academic preparation, very strong performance in math and science courses, high SAT or ACT scores, both overall and in math, and evidence of interest in and commitment to studying physics,” said Dr. Dennis Kuhl, Chair of Physics. “This last item can be found in things like performance in high school physics courses or participation in things like science fair or science Olympiad. We also consider letters of recommendation, which usually give insight into an applicant’s motivation, work habits, and character. Finally, we interview applicants.”

Lee is the daughter of Karen and Perry Lee and is a graduate of Westland High School in Galloway, Ohio.

“To me, Marietta College is great because it’s small.  I don’t have to worry as much about asking questions in a class of 50, as in a class of 500. Then I have a much better chance of understanding the topics in class, which is my main focus for college,” Lee said. “I am so excited about being a Rickey Scholar. The money is nice, but it also made me feel a little more comfortable talking to my professors the first week of school.  I’m most looking forward to going past the basic physics from high school and simply learning new things about how the universe works.  I’m also excited to play with the planetarium because astronomy is my favorite topic within physics, so far.”

Vance is a graduate of Wilmington (Ohio) High School and is the son of Jo Ellen and Hugh Vance.

“I chose Marietta because it was a small school not too far from home, had my major, and I received a nice scholarship,” he said. “I am very honored to be a Rickey Scholar. There is some competition involved and the department has high standards for their students. In physics I look forward most of all to those frequent moments when I realize everything I thought I knew is otherwise and my appreciation for the world and all its workings is enhanced.”

Vance also had a humorous anecdote on why he knew Marietta was the right fit. “What really did it though was the window sticker I received from Marietta. All of the other schools I got accepted to sent me a window sticker but within 24 hours of putting them up, all had fallen down except the one from Marietta; it was meant to be.”

Zoretich is the son of Susan and John M. Zoretich III of Ashtabula, Ohio. He is a graduate of Lakeside High School.

“I chose Marietta College based on its reputation. Even in Ashtabula, people talk about Marietta College and the quality education given here,” he said. “I am extremely grateful to the committee that chose me as a Rickey Scholar. Even though I had a great deal of financial aid, frankly, without this scholarship, I would not be here. Very soon I plan on double majoring in either Computer Science or Computer Information Systems as well as Physics. I’m looking forward to taking a few astronomy electives in the new planetarium.”

Kachel is the daughter of Denise and Joel Kachel of Woodsfield, Ohio. She is a graduate of The Linsly School in Wheeling, W.Va.

“When I visited Marietta the fall of my junior year in high school, I knew I would be here. It just felt like I could make this place my home. I also chose it because I loved the small size and family oriented atmosphere,” she said. “I was very enthusiastic to be chosen as a Rickey Scholar. While this was a great accomplishment, I know I have to try very hard if I want to do well. I was also very thankful to all who helped me get the scholarship: Mr. Rickey, Dr. Kuhl, my parents and all my high school teachers. I really want to have a good physics base for graduate school. My plan is to go into research in either astronomy or particle physics. I feel that Marietta College and the Rickey Scholarship are essential for me to reach this goal. I love to learn and be challenged and cannot wait to see what lies ahead for me in the next four years.”